Who’s Who & Who’s New?
Now that incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced the proposed composition of the next Commission, TTIP Action will introduce several of the new commissioners, their portfolios, and their role in the European Union over the course of the next several weeks. Today’s edition introduces Jyrki Katainen, the designated Vice President and Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment, and Competitiveness.

“Public spending should prioritize research, innovation, and other future-oriented investments… Growth needs both better demand and supply. More accommodative fiscal policies won’t help without reforms for better competitiveness,” Katainen tweeted in response to his nomination. Make sure you follow him on Twitter at @jyrkikatainen, and be sure to follow @TTIPAction as well if you’re not already.

Formerly prime minister of Finland, and European commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Jyrki Katainen will be the new EU Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness after November 2, 2014 if confirmed by the European Parliament. Katainen’s focus will obviously be to find policy solutions to stimulate growth and investment across Europe to help address the persistently-high unemployment rate. His role will include supervising Pierre Moscovici, who has been nominated as the new commissioner for Economic Affairs in charge of keeping watch on member states’ budgets. According to the Financial Times, Katainen ‘won the ire of many of the Eurozone’s southern countries for his hardline approach to the crisis.’ He has been a strong advocate and ally of Germany’s emphasis on austerity and structural reform. The Italian newspaper Europa even calls him “the most faithful ally to Merkel,” stressing the importance of his veto power over Moscovici for Germany. It seems unlikely that he will support the request by some Southern countries for more leeway in European budget rules. Katainen recently stressed the importance of growth through structural reform combined with continued fiscal consolidation across the Eurozone in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

In line with his affiliation with the European People’s Party, Katainen made a strong case for the conclusion of TTIP in an interview with CNBC in early September. The Finnish newspaper HS sees his appointment playing a major role in the European Parliament, emphasizing his veto powers over Commissioner Moscovici. It will remain interesting to see how the combination of the two will work out considering their sometimes opposing views on how to revive the Eurozone.

Find the official mission letter from President Juncker to the Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness here.

Speeches and Official Announcements

A Transatlantic Digital Single Market?
Neelie Kroes, the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the digital agenda spoke on September 19 at the Lisbon Council in Washington, DC discussing the need to establish an open and integrated transatlantic digital single market. She highlighted the importance of opening up markets and removing trade barriers through TTIP, and the need for TTIP to include a strong digital component. Kroes states that a digital single market could be worth up to 4 percent of GDP in the EU, which equates to an average of an additional 1500 dollars per person per year.
Read her speech in its entirety here.

Remarks of US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew at G20 Press Conference
Secretary Lew delivered remarks on September 21 on the success of the broad international consensus achieved at the G20 meeting regarding a global standard for banking capitalization and policies to stimulate growth. Despite slow growth in the Eurozone and Japan, Lew highlights the successes of the US economy since the financial crisis, including its financial reform agenda, investments and infrastructure, and progress made towards reforming the US business tax system.
Read his full speech here.

Doing Everything for Open Markets
In her speech on the occasion of the German Day of Industry, Angela Merkel speaks in favor of the conclusion of TTIP, calling the advantages of TTIP “invaluable” for the economic recovery and future of the European competitiveness. She added that “the alleged disadvantages of TTIP are clearly outweighed by advantages.” She reassured the audience that German standards won’t be lowered by the agreement and, “red lines will not be crossed.” – Original article in German (Chancellor’s Office)
The German newspaper FAZ offers an excellent short analysis of her speech here. – Original article in German

Communiqué from the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting
On September 21, 2014, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey MP, released the G20’s communiqué outlining the new strategies to achieve nearly 2 percent additional growth in the global economy. Important initiatives include switching to a private sector-led growth strategy focusing on infrastructure development, and further developing international tax rules.
Read the full press release here, and you can see the entire communiqué here.

The Future of Transatlantic Trade and the US-German Relationship
Last week, the German Marshall Fund hosted German MdB Peer Steinbrück to discuss the US-German relationship and the future of transatlantic trade. Despite differences between the United States and Germany regarding the US pivot to Asia, the war in Iraq, and ongoing data privacy concerns, Steinbrück emphasized that that transatlantic cooperation is even more important moving forward, especially in light of continuing geopolitical tensions globally, and he emphasized his commitment to finalize an ambitious TTIP agreement.
Watch the full interview here.


