TRADE in ACTION
Speeches and Official AnnouncementsAmbassador Michael Froman Testifies Before House Ways & Means Committee
This morning USTR Michael Froman addressed the House Ways and Means Committee on the Obama adminstration's trade policy. He stressed that all efforts underway are designed to: expand US exports, to level the playing field for American businesses, and to ensure existing trade rules are fully enforced. He also made clear that the administration will ask for fast-track Trade Promotion Authority in the coming months.
Speeches and Official AnnouncementsEU and US Conclude First Round of TTIP Negotiations in Washington
After concluding the first week of negotiations, chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero and Assistant USTR Dan Mullaney held a press conference on their progress. The first negotiating round focused on both sides outlining their positions across a range of issues, and they identified notable areas of agreement, including trade facilitation rules.
Speaking at an off-the-record Atlantic Council dinner in Washington recently, a senior former US diplomat noted that if the US and EU view TTIP as "just another trade agreement," it won't happen. As negotiators are just starting out, everyone is saying the right things, but some really tough issues are coming, and some serious political divisions are going to open up between the two sides. Success will require real engagement from the White House, Merkel, Cameron, and others to move us past these divides.
Yesterday, delegations from the European Commission and Office of the US Trade Representative met for the start of the initial round of official TTIP negotiations here in Washington.
Despite the calls of some in Europe to delay the talks after it was revealed that the US National Security Agency had been spying on some European embassies and EU buildings, the talks begin on time and on schedule. The trade talks are now being joined by a sideline transatlantic data privacy effort to help restore trust among the negotiating partners.
Corresponding with the official launch of negotiations, I'm happy to announce that TTIP Action is now on Twitter, with quick updates and analysis of the latest developments in the transatlantic economy. You can follow us @TTIPAction.
CommentaryChris Brummer | New Atlanticist
The Atlantic Council's C. Boyden Gray Fellow on Global Finance and Growth Dr. Chris Brummer, argues that TTIP offers a major opportunity to promote regulatory coherence and prevent arbitrage across the Atlantic in financial services. This opportunity should be seized. Instead of exempting finance from TTIP negotiations, transatlantic regulatory cooperation should be highlighted and encouraged.
CommentaryFrederick Kempe and Aart de Geus | National Interest
On July 4, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy declared "that the United States will be ready for a Declaration of Interdependence, that we will be prepared to discuss with a united Europe the ways and means of forming a concrete Atlantic partnership, a mutually beneficial partnership between the new union now emerging in Europe and the old American Union." As negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) get underway, those words seem prescient. The TTIP has the potential to fulfill Kennedy's vision.
With President Obama in Europe for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland and a state visit to Berlin, and the official start of TTIP talks at hand, today seemed like a fitting moment to begin our new blog.