Advocates Join Forces to Explore Impact of TTIP on All 50 States

In summer 2013, representatives of the United States and European Union opened negotiations to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which seeks to deepen the relationship between the world’s two leading economies and create the world’s largest free trade area. The effort will align the two regions’ regulatory regimes, strengthening the economies without compromising environmental or product safety standards.

The partnership will dramatically increase transatlantic trade and investment flows and support hundreds of thousands of related jobs. TTIP also figures to be a key driver of wealth creation across the transatlantic economy for years to come. By lowering the costs of trade and driving job growth in a range of industries, American households (defined as a family of four) stand to gain approximately $865 annually while their European counterparts gain $720.

Beyond pure economics, TTIP also represents a key strategic opportunity for the US and EU. Facing increased pressure globally, the transatlantic partners have the opportunity to revitalize their own economies by significantly lowering the remaining barriers between them. If the US and Europe—which still represent 45 percent of global GDP and over a third of global trade—can agree to a single set of rules, the rest of the world could follow.

Even now, negotiators from the Office of the US Trade Representative and the European Commission are hard at work drafting the potential parameters of the agreement. Both sides will stake out important positions on critical issues like regulatory convergence, market access, investment, and public procurement. They will solicit input from civil society and other public stakeholders. Legislators will need to weigh in and approve or reject the draft agreement. Thus, it is important for the negotiating process to be as transparent and inclusive as possible. As negotiations progress, the roles of civil society, legislators at all levels, and the public at large, will only gain in importance.

Against this backdrop, the Atlantic Council, Bertelsmann Foundation, and the British Embassy in Washington explored the potential economic benefits of an ambitious and fully-implemented TTIP for each of the fifty US states. This study—the first of its kind—examines potential employment gains and export increases likely to result from the implementation of a comprehensive TTIP agreement. The report partners are releasing the document, TTIP and the Fifty States: Jobs and Growth from Coast to Coast, at a joint event on Tuesday, September 24, at the Atlantic Council. UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, US Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT), and Bertelsmann Foundation Executive Director Annette Heuser will speak at the event. Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe will make welcoming remarks, and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat will moderate.

While the contours of the TTIP negotiations are in the earliest stages of development, the scope of trade talks clearly touches on multiple key industries and regulatory issues all along the supply chain. The effects on US and European industry vary by sector, but they will affect some of the most sensitive areas of international economic policy. Successful passage of an ambitious but achievable TTIP will require consensus-building through robust discussion and debate at the highest reaches of government, as well as in non-traditional centers of political power.

Many Americans, and in particular many legislators, may not realize the degree to which their states are already linked with Europe. As the statistics in the report will show, however, each state already exports large quantities of goods and services to the EU, and millions of Americans are already employed in positions directly linked to trade and investment with Europe. As President Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt recently underlined in Stockholm, the transatlantic economy already employs over thirteen million people in the US and Europe. These numbers stand to gain significantly should TTIP negotiations succeed.

The report authors believe that the time for action is now. According to them, this could be the last best chance for the transatlantic partners to demonstrate the effectiveness of an open, rules-based economic model with strong protections for workers and the environment. The ambitious partnership would eliminate transatlantic tariffs, reduce costs of non-tariff regulatory barriers by 25 percent and cut public-procurement barriers by 50 percent.

The next round of talks between US and EU officials is slated for October.