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!

Speeches and Official Announcements

Trade for All: European Commission Presents New Trade and Investment Strategy

 “Europeans want to know more about the negotiations we carry out in their name. So trade policy must become more effective, more transparent and more in tune with our values. In short, it must become more responsible. That’s what we’re doing today.—Cecilia Malmström

On Wednesday, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström released the European Commission’s new trade and investment strategy. The strategy is meant to promote effectiveness, transparency, and values, so that the European Union remains near the forefront of global trade while maintaining high European regulations and standards. TTIP is an important part of this strategy as it will be the largest and first attempt to implement this strategy, including policies like releasing draft texts from negotiations to increase transparency and proposing a new investment dispute system that will increase transparency and give all stakeholders a voice in trade disputes. (European Commission)

The full strategy can be read here.

Senators from Delaware and USTR Froman Highlight Benefits of TPP for Delaware

“By cutting over 18,000 taxes that make American exports more expensive and establishing the highest labor standards of any trade agreement in history, TPP levels the playing field for Delawareans and for the United States so that we can compete and win in the global economy.”—Michael Froman

US Trade Representative Michael Froman traveled to Delaware with Senators Carper and Coons to discuss the impact of the TPP on Delaware businesses. He pointed out the large importance of exports to Delaware’s economy, and the significant gain in exports to TPP countries Delaware is likely to see once the Transpacific Partnership is implemented. (US Trade Representative)

President Obama Speaks About TPP

In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama discussed the impact of the TPP and its economic and strategic benefits for the United States. The President focused on the deal’s benefit to exporters and American businesses, as well as the jobs that would be created by reducing barriers and updating regulations. He also asked critics to look at how the deal would raise standards and bolster the US economy going forward rather than trying to compare the TPP to past trade deals.  (The White House)


TTIP Protest in Berlin

On Saturday, a large protest against TTIP took place in Berlin, Germany. Organizers of the protest said participants were largely concerned with Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in the deal. In response to these concerns, TTIP supporters have pointed out that the European Commission has put forward a new, robust proposal for reforms to the ISDS system that would make it significantly more transparent and limit the scope of what investment courts could decide. (Deutsche Welle)

German Government Responds to TTIP Demo

The German government responded to anti-TTIP protests in Berlin over the weekend by reiterating its support for a comprehensive deal, emphasizing that the deal would not affect European standards and would boost German and European exports, which are a critical part of Germany’s economy. The government also pointed out that in the wake of the recent TPP deal, Europe needed to complete TTIP negotiations in order not to be left behind in the global trading system. However, experts want the government to expand its “information and dialogue offensive”. (EurActiv)

Business Group Critical of Malmström’s TTIP Pitch

Business Europe, a major European group representing businesses across Europe who is a major proponent of TTIP, argued in a briefing on Tuesday that Commissioner Malmström’s recent proposal for a new investment dispute system would make it too difficult for European businesses investing abroad to protect their investments. However, the Commission defended the plan, pointing out that it would drastically increase transparency and fairness in arbitration of disputes and protect the public interest. (Politico)

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Recent Analysis

“Come on Europe, Go for TTIP!”

In a piece for Carnegie Europe, Judy Dempsey makes a forceful case for the geo-strategic benefits of TTIP. She argues that TTIP “could be the catalyst for halting the widening gap between the two sides of the Atlantic,” and could increase Europe’s energy security. Additionally, she points out that promoting European values and standards will be “increasingly difficult if Europe’s economies remain sluggish and uncompetitive and governments continue to tolerate inflexible labor practices in the face of an ever-aging population.” TTIP would help revive European economies and provide significant strategic benefits. (Carnegie Europe)

Malmström Tries a New Tack on TTIP

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström spoke about the newly released trade and investment strategy, saying it would deeply shape continuing and future trade negotiations and inform progress towards a deal on TTIP. She emphasized the strategy’s focus on protecting and promoting European values as well as the recent proposal for a new investment dispute system. The new strategy was praised by Transparency International for its commitment to anti-corruption provision in future trade deals. (Politico)

