TTIP Round 7 Chief Negotiators’ Press Conference Opening Remarks
“We are committed to an agreement that not only advances our economic interest, but also reflects our values and has the support of our public, and this requires that we be open and attentive to the views of that public.”
Last Friday, the US and EU’s chief negotiators for TTIP negotiations, Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia-Bercero, concluded the seventh round of negotiations with a press conference near Washington DC, summarizing the week’s discussions on regulation, SMEs, and services. They also discussed the views shared by civil society at last week’s stakeholder event, and the role of the incoming Commission on the future of the negotiations. (United States Trade Representative)
Find the video of Friday’s press conference here.
The European Commission provides an excellent overview of the press conference outlining the progress made over the course of the past week.

Speeches and Official Announcements

’No Change to EU Rules on Dangerous Chemicals via TTIP’ (De Gucht)

“We strongly underline that the Commission will not even consider any measure under TTIP that may give priority to trade or economic efficiency concerns over the protection of the health of our citizens or the environment,” outgoing Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht wrote in a reply to a letter of European environmental NGOs last Friday. In his letter, he makes clear that current EU and US regulations on chemicals differ significantly, but elaborates on several areas in which the EU sees scope for working together with the United States to make the transatlantic system more efficient and less costly for regulators and firms–including sharing testing data.
Read Commissioner De Gucht’s reply here.
Read more on the Commission’s official position on chemicals in TTIP negotiations.
Analysis from Reuters on the topic can be found here.

Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the HSBC ‘Made for Trade’ Event
“Before America was ‘Made for Trade,’ it was made from trade…In short, commerce has made this country what it is…’, Ambassador Michael Froman stated last Thursday at the HSBC “Made for Trade” event in Washington DC. In his speech, he elaborates on the importance of trade for the progress and prosperity of the United States and makes a strong case for the conclusion of TPP and TTIP, deepen economic ties across the Atlantic and Pacific, and capitalizing on this opportunity to set global standards. (United States Trade Representative)

Ambassador Froman: Unlocking Opportunities for Texas and Maryland
On the occasion of National Manufacturing Day, United States Trade representative Michael Froman travelled to Baltimore, Maryland to highlight the significant benefits that an increase in exports through the conclusion of TTIP would deliver for Maryland’s economy. Froman then travelled to Texas to acknowledge the state’s record-breaking exports, and presented how TTIP would unlocking additional economic opportunities and create jobs in Texas.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Letter from Vince Cable to all MPs
In his letter to all members of Parliament, Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills elaborates on the existing trade barriers that currently impede trade between the United States and the United Kingdom, and points out how the conclusion of TTIP will remove most of these barriers. He refutes misperceptions regarding the privatization of the national healthcare system and the ISDS procedures in TTIP, and assures that “the UK Parliament, will have a full opportunity to scrutinize the deal before it is finalized.” (Government UK)


US and EU ‘Make Progress’ in Free Trade Area Talks
Last week’s seventh round of TTIP negotiations saw the nature of the discussions shift from discussing general approaches to improving trade to reviewing draft text across many chapters of the proposed agreement. Regarding some public criticism, the negotiators insisted that existing standards will not be lowered, and neither side would be willing to accept a deal that lowered protections in any case. (BBC)

Moscovici, Hill Asked to Sign Pact with Parliament
Pierre Moscovici and Jonathan Hill, the French and British Commissioners-designate, have been called on to submit written answers to the European Parliament following their hearings last week, to reassure members of Parliament that they will not act in the interest of their respective countries while serving in the Commission. The written statements come close to a contract between the two candidates and the European Parliament. (Euractiv)

Trade Negotiators Stress Commitment Not To Harm Local Regulation
Environmental organizations, citizen advocacy groups, state legislators, and labor unions on both sides of the Atlantic feared that TTIP could lower protections of the environment, public health and security. Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the two chief negotiators for the United States and the European Union, reassured them that standards won’t be lowered and that they will try to ensure that decision-making on regulation remains at the local level. (London South East)

Trade Minister says US Deal will Benefit North East Business
During a recent visit to the production site of BEL Valves’ Newcastle operation, UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston looked at the site’s significant growth across its manufacturing and testing facilities. He emphasized how the conclusion of TTIP would benefit British consumers and producers across the country, as well as business in the North East of England specifically. (The Journal)

Recent Analysis

Comprehensive Trade Agenda Could Create 10 Million US Jobs, New Report Finds
According to the new report “How America is Made for Trade”, commissioned by the HSBC Bank, international trade could create 10 million new jobs in the United States over the next decade if it pursues a comprehensive pro-trade policy agenda focused on trade agreements such as TPP and TTIP, investment, immigration, taxation, and labor market reforms. The report finds that American economic prosperity and growth are largely increased by international trade and highlights how exports have positively affected the American economy. (Marketwatch)
Download the report here.