German Minister: EU-US Trade Talks not Perfect but EU’s Best Chance
The Social Democrats in Germany voted in favor of a motion in support of TTIP last Saturday. Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel acknowledges that Europe has a window of opportunity with TTIP, and that if unsuccessful, the United States will likely look to Asia. Europe does not want to be left on the sidelines of global economic leadership. (Reuters)
You can find the full German Social Democrats’ position paper on TTIP negotiations hereDocument in German

Scotland’s No vote keeps UK Economy on Track
Sarah O’Connor and Chris Giles of the Financial Times report that Scotland’s recent vote to stay a part of the UK strengthens certainty about the British economy and should yield 3 percent growth in 2014, but long-term economic uncertainty persists. (Financial Times)

ECB Urges Berlin to cut Taxes and Spend to Revive Eurozone Growth
Claire Jones and Stefan Wagstyl of the Financial Times outline Germany’s angry reaction to an op-ed by a member of the ECB’s executive board, which urged Berlin to increase borrowing to support investment and pay for tax cuts. The German government reacted negatively, stating that they do invest significantly and that the article does not fairly reflect current German policy. (Financial Times)

G20 Warns of Potential Market Risks Amid Uneven Growth
Jason Scott, Theophilos Argitis and Raymond Colitt of Bloomberg report on last weekend’s G20 finance ministers and central bankers’ statement that low interest rates may lead to a potential increase in financial market risk, as major economies rely on monetary stimulus to bolster uneven growth. The remarks reflect a patchy global economic recovery since a February G20 meeting in Sydney. While the US and UK economies have improved and stock markets gained, Europe risks slipping into deflation and concerns are mounting that China’s 7.5 percent economic growth target for 2014 seems increasingly unlikely to be met. (Bloomberg)

Eurozone Recovery Stutters in September
Claire Jones of the Financial Times reports that economic momentum in the Eurozone recently slowed to its lowest level in 2014, preventing any improvements in the region’s persistently high unemployment rate. General ongoing economic and geopolitical concerns (including Russian sanctions) are increasingly being felt across Europe. (Financial Times)

Merkel Wins German Labor Backing on EU-US Trade Talks
In a change of heart, Germany’s DGB labor union now supports continued TTIP negotiations including consideration for labor and consumer interests. This allows for broader public support so long as the agreement does not challenge Germany’s current system of labor relations. (Bloomberg)

US Senate Approves Nathan Sheets as Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs
Last week the US Senate finally approved Nathan Sheets as undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. Sheets will play an essential role in US financial diplomacy, pressing for China’s currency to be determined by market forces and resolving Europe’s debt crisis. Sheets prior public service include serving as a counselor to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, an economist at the Federal Reserve, and as a former advisor to previous Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. (Reuters)

Recent Analysis

The TTIPing Point for Global Trade
Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer for UPS talks about the substantial benefits of a conclusion of TTIP for small and medium enterprises, ranging from the removal of tariffs and intellectual property rights to gains through value chains. The author emphasizes the importance of a transatlantic agreement for both job creation and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic, the setting of global standards, and an enhancement of transatlantic geopolitical relations. (Longitudes)

A Three-Pillar-Strategy for the Euro
In a jointly-authored piece for the Berliner Zeitung, ECB Executive Board Member Benoit Coeuré and Germany’s Deputy Labor Minister Jörg Asmussen make the case for a concerted action of national and European policy makers to remedy the malaise of the European economy. They suggest a three pillar strategy targeted at the weaknesses in both supply and demand through a combination of monetary, fiscal and structural policies, emphasizing the role of Germany, France and the European Investment Bank. (European Central Bank)

Nothing wrong with Chlorine-washed Chicken, say German Backers of TTIP
In this article, Euractiv presents the results of a study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, showing that concerns over decreasing consumer protection and food standards due to TTIP are unfounded-instead suggesting clear and comprehensive labeling of products as a practical solution. The institute insists that a transatlantic agreement will offer a considerable economic and geopolitical chance for both sides of the Atlantic. (Euractiv)
Find the full report, which aims to demystify common misperceptions of the effects of TTIP, issued by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research here.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: An Opportunity for SMEs
In this article, Spanish MEP Pablo Zalba emphasizes the importance of TTIP for the establishment of global guidelines for both future foreign and economic policy. Zalba addresses the recent criticism voiced towards TTIP, pointing out the economic and political opportunities instead, with a special emphasis on the benefits for SMEs who would enjoy easier access to sources of investment and financing of both sides of the Atlantic. He concludes that the cost of a failure to conclude TTIP would be too high, both economically and politically. (Huffington Post) — Original article in Spanish

