TRADE in ACTION|Building a transatlantic marketplace


The Leaders of the G20 met in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015 to determine further collective actions towards achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth globally. To read more about the G20, and the outcome of the recent meetings, click here

Speeches and Official Announcements

European Commission Releases Finalized Proposal for an Investment Court System

Last Thursday, the European Commission released a final proposal for a new investment court system. The proposal is intended to provide clear rules that protect the ability of member states to regulate while speeding up the dispute resolution process and making decisions more clear and transparent. The proposal would also create special protections for small and medium-sized enterprises, which tend to be more exposed to discrimination and have less means to defend their rights than other companies. (European Commission)

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström speaks last Friday about the Commission's new sustainable development proposal for TTIP. (Photo Credit: European Commission Audiovisual Service)

The TTIP Timeline


The next round of negotiations will be at the beginning of 2016.
Photo Source: @EU_TTIP_Team

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"After 11 rounds of TTIP negotiations, this is the state of play of all available documents." (Photo credit: EU Commission TTIP Team)

This Week's Trade Highlights

On the US side, this week is dominated by a number of issues:

-This morning's release of the long-awaited TPP text

- The 22nd round of negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty between China and the United States

- Concerns over the fate of the US-EU Safe Harbor framework after its invalidation by the European Court     of Justice in October

- The potential revival of the Export-Import Bank

- The European Parliament delegation’s annual visit to meet with Congress legislators in Washington DC in the framework of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue to talk about TTIP, the transatlantic digital     market, energy cooperation, Syria and more. The delegation met with USTR Mike Froman yesterday to   talk about the state of TTIP negotiations.

Further details here. (WTONewsstand)

On the European side, it looks like European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will have a busy November:

- Visiting the EU-Nigeria Business Forum (Lagos, Nigeria,  November 5)

- Speaking at the 80th International Session of the European Youth Parliament on TTIP (Leipzig, Germany, November 9)

- Joining an extraordinary meeting of the INTA Committee on China’s request for market economy status (November 12)

- A trilateral meeting with the EU, Russia and Ukraine

- Visiting Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister, Pavlo Klimki (mid-November)

Further details here. (Vieuws)

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US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero shake hands after the completion of the 11th round of TTIP negotiations last week in Miami. (Photo credit: United States Mission to the European Union)

This Week's Trade Highlights

Looking at last week's 11th round of TTIP negotiations in Miami, here are the key takeaways:

- The negotiators exchanged revised market access offers. After this round of negotiations, 97 percent of tariff lines are agreed to be eliminated on both sides, with the remaining 3 percent left for the final stages of the negotiations.

- Other areas discussed included: Customs and trade facilitation, the SME chapter, and regulatory cooperation across key sectors.

- After a period of slow progress (on the US side partially due to its focus on closing TPP negotiations), this round of negotiations ended with very optimistic statements from both the US and the EU negotiators- who even suggested that if significant progress is made in the next few months, a deal could potentially be done before President Obama leaves office.

With many outstanding issues yet to be addressed, negotiators have to commit to intensifying the pace of negotiations and to translating words into actions. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for early next year in Brussels when both sides aim to table offers on public procurement.

For a concise overview on where we stand in the negotiations, check out this issue area by issue area overview by Borderlex

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Civil Society DialogueEuropean Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom speaks with a variety of leaders from trade unions, business associations, nonprofit groups, and other civil society organizations at an open dialogue to discuss the European Commission's Trade for All strategy earlier this week. (Photo credit: European Commission)

This Week's Trade Highlights

It's TTIP Week! 
This week, representatives from both sides of the Atlantic meet in Miami, Florida, for the 11th round of TTIP negotiations since talks started in 2013.  Representatives from the European Union, led by Ignacio Garcia Bercero (on behalf of EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström) and a team from US Trade Representative Michael Froman's office led by Dan Mullaney, will be focusing on details this week.

According to the German Embassy to the United States, the 11th round will confer about cutbacks in customs in order to facilitate imports and reductions to other, non-intuitive obstructions to trade, like the necessity to fill out forms for both the import and the export countries. On both sides of the table, negotiators want to avoid compromising any standards in the United States or the European Union. Another hot topic will be investment. The United States and the European Union hope to create a network to protect investors and companies by setting standards of investment and preventing fraud and discrimination. In this light, the negotiators will discuss the European Union’s draft proposal on investment court systems for TTIP. 

Today, the teams met with stakeholders and on Friday, the Chief Negotiators will hold a press conference to discuss progress. In the meantime, follow us on twitter via @TTIPAction and read some official statements from both sides of the Atlantic bolstering TTIP. 

In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce some fresh additions to our TTIP newsletter! "All things TTIP" will of course still be our focus but we will also be giving you brief updates on the latest on TPP as well as other trade deals!

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Froman and Delaware Senators_2United States Trade Representative Michael Froman speaks with Senators Carper and Coons of Delaware during a visit to highlight the benefits of the TPP for Delaware businesses. (Photo credit: Office of the US Trade Representative)

This Week's Trade Highlights

This week’s news on TTIP was dominated by Saturday’s anti-TTIP protests in Germany, overshadowing the European Union’s free trade negotiations with Tunisia on Tuesday. In an interview with a German newspaper prior to the protests, German vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel spoke out vehemently in favor of a trade agreement with the United States, warning the readership that the future alternative would likely be that Germany would have to follow much lower standards set jointly by China and the United States. 