Politics, Not Economics, Impede US Trade Deals, Former Officials Say
In his piece in the Wall Street Journal, William Mauldin claims that a lack of political backing is impeding the conclusion of both the trans-Pacific and the transatlantic trade agreements. His view is shared by former trade officials such as Jon Huntsman, Atlantic Council chairman, who claims that “this country needs a clarion call on trade…We’ve got an enormous opportunity, but I’m not sure we have the fundamentals to get us there.” Officials criticize President Obama for not promoting trade agreements sufficiently and praise Michael Froman’s continued efforts to convince the public of the benefits of increased trade, while warning he cannot do everything alone. (Wall Street Journal)

Talking Trade with Congressmen Jim Costa and Erik Paulsen: Why TPP and TTIP Advance US Economic and Strategic Interests
Miriam Sapiro, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute, met with Democratic Congressman Jim Costa and Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen to discuss the opportunities resulting from the trans-Pacific and transatlantic trade agreements for US economic and strategic interests, and the viewpoints of both parties on trade. The interview unveils that despite the US economy’s obvious dependence on international trade and exports, the window of opportunity to move on trade is limited. Still, trade represents one of an increasingly few priorities that both parties are ready to work together on. (Brookings Institute)

TTIP and SMEs: A Missed Opportunity?
Cindy Miller, president of UPS Europe, criticizes the lack of attention paid to the prospective benefits that TTIP offers for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a result, SME’s are largely skeptical of TTIP meeting their needs. Instead of simply focusing on how to provide better access to information on EU and US regulations for SME’s, TTIP negotiators should clearly promote how the transatlantic agreement would make trade across the Atlantic easier and faster by eliminating tariffs and simplifying customs processes. (Euractiv)

‘Race to the Bottom’ or Setting Global Standards? Assessing the Regulatory Impact of TTIP
In a recent paper published by Real Instituto Elcano, author Gabriel Siles-Brügge explores the regulatory impact of TTIP. He elaborates on the details on both sides of several controversies, focusing primarily on investor protection and food safety. Like the investor protection in bilateral investment treaties, investor protection in TTIP is hailed as a tool to attract and maintain foreign direct investment (FDI) by protecting investors on issues which may otherwise not have standing in domestic courts. He concludes that investor protection provisions are unlikely to constrain regulatory autonomy. (Real Instituto Elcano)

Ideas for Europe’s New Leadership
This recent publication written by experts at the German Marshall Fund is a collection of transatlantic perspectives on core policy challenges such as the euro area, security and defense, energy security, migration, the European neighborhood and Asia for the European Union’s new leadership. In one chapter, Peter Chase elaborates on the problems that are currently impeding progress on TTIP, ranging from a lack of trust to problems of market access, regulatory issues, and investment. Of all the trade priorities both sides are pursuing, Chase is convinced that TTIP will be the most beneficial…and the biggest political challenge to get across the finish line. (German Marshall Fund of the United States)

ISDS: Not a Problem in the Past, Not a Problem in the Future
As a part of a current publication series of the Atlantic Community on TTIP, Alexander Walford, communications officer of the European Commission, addresses common misperceptions surrounding the issue of investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), which is currently one of the major points of criticisms in TTIP negations. Walford points out that many individual European countries already have a system with the United States in place, and have never encountered any problems regulating in the public interest. Despite some drawbacks of the current procedures, Walford is convinced that current public fears with regards to ISDS are unfounded and exaggerated, and moreover TTIP is an opportunity to modernize and reform ISDS to ensure legislators and regulators retain their right to enforce public safety requirements. (Atlantic Community)
Read another excellent overview of the ISDS issue by Shawn Donnan of the Financial Times.

Trade Rules urgently Need to Play Catch-up with Modern Commerce
In his comment in the Financial Times, Shawn Donnan criticizes the outdated WTO trade rules, which date back to 1994, and which raise questions of the WTO’s current capabilities and credibility. Shawn Donnan is convinced that with the current set of rules, the WTO will lose its capability to increase trade globally, enforce shared commitments, and that megaregionalism will take over as a preferred way of trade agreement, if the WTO is not reformed and updated soon. (Financial Times)

Upcoming Events

Conference: The New Transatlantic Market: Game Changers, Opportunities and Risks – October 8 in London; hosted by the British American Business Association – More Information

The ECB and the Eurozone: A Conversation with Mario Draghi – October 9 in Washington DC; hosted by the Brookings Institute – More Information

Growth and Austerity: Can the Eurozone Have Both? – October 9 in Washington DC; hosted by the Bertelsmann Foundation – 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

Transatlantic Free Trade: the Final Push? British, French and US Perspectives on a TTIP Agreement – October 13 in London; hosted by the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies – More Information

TTIP Town Hall – What does the Agreement Mean for Philadelphia? – October 22 in Philadelphia, PA; hosted by the Bertelsmann Foundation – More Information

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