21276204411_4ed48fa562_nEuropean Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska speaks at the Atlantic Council on September 14 about TTIP, SMEs, and the European Commission’s economic agenda. The Commissioner was accompanied by EU Ambassador to the united States David O’Sullivan (right).The discussion was moderated by Andrea Montanino, Director of the Global Business and Economics Program of the Atlantic Council (left).

This Week’s Trade Highlights

Earlier today,the European Commission has approved its proposal for a new and transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System. This new system would replace the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations, including TTIP.

On the other side of the Atlantic, US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was confident that the Transpacific Partnership Agreement could be done by the end of this year although approval by the US Congress is not guaranteed. 

Looking ahead: Next week, Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first state visit to the United States, coming to Washington DC next Friday, where the two Presidents are expected to talk about the future of Sino-American trade relations among other contentious issues.

Speeches and Official Announcements

European Commission Announces Investment Dispute Proposal

“We want to establish a new system built around the elements that make citizens trust domestic or international courts. I’m making this proposal public at the same time that I send it to the European Parliament and the Member States. It’s very important to have an open and transparent exchange of views on this widely debated issue.” –Cecilia Malmström

On September 16, the European Commission released its proposal for a new Investment Court System that would replace existing investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. The court would operate and have a structure similar to existing permanent tribunals like the International Court of Justice and the WTO Appellate Body. It would also limit investors’ opportunity to file cases to a precise range of issues such as targeted discrimination or denial of justice. The Commission’s proposal also emphasized that governments would not have their regulatory powers undermined by the dispute system. (European Commission

If you are not keen on reading the full document, click here to find a reading guide with an overview of the main features.

To watch the video of the whole European Commission press briefing with Trade Commissioner Malmström, please click here.

TTIP Will Promote Jobs and Growth

“So we want a TTIP deal that opens markets for goods, services and public procurement on both sides of the Atlantic. A deal that delivers significant results on non-tariff barriers for key sectors. And a deal that sets mutually beneficial rules on issues such as energy and raw materials, competition, and sustainable development. This would be good for consumers and good for our job creators. If we are to do this right, we must greatly improve our regulatory cooperation.”- Elżbieta Bieńkowska

Addressing a private gathering at the Atlantic Council on September 14th, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska spoke about the EU economic agenda and the benefits TTIP would bring to continued European growth and recovery, among other things. Commissioner Bieńkowska also pointed specifically to how TTIP would boost export opportunities for SMEs and reduce significant regulatory burdens that are often difficult for SMEs to navigate. (European Commission)


Malmström pitches new TTIP Court

The European Commission on Wednesday made a big step forward towards resolving issues surrounding Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), one of the biggest roadblocks in TTIP negotiations. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström proposed a new dispute settlement court, with 15 independent judges with transparent procedures. The internationally qualified judges would be appointed publicly by the United States, the European Union and a third country. (Politico)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

Rule-Makers or Rule-Takers? Exploring the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

In this excellent book by the Centre of European Policy Studies, European and American experts explain the economic context of TTIP and its geopolitical implications, exploring the challenges and consequences of the negotiations across numerous sensitive areas. Their insights aim to set counter the tremendous public controversies currently surrounding TTIP, and help decision-makers understand how both the United States and the European Union can remain rule-makers rather than rule-takers in a globalizing world in which their relative influence is waning. (Centre of European Policy Studies)

TTIP and Developing Countries: Threats, Potential and Policy Options

This new study commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ifo Institute, together with the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAW) in Tübingen, Germany, looks at how TTIP will affect emerging and developing economies. Contrary to previous assumptions, several model simulations suggest that emerging economies stand to benefit and that potential losses won’t be serious. Moreover, the study suggests concrete ways in which TTIP can be designed in a development-friendly fashion. (IFO Institute)

Considerations for the Treatment of Energy in TTIP

This paper by Keith Benes, a non-resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, provides considerations for the inclusion of an energy chapter in TTIP, an issue that has provoked disagreement between TTIP: The European Union favors such a chapter whole the United States have indicated skepticism for its necessity. This paper provides background on how the existing global and regional trade regime applies to energy for policy-makers and TTIP negotiators. (Columbia University)

Benefits of TTIP to Health Innovation and Outcomes

In a question and answer session posted on Global Health Progress’s website, several experts on trade, medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry discuss the possible impacts on healthcare and technical innovation of TTIP. The experts answered a range of questions, consistently making clear that TTIP would significantly reduce technical barriers to innovation and lower costs for development and approval of new drugs, improving costs for consumers and substantially increasing investment in new health technologies. (Global Health Progress)

Trade in Action

United States and Japan Push for Another Round of Talks

US, Japanese, Mexican, and Canadian officials met in Washington late last week to discuss automotive tariffs, one of the few major hurdles remaining in the negotiations. It is hoped that the countries can overcome the remaining hurdles to an agreement before another ministerial meeting. While the United States, Japan, and other countries would like to have the cabinet-level meetings before the end of September, Australia has proved reluctant to agree because of disagreements over intellectual property issues. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Improving Public Procurement Data

An analysis by several economists at the European Commission argues for the creation of more standardized sets of data about public procurement. It points out the increasing importance of public procurement in trade negotiations as public procurement often represents a significant portion of countries’ GDP. Despite this, there are few international standards and little data on public procurement, which the paper argues can be addressed through collection of data by the WTO and other international organizations to provide better data to trade negotiators, companies, and citizens. (European Commission)

Upcoming Events

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

TTIP: Opportunity or Danger for the Europeans? September 10 in Nice, France, hosted by the European Movement of the Alpes-Maritimes- More Information

WorldMatters: TTIP & You: Why the European Union is Important to Alaskans– September 10 in Achorage, Alaska, hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Council- More Information

The EU’s Role as an International Actor: TTIP & Beyond – September 11 in Achorage, Alaska, hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Council- More Information

EU Digital Single Market Conference – September 15 in Brussels, hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

Let’s Talk about TTIP– September 16 in Warsaw, hosted by the European Commission Representation in Poland – More Information 

Renminbi Internationalization in Volatile Markets– September 18 In Washington DC, hosted by the Atlantic Council- More Information 

Roundtable “Tiptoeing to the TTIP: What Kind of Agreement for What Kind of Partnership?”– September 18 in The Hague, Netherlands, hosted by the Asser Institute – More Information 

A TTIP-ing Point for Europe in the World– September 28 in Berlin, Germany; hosted by the Jacques Delors Institute- More Information

Trade for Sustainable Development Forum 2015 – October 1-2 in Geneva, hosted by the International Trade Centre – More information