Happy Holidays from TTIP Action

Dear readers, thank you so much for your attention, help, and support of TTIP Action over the course of 2014. It has been a pleasure working on this important and timely topic, and I am looking forward to continuing to help inform an educated debate about the future of TTIP and US and European trade policy into the next year.
Next week, I will be traveling to Europe to take in a bit of the holiday spirit across Germany, Austria, and Hungary. I am greatly looking forward to the chance to meet and talk with ordinary Europeans about their thoughts on the transatlantic relationship and the future of our economic relationship.
Today will mark the last TTIP Action newsletter of this year ahead of that trip and the holiday season.
I would like to extend a special personal thanks to Marie Kasperek who has ably and admirably collected and drafted the newsletter twice each week since Summer. Her work on TTIP and help across the Atlantic Council has been consistently excellent, and I will be watching with great interest to see where her career takes her next.
I would like to wish everyone an excellent holiday season and happy New Year.
Garrett Workman
Managing Editor, TTIP Action

Speeches and Official Announcements

Speech by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström at Open Europe & Friedrich Naumann Stiftung
“This is not just another trade negotiation. And we should not present it to people that way. It’s a negotiation with our own largest trading partner. It’s a negotiation between the world’s two largest economies who share many common values. And most importantly it’s a negotiation that goes beyond traditional trade issues like market access for goods and services.”
Speaking at Open Europe & Friedrich Naumann Stiftung in Brussels today, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström addressed the challenges and opportunities that TTIP provides Europe. She emphasized the importance of an open debate about controversial issues such as regulation, public services, and investment, and made a strong case for promoting the benefits of TTIP for consumers, producers, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises more openly and publicly. “Honesty and openness are not served by holding back on talking about the benefits. We need to make a clear case for why a TTIP negotiated like this would really benefit people.” (European Commission)

CNN Interview with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström
“All member states have unanimously decided that they want TTIP–in an agreement you have to give and take…we will negotiate a good, not a speedy agreement but I believe in the possibility of considerable progress in 2015.”
During her visit in Washington DC, Commissioner Malmström spoke to CNN’s Richard Quest about the current state of TTIP negotiations and her predictions for 2015. She addressed the Commission’s progress in making the negotiations more transparent to the public, and emphasized the importance of dispelling many of the myths about the contents and impact of TTIP. Despite uncertainty of how Congress will proceed with regards to trade, the Commissioner said she’s sure that 2015 will bring considerable progress for the negotiations. (CNN)

Maintaining our Standards in TTIP
“It is very important that we engage our citizens and get them on board…All around the world, countries are negotiating free trade agreements, Germany cannot afford to fall behind.”
After the party convention of the Christian Democrats, the German broadcast station “Das Erste” interviewed Chancellor Merkel about the outcomes of the meeting. The aim of this party convention was to strengthen the economic profile of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In this light, Chancellor Merkel spoke strongly in favor of a timely conclusion of TTIP negotiations. (Tagesschau) – Original interview in German

German Agriculture Minister in Washington at GMF
“I agreed with [US Agriculture Secretary] Tom Vilsack, when we met this morning, that we should not exclude agriculture out of TTIP.”

During a discussion at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt agreed with his US counterpart Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that agriculture was too important to be kept out of TTIP. Minister Schmidt was hopeful that the negotiators could agree on “common sense’ solutions to their different approaches in regulation, which take into account consumer concerns regarding European restrictions on imports of American meat products and genetically-modified crops. He suggested labeling GMOs as a possible solution.

Watch the whole discussion here.


Commitment to Transparency and Objectivity: German Minister of Food and Agriculture in Washington to Talk about TTIP
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt travelled to Washington this week to meet with his US counterpart Secretary Tom Vilsack about agricultural trade across the Atlantic. During their talks, Minister Schmidt addressed differences in European and US standards, and confirmed the importance of TTIP for geostrategic reasons. He will meet with US Trade Representative Mike Froman today to intensify the talks. (PR Maximus) – Original article in German

EU-US Trade Deal Could Save Scotland £8bn
The Scottish North American Business Council recently stated that while trade barriers between the European Union and the United States are often considered to be very small, British companies still pay one billion dollars (£637 million) annually to the United States in tariffs. The council’s executive director Allan Hogarth told Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee that if regulations are removed as a result of TTIP, businesses represented at the committee could save as much as £8 billion. (The Courier)

Recent Analysis

Why Small Businesses Rarely Export
Last week, I joined ThinkGlobal.com for a 5 part video series to discuss our new report on TTIP’s many opportunities for Small Business. Tuesday’s newsletter introduced the first and second interview. In part three of the interview series, I talked about the hurdles faced by small businesses for exporting, while I describe some of the recommendations for what should be included in the current TTIP negotiations in order to most help small businesses in video four. The last video will be published on ThinkGlobal tomorrow.
On a related note, the German Association of Machinery and Plant Construction (VDMA) recently interviewed a German SME, about the challenges his company faces when doing business across the Atlantic.

