This week’s focus has been on the sixth round of TTIP negotiations which come to a close at the end of this week. The other main issues of relevance for this week concern the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership Stakeholder Presentations Event, the debate on the reauthorization of the EX-Im Bank, and TPP negotiations. 

Speeches and Official Announcements 

Statement by Commissioner Karel De Gucht on TTIP
On Tuesday European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht addressed three of the primary concerns about TTIP before a plenary session of the new European Parliament: the alleged lack of transparency, the risk of lowering regulatory standards, and ISDS. He deals with each allegation in turn, addressing concerns, explaining reasons behind the issues, and offering solutions to help reassure the new parliamentarians.
Read his full speech here.

Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership Stakeholder Presentations Event
Yesterday, negotiators met with over 300 representatives of civil society – non-governmental organizations, consumer organizations, trade unions, and business groups from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss their views on various sections of TTIP. In the subsequent stakeholder briefing, chief negotiators Ignacio García Bercero and Dan Mullaney exchanged points of view with the stakeholders. An agenda provided by the European Commission gives an overview of the participants of the negotiations. (European Commission)

TTIP & Culture
In advance of the sixth round, the European Commission issued a position paper outlining the EU’s views on cultural products and the so-called “cultural exception.” This document does a nice job highlighting what industries are considered cultural, and what protections and conditions are being considered when discussing these products in the course of the TTIP negotiations. (European Commission)

Thirty One Governors call for Ex-Im Reauthorization
Thirty one US governors from both political parties have come together to urge leaders to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, as it is a vital tool for exporters, running at no cost to American taxpayers. They argue that Ex-Im allows companies and workers to compete on a level playing field against competitors, and without Ex-Im financing, US firms will lose many overseas contracts.
Read the full letter here.

US Ambassador: Beyond Growth, TTIP Must Happen for Geostrategic Reasons
US Ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, in an interview with Euractiv, underlined that the US and Europe must work constructively to finalize TTIP not only to boost jobs and growth, but also for critical geostrategic reasons to reinforce the transatlantic alliance and ensure continued peace and prosperity. (Euractiv)

Chairman Nunes Announces Hearing on Advancing the US Trade Agenda: The WTO
House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes recently held a hearing on the US trade agenda and the WTO. The hearing focused on the implementation on the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement, the potential benefits of the Information Technology Agreement, the launch of the environmental goods agreement, the important role of trade enforcement activities, and the future of the WTO. (Ways and Means Committee)


EU Leaders Fail to Agree Top Posts
A special summit of the EU’s national leaders last night failed to appoint the EU’s next foreign policy chief, as many leaders held firm in their opposition to Federica Mogherini, Italy’s foreign minister. The European Council presidency was also left vacant. Current President of the Council, Herman Van Rompuy, announced that an extra meeting will be held on August 30 to search for compromises. (European Voice)

Juncker to Lead European Commission; Pledges ‘Balanced’ TTIP Deal
A majority of the European Parliament has voted for Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next European Commission President, thus ensuring the election of a candidate who has made the EU-US trade deal a priority. However, many critics have cast doubts on whether his candidacy will actually boost TTIP’s chances of eventual ratification by the European Parliament. (InsideTrade)

De Gucht Pushes for Exclusion of Sensitive Agricultural Products in TTIP
EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht has publicly pushed back against US demands for complete tariff elimination in TTIP, by emphasizing that the EU will fight to exclude sensitive agricultural products. While De Gucht did not specify the particular products which would maintain tariffs, there is an included category of tariff lines that will receive ‘other treatment.’ (InsideTrade)

Financial Industry Association Urge TTIP Negotiators to Include Financial Services Regulatory Coordination in US-EU Trade Agreement
The Institute of International Finance has released a statement regarding the current round of TTIP negotiations, positing that it is imperative that the ultimate agreement include financial services regulatory coordination. The intertwined financial markets and the global economy require coherent and coordinated regulatory regimes, and thus, a transatlantic framework to promote such coordination would reduce conflict and complexity, benefitting consumers.(Insurance News)

Japan, US to Meet Again in August on TPP
Japan and the US reaffirmed commitments to settle their outstanding disputes standing in the way of concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP negotiators from both countries plan to meet early next month, after making headway on some sticking points negotiations they had earlier run before President Obama’s trip to Tokyo earlier this year.(Japan Times)

Recent Analysis

Carmakers Are Central Voice in US-Europe Trade Talks
In this article, the New York Times’ Jack Ewing makes a plea for the completion of TTIP, using the automobile industry as an explanatory case study for outlining some of the problems with doing business across the Atlantic today. In the specific case of the car industry, millions could be saved by not only eliminating tariffs, but by agreeing that American and EU regulators would accept each other’s equivalent safety and air quality standards. (New York Times)

Exports Key to Success
Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of UPS writes that the key ingredient for success for small and medium sized companies lies in the expansion of exports and finding new customers abroad. It is therefore vital that the private sector and the federal government cooperate to provide aid and guidance to SMEs and conclude trade deals like TTIP and TPP to remove barriers to exports, increasing choices and reducing costs for consumers. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Swiss face tough US-EU Trade Deal Decisions
The article highlights the Swiss case to explain the possible future implications of TTIP for countries outside of the current negotiations. It is still unclear if third countries will have access to the agreement, though both sides have indicated their desire to make TTIP open to new countries once negotiated. The article looks at both an open TTIP and closed TTIP scenario, whose consequences range from huge economic losses in the case of Switzerland’s exclusion from the deal, to massive economic gains in case it’s allowed in. (Swissinfo)

Hague, Hammond, Human Rights and Europe
The FT’s Gideon Rachman talks about the appointment of Philip Hammond as the successor of William Hague as UK Foreign Minister, and examines in how his appointment might change the UK’s relationship with the EU. He specifically focuses on the possibility that the UK might remove itself unilaterally from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and elaborates how this could prove to be very smart politics but a disastrous policy at the same time. In any case, the author thinks that despite Hammond’s reputation as a eurosceptic, he might have the chance to have a positive impact on European policy. (Financial Times)

Don’t Wiretap, Inform!
This article, originally written in German, reflects the current mood of the German society with regards to the US in general and TTIP in particular. The author stresses the importance of trust for successful economic and cultural relations between countries. The author, who represents the opinion of much of German society at the moment, wants to put TTIP talks on hold as long as the spying allegations are not resolved, as he fears that otherwise a full-blown crisis of transatlantic confidence might unfold. (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

Upcoming Events

Round 6 of TTIP Negotiations – July 14-18 in Brussels
Transatlantic IPR Working Group Stakeholder Meeting – July 17 in Brussels; hosted by the Transatlantic Business Council – More Information

Bridging the Pacific: The Americas’ New Economic Frontier? – July 23 in Washington with Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler and Congressmen Boustany (R-LA) and Meeks (D-NY); hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

TTIP Advisory Group Meeting – July 24 in Brussels; hosted by the European Commission – More Information

Crafting Economic Policy at State – July 29 in Washington hosted by CSIS in Washington with Catherine Novelli, US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment – Information forthcoming