The Sixth Round of TTIP Negotiations and Approval of Juncker as New Commission President

Top News

6th Round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) starts Yesterday, the sixth round of TTIP negotiations got underway in Brussels. All issue area working groups will meet to discuss the issues of trade in goods and services, regulatory issues, government procurement, environmental protection and labor rights, energy and raw materials, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. (European Union) There is a plenary session at the European Parliament today focused on TTIP featuring speakers by several members of the Parliament and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht, which you can follow live online here.

MEPs back Juncker for Presidency of EU’s Commission Jean Claude Juncker was approved by the European Parliament, officially paving the way for him to become the next President of the EU Commission with 422 votes for, 250 against, with 47 abstentions, and 10 invalid votes. (European Voice)

Speeches and Official Announcements

Commission publishes State of Play of TTIP Negotiations ahead of Sixth Round of Talks In an attempt to make TTIP negotiations more transparent and comprehensible to the public, the European Commission drafted a summary of the current state of play of the negotiations, and progress achieved by the negotiators to date in all the areas of the negotiations. This is an excellent overview of the current state of affairs. (EIN News) Read the full document here

T-Trip across Sweden In this project, Ambassador Mark Brzezinski is biking through Sweden to visit places, companies and people who will benefit from the successful negotiation of TTIP. His trip is an attempt to promote TTIP and make it more transparent, accessible, and relatable to the people of Sweden. (US Embassy in Sweden)

Towards an EU-US Trade and Investment Deal This document, provided in five languages by the European Parliamentary Research Service, is a fact sheet covering the background of TTIP, its potential benefits, the scope of the negotiations, as well as points of criticism. The document was prepared in order to educate new members of Parliament, and is a good read for anyone who wants a quick recap on TTIP ahead of this week’s sixth round of negotiations. (EPRS)

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Separating Myth from Fact The leaflet, issued by the British government, provides information on topics of public concern and addresses common misconceptions about the negotiations. More specifically, it addresses the concerns evolving around the areas of regulatory standards, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), transparency, and accountability. The document provides an excellent, comprehensive rebuttal of many of the myths surrounding TTIP. (UK Government)

Video: Civil Society must be heard In an exclusive interview with viEUws, Bernd Lange, incoming Chair of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA), discusses trade priorities for the new parliamentary term, highlighting TTIP, CETA between the EU and Canada, the EU-Singapore trade agreement, as well as the Trade in Services Agreement. With regards to this weeks’ TTIP negotiations, he hopes to keep the investor-to-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) out of the deal, or fears it may fail to win Parliamentary approval. (Views)

The Promise of a Progressive Trade Agenda In his guest entry in the magazine “Daily Camera”, US Trade Representative Michael Froman makes a strong push to complete both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TTIP between the US and the EU. In light of this weeks’ sixth round of negotiations, Michael Froman explains the convictions driving President Obama’s current trade policies, emphasizing the great opportunity for job growth and economic prosperity that both deals could create. (Daily Camera)


New European Parliament Trade Chair Pushing For Scaled-Back TTIP Deal In 2015
In an interview with Inside Trade, Bernd Lange, the new chair of the European Parliament’s International Trade (INTA) Committee, makes a case for a scaled-back TTIP deal in favour of a free trade agreement that covers tariffs, some non-tariff barriers, and government procurement. In his view, a simplified version of the agreement is to be preferred over endless negotiations over an agreement which is too broad in scope to lead to any progress in the foreseeable future. (InsideTrade)

TTIP: Europe to Safeguard NHS in US-EU Trade Deal
In contrast to the initial fear that public services, like Britain’s NHS, would be included in TTIP and might be opened to international competition, the EU’s top negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero said American healthcare companies will not be allowed to run NHS services if the deal progresses, ensuring NHS would be “fully safeguarded”. (International Business Times)

Recent Analysis

A Farewell to Trust: Obama’s Germany Syndrome In his article, the FT’s Edward Luce compares the recent US spying to the Watergate affair concerning former President Nixon. To him, the incident is not nearly as problematic domestically as Watergate, but he thinks that both Obama and Nixon share the biggest problem underlying both events: a complete loss of trust, not only at home but also abroad. (Financial Times)

Europe and the Bay Area: Closer Business Ties Than We Typically Think In this article, the authors refute the common misperception that the Bay area is trading more with Asia than with Europe. Their primary example is investment, where private equity and venture capital going to Europe was over $3.3 billion in 2012, and thus exceeding investment in the rest of the world. The authors make a plea for TTIP, stating that for future growth in a global economy, business owners should divide their attention between Asia and Europe. (Mercury News)

Italy Crucial in Negotiations The US Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony Luzzatto Gardner, commented on the crucial role that Italy could play in the TTIP negotiations, especially during its current presidency of the European Council. Read the full interview in Italian. (Ilsole24ore)

Environmental Groups oppose Transatlantic Trade Deal In view of this week’s sixth round of TTIP negotiations, the author looks at the opposition of environmental groups whose fight against an expansion of US energy exports. Proponents speak of the opportunity to use TTIP as a means to help Europe decrease its energy dependency on Russia. (Market Watch)

The Biggest Danger for the Euro is the Lack of Trust In his opinion piece, the FT’s Philip Stephens talks about the recent German-Italian altercation over the direction of the Eurozone. Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi agree on the Eurozone’s most precious asset–credibility–as well as on the urgency of structural reforms, and an opening of the European markets through TTIP. However, they have opposing views on the path how to get there. According to the author, finding a compromise between the two will require a close and trusting partnership. (Financial Times)

2014’s Sleeper Issue: A Bank Nobody’s Heard Of The article sheds light on the current dispute over the reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank, a bank little known to the public, yet important for securing financing for small and large exporters alike. The article tries to clarify the issues underlying the debate, and the views held by rival factions of the Republican Party for and against its reauthorization. (Politico)

Upcoming Events

Round 6 of TTIP Negotiations – July 14-18 in Brussels
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Stakeholder events Round, Brussels – July 16 in Brussels- During the sixth round of TTIP negotiations, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission will organize two stakeholder engagement events – More Information

Spying Scandal 2.0: Will the German-American Partnership Survive?- July 16, 2014; conference call hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Transatlantic IPR Working Group Stakeholder Meeting – July 17 in Brussels; hosted by the Transatlantic Business Council – More Information

Bridging the Pacific: The America’s 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.