Breathing New Life into the US-EU Trade Talks
On the occasion of Commissioner Malmström’s visit to Washington to meet with US Trade Representative Mike Froman, Marie Kasperek and I wrote about the significance of their meeting for the future of TTIP negotiations. Political leadership from Froman and Malmström is needed to develop a common transatlantic public relations strategy that promotes clarity of TTIP’s purpose and its benefits while encouraging an open and informed public debate on the true potential of building a more-integrated transatlantic market. (The Hill)


IFLR interviews Dr. Chris Brummer on TTIP
IFLR, a leading International periodical for financial services professionals, interviewed Chris Brummer, the Atlantic Council’s C. Boyden Gray Fellow on Global Finance and Growth, on the Council’s support for TTIP, and the current political challenges facing its adoption. His remarks are here to the attached Q&A.


Ships that Pass in the Night
In this excellent article in this week’s Economist, the author ponders why TTIP is facing such political obstacles, despite its obvious benefits for the economies of both sides of the Atlantic. The author explains the potential benefits of transatlantic regulatory convergence and addresses some of the currently most contentious issues and myths surrounding TTIP. The author sees potential for a fresh start thanks to Chancellor Merkel’s and Commissioner Malmström’s engagement, and suggests that politicians advertise TTIP as an extension of the EU’s single market to a friendly partner. (The Economist)

How TTIP Can Enhance EU-US Energy Security and Counterbalance Russia’s Energy Weight
In his entry to the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog, Vicente Lopez-Ibor Mayor, former commissioner of the National Energy Commission of Spain explains how TTIP has the potential to strengthen EU-US energy security. By facilitating the import of American Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) into Europe, TTIP could endow Europe with greater leverage in energy negotiations with Russia. LNG would also offer both sides the necessary energy “bridge” to renewable energy while reducing CO2 emissions significantly as compared to using coal. (Atlantic Council)

TTIP: Benefits and Challenges for the Czech Republic and the EU
The Czech Association of International Affairs (AMO) recently published a conference report from its international event called “TTIP: Benefits and Challenges for the Czech Republic and the EU”. The report suggests TTIP will increase the West’s competitiveness, help preserve its influence in the world, and strengthen its defense of human rights globally. (Association of International Affairs)

TTIP Elephants Hiding Behind ISDS
In his thought-provoking opinion piece, Jeremy Fleming suggests that the current controversy over the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP is just a cover-up for what really is ideological opposition to international trade and globalization–and is a way to distract from larger issues that could prove controversial in the future. With opposition to the inclusion of ISDS slowly fading, the author argues that the “real elephants in the room,” like energy and data protection, are still to enter the negotiations. (Euractiv)

Without ISDS TTIP is Dead
Frederik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), makes a strong case in favor of the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP. To him, including ISDS in TTIP will not only be of paramount importance for the protection of investors, but also for the international credibility of EU institutions to lead trade negotiations on behalf of European member states. Making the debate on ISDS an ideological one, puts European governments on the defensive. Instead of leading a constructive debate on how to set an international common standard of investment protection. (Euractiv) – Original Article in German

Trade and Inequality: Cause? Cure? Diversion?
In the framework of TPP and TTIP, Edward Gresser of Progressive Economy ponders on the questions of how we should address a long-term challenge to equality of opportunity, while simultaneously taking advantage of the growth and policy reform trade policy could bring. His paper assumes that trade growth is not a major cause nor the major solution to inequality, but can provide useful support for a response rooted in domestic policy. Accordingly, lowering trade barriers through TTIP and TPP is more likely to improve rather than aggravate inequality. (Progressive Economy)
Download the full paper here.

Upcoming Events


TTIP: Addressing the Criticism, Looking Ahead – December 11 in Brussels; hosted by Open Europe and The Friedrich Naumann Foundation – Keynote Speaker Cecilia Malmström – More Information

TTIP in Conversations: Prospects for 2015 – December 11 in Washington; hosted by the British Embassy and the Atlantic Council – Email for more information

Invitation: What Can the United States and Europe Still Expect of One Another? – December 12-14 in Loccum, Germany; hosted by the Atlantic Community – More Information

25 Years in Transition: Post-Communist Europe’s Economic Transformation – December 15 in Washington (and online); hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Trade Commissioner Malmström talks at Paris Dauphine University – December 15 in Paris; hosted by Dauphine University – More Information

The Second Annual EU-US Trade Conference: TTIP Where Now for the EU-US Trade Deal? February 5, 2015 in Brussels; hosted by Forum Europe – More Information

February 2015 – Eighth Round of TTIP Negotiations – More information to follow