The European Commission responded indirectly to the concerns raised by protesters by adopting their new Trade and Investment Strategy today, October 14.  The new strategy, which is based on the key principles of transparency, effectiveness, and values, is also an implementation of the Juncker Commission's pledge to listen and respond to European public’s concerns.  Only one day after the adoption of the new strategy, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will be speaking to the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) to present the long-awaited strategy.

Looking ahead, next week will be a decisive week for TTIP, with the 11th round of negotiations taking place in Miami, Florida. With TPP negotiations concluded, experts hope that the US trade focus will shift to the European Union, and move negotiations into higher gear. 

In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce some fresh additions to our TTIP newsletter! "All things TTIP" will of course still be our focus but we will also be giving you brief updates on the latest on TPP as well as other trade deals!

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TPP Ministers_2United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and the other 11 ministers from the TPP countries pose for a photo after completing negotiations for the Transpacific Partnership on October 5 in Atlanta. (Picture: Office of the United States Trade Representative)

This Week's Trade Highlights

October has started out as a good month for trade:

The United States concluded TPP negotiations with Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim economies after years of negotiations on Monday.

Next steps: The next task will be for President Obama to get approval from Congress during his final year in office. The bill requires a simple majority in the Senate. Getting a yes from the House will be more difficult as Democrats are expected to show some opposition over labor and environmental concerns. 

The European Commission launched the Capital Markets Union Action Plan last week. 

On the global stage
The European Union announced that they finalized the ratification process of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on Monday which is set to significantly simplify and modernize customs procedures around the world once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement that was made in 2013. 

The G20 trade ministers met in Istanbul this week; their agenda was focused on inclusiveness, implementation and investment.

And what about TTIP? 
We hope that trade October also finishes on a strong note with the next round of TTIP negotiations on October 19-23 in Miami, Florida. 

In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce some fresh additions to our TTIP newsletter! "All things TTIP" will of course still be our focus but we will also be giving you brief updates on the latest on TPP as well as other trade deals!

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Sept 30 Photo_FinalEuropean Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström speaks about TTIP and the future of trade policy at Columbia University on September 25 in New York City. (Picture: European Commission)

This Week's Trade Highlights

After an eventful last week featuring Chinese President Xi, EU Trade Commissioner Malmström, the Pope, and the UN Summit in New York City, this week is again packed with important meetings and announcements on trade on both sides of the Atlantic. 

On the European side, the European Commission launched the Capital Markets Union Action Plan today which is intended to help build a single market for capital across the 28 EU Member States to boost business funding and investment financing. 

Today, the WTO’s annual public forum kicked off in Geneva (through October 2) with the theme “Trade Works”. Marking the 20th anniversary of the WTO, the forum will evaluate and discuss the past and future 20 years of global cooperation in the WTO and how it influences the world economy.
On the US side, this week is all about the Transpacific Partnership(TPP). Starting today, the Trade Ministers of 12 Pacific Rim countries meet in Atlanta hoping to reach a final ambitious agreement by October 1, 2015.
On our trade radar for next week: 
October 5 OECD/G20 Global Forum on International Investment in Istanbul, Turkey
October 5 through 6 G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey
October 6 through 13 Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiating round in Geneva, Switzerland

And what about TTIP? The next negotiating round will be in Miami, Florida (October 19 through 23)

In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce some fresh additions to our TTIP newsletter! "All things TTIP" will of course still be our focus but we will also be giving you brief updates on the latest on TPP as well as other trade deals!

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Commissioner Malmstrom and USTR Mike FromanUSTR Michael Froman and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström meet this week ahead of the next round of TTIP negotiations in October in Miami, Florida. (Foto:

This Week's Trade Highlights

On the European side, the European Union and Japan concluded the 12th round of talks towards a free trade agreement, while the Greeks voted for the fifth time in six years- and Tsipras won his third mandate in eight months. Earlier this week, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade held their first debate on the court system that is supposed to replace ISDS in TTIP. 

After her visit in Poland last week, EU Trade Commissioner Malmström spends this week in the United States to meet with USTR Michael Froman among others to progress TTIP talks ahead of the next round of negotiations in October.

Commissioner Malmström is joined in DC by the Pope who will mainly talk about poverty, social justice, climate change, and peaceful institutions and societies. Chinese President Xi Jinping who also arrived in the US earlier this week, has promised that China is against competitive depreciation or currency war and won’t depreciate the Yuan to boost exports but instead is committed to economic reform. 

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew calls on China to reaffirm reform commitments and to demonstrate their intent to allow the yuan to be subject to upward pressure that would drive the currency up, not just down.

If you want to refresh your knowledge on China because President Xi is in town, check out this video of last week's Atlantic Council event on the Internationalization of the Chinese currency.

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21276204411_4ed48fa562_nEuropean Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska speaks at the Atlantic Council on September 14 about TTIP, SMEs, and the European Commission’s economic agenda. The Commissioner was accompanied by EU Ambassador to the united States David O’Sullivan (right).The discussion was moderated by Andrea Montanino, Director of the Global Business and Economics Program of the Atlantic Council (left).

This Week's Trade Highlights

Earlier today,the European Commission has approved its proposal for a new and transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System. This new system would replace the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations, including TTIP.

On the other side of the Atlantic, US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was confident that the Transpacific Partnership Agreement could be done by the end of this year although approval by the US Congress is not guaranteed. 

Looking ahead: Next week, Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first state visit to the United States, coming to Washington DC next Friday, where the two Presidents are expected to talk about the future of Sino-American trade relations among other contentious issues.

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