The Politics of TTIP in Europe

In a piece published through the Cato Institute, Iana Dreyer examines the opposition to TTIP from German voters despite significant support in many other EU countries. She argues that support for TTIP in Europe is mostly influenced by three factors: the age of a country’s population, the competitiveness of its economy, and the orientation of its foreign policy. She points out that Germany’s influence on the European Union and the lack of support among ageing German voters could significantly shape negotiations and lead to a less ideal final agreement. (Cato Institute)

Why We Need a Trade Court with the United States 

In an interview with the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel reiterates the necessity of TTIP for Germany. He understands some of the concerns of TTIP critics but says that there are remedies for their concerns. In that light, he suggests a new, more transparent trade court system with the United States. If Germany does not support TTIP, he fears that it will have to accept much lower standards in the long run, dictated jointly by China and the United States. (Wirtschaftswoche) – Original article in German

TPP News

What’s Inside the TPP

The finalized TPP agreement is set to eliminate over 18,000 tariffs on US products abroad as well as over 6,500 import tariffs in the US. American exporters and consumers stand to gain significantly from these reductions as export and import costs to and from TPP countries would decline steeply. US exports in agricultural products and manufactured goods are especially likely to see a significant boost from an implemented agreement. (Politico)

TPP: Prospects and Challenges

In an interview on The Diplomat, Devin Stewart, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, discussed the impact of the TPP moving forward. The deal is a significant diplomatic achievement and provides a number of geopolitical benefits. Stewart points out that the TPP will create a huge trading zone that will likely entice China to try to join the agreement in the future and will significantly enhance the already important role of the United States in the Pacific.  (The Diplomat)

Clinton’s TPP Opposition Complicates its Passage

With Hillary Clinton coming out against the TPP last week, the prospects for its passage are now much more complicated. Clinton’s support would have given Democrats on the fence about supporting the deal some cover to vote in favor, but some may now vote against the deal. However, a number of democrats in support of the deal are still confident that it will be passed. (Politico)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

European Union to begin Trade Deal Negotiations with Tunisia

The European Commission announced this week that it would begin negotiations with Tunisia on a free trade agreement. Commissioner for Trade Malmström praised the Tunisian government’s reform efforts after the Arab Spring and stated her hope that a free trade agreement would increase Tunisian engagement with Europe and help support ongoing political and economic reforms in Tunisia. (European Commission)

Commissioner Malmström Met Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng to Take Stock of Investment Talks 

The European Commission also met with Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng last week to discuss progress on EU-China talks for a Bilateral Investment Treaty. Negotiations have been ongoing since November 2013. Commissioner Malmström emphasized the need for China to improve regulation of its financial sector and improve the rule of law to help push negotiations forward. (European Commission)

Upcoming Events

UK National Road Shows – June to December in the United Kingdom, hosted by the British American Business – More Information

TTIP- What’s in it for workers and employers?– 14 October 2015 in Brussels, hosted by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise at the European Parliament- More Information

Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Economic Integration in the Americas– October 14, 2015 in Washington DC- hosted by the Inter-American Bar Association (IABA) Chapter of the District of Columbia and the Latin-American Law Students Association (LALSA) – More Information (Free) Registration via or 202-466-5944 

Transatlantic Leadership in  Global Perspective – Challenges and Opportunities– October 19, 2015 in Bruges, Belgium- hosted by the College of Europe and the European Foreign Affairs Review- More Information

Outreach – Next steps for the Commission’s new trade strategy – Meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström– October 20, 2015 in Brussels- More Information

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of Bilateral Investment Treaties: What Investors and Their Advisors Need to Know About Investment Protection When Investing in Foreign Countries– October 29, 2015 in New York, hosted by the European American Chamber of Commerce- More Information

Evolving Europe- the London Debate – 11 November, 2015 in London, hosted by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe- More Information