One Weird Fact about the Trade Deficit No One Has Noticed
With this article, the US Chamber of Commerce wants to raise awareness of the fact that trade agreements are part of the solution to the US trade deficit-not part of the problem. Since 2012, the United States has maintained a trade surplus with all of its 20 Free Trade Agreement partner countries. In that light, the article aims to clarify how important these developments are for national prosperity, concluding that free trade agreements are essential to the future and continued welfare of the US economy. (US Chamber of Commerce)

Understanding Industry- Free Trade Agreement TTIP and CETA as a Chance
Austrian Christoph Neumayer, General Secretary of the Industrialist’s Association, stresses the importance of trade between Austria and the United States, who are Austria’s third biggest trading partner and the economic benefits of TTIP for Austria. In that light, he calls upon the public to refrain from drawing unfounded negative scenarios of the implications of TTIP on national nor European standards, but to see TTIP as real historic chance for the future of both Austria and the whole of Europe alike. (APA Austria) — Original article in German

Five Nominees with Questions to Resolve at Commission Hearings
This European Voice article details the various concerns regarding several EU Commission nominees who may face contentious hearings. While the European Parliament votes for the entire commission, the Parliament has on occasion strong-armed nominees into withdrawing their candidacy. Thus, the performance of nominees from outside the two major political parties will likely be more heavily scrutinized, especially those with a controversial past or portfolio. Sensitive nominees include: Alenka Bratušek, Jonathan Hill, Miguel Arias Cañete, Tibor Navracsics, and Karmenu Vella. (European Voice)

TTIP: Economic Benefits and Potential Risks
This report from the Heritage Foundation expresses worry that a trade agreement which promotes the international harmonization of rules would increase regulation, thus reducing economic freedom. Thus, the report pushes for a TTIP agreement which promotes real trade liberalization. Additionally, since the negotiating process is lengthy, the report suggests additional ways for the United States can pursue free trade efforts globally. (Heritage Foundation)
The Heritage Foundation’s second article highlights the potential geopolitical risks and benefits of TTIP. While the report acknowledges the gravity of mutual geopolitical concerns, it emphasizes US autonomy, citing the United States authority to lift restrictions on energy exports regardless of TTIP.

Upcoming Events

Seventh Round of TTIP Negotiations – September 29 – October 3 in Washington DC – a political stock-taking between Ambassador Froman and Commissioner De Gucht will follow the talks on October 13. Stakeholder events will take place on Wednesday, October 1 as outlined below.

Breakfast Briefing on the European Banking Union – September 23 in New York, NY; hosted by the European-American Chamber of Commerce – More Information

Jobs and Economic Growth for Indianapolis: How TTIP Will Help – September 26 in Indianapolis, IN; hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

TTIP:Does It Still Have Support in Europe? – September 29 in New York, NY; hosted by the European-American Business Organization and the American Business Forum on Europe – More Information

Hearing of the European Commissioner for Trade & Panel Discussion – September 29 in Washington DC; hosted by the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations – More Information

What’s Next? Fostering the Next Generation of Energy Security Conference – September 30 in Washington DC; hosted by the American Security Project – More Information

Global Services Summit– September 30 in Washington DC; hosted by the Coalition of Services Industries; featuring remarks by many international Trade ministers – More Information

Stakeholder Policy Presentations During the 7th round of TTIP Negotiations – October 1 in Chevy Chase, MD; hosted by USTR and the European Commission – More Information

Stakeholder Forum During the 7th Round of TTIP Negotiations – Chief Negotiators’ Briefing – October 1 in Chevy Chase, MD; hosted by USTR and the European Commission – More Information

TTIP Roadshow, Sheffield: The US-EU Trade Negotiations and the Coalition for Transatlantic Business – October 1 in Sheffield, England; hosted by the British- American Business Accosiation – More Information

TTIP: A Watershed Agreement with Far-Reaching Implications – October 2 in Philadelphia, PA; hosted by the British American Business Council – More Information

EMI TTIP Summit, Brussels – October 2 in Brussels; hosted by European Movement International – More Information

District Export Council’s Second Annual International Trade Symposium – October 3, Washington DC; hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce – More Information

The Next Stage of Eurozone Recovery: A Conversation with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem – October 10 in Washington DC; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Launch of new Atlantic Council Publication: TTIP – Big Benefits for Small Companies – November 14 in Washington – More information forthcoming