TTIP Action | April 1
scr 150326-D-DT527-246c
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter makes remarks at the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference at the State Department in Washington, March 26, 2015. He used the occasion to underline the importance of global trade to international peace, prosperity, and US global leadership.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Secretary of Defense: Trade Enhances US Security

“By underwriting and accelerating economic growth, new trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership stand to help restore our nation’s fiscal health and reverse dangerous defense cuts that are threatening our military readiness and technological edge.” – Ashton Carter

The US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, stressed the close connection between free trade agreements, such as TPP, and US geostrategic interests at the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference in Washington. Carter noted that more trade would empower US allies to invest more in their security forces. Consequently, US-led missions for disaster relief or counter-terrorism would be more effective. Moreover, the Secretary emphasized that the proposed trade agreements would create shared prosperity, which in turn would foster trust and stability among the partner countries. (US House Ways and Means Committee)

TTIP: Why Ireland Needs It

“We already know that trade is fundamental to prosperity in Europe and in Ireland. 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports. 500,000 of them are in this country. That’s 14% of the whole labour force in Europe. And a quarter of the labour force here. ” – Cecilia Malmström

Malmström made the case for TTIP in Ireland by pointing to the country’s success within the European Single Market stemming from its export and import heavy industries and businesses. The Trade Commissioner also looked to the future to argue that the EU should partner with the United States to set the global rules of trade as long as both still form the world’s largest market. In short, Malmström stated that TTIP would give a boost to the Irish and European economic recovery, it would enable governments to serve their citizens more efficiently, and it would set the EU’s economy up for success in the 21st century. (European Commission)

Remarks by the President after Meeting with Local Elected Officials and Small Business Exporters on Trade

“Ninety-five percent of the customers of the world are outside our borders, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re able to sell to them. And when we do, our companies thrive. This is one of the reasons why I am pursuing the kind of trade authority that allows me, working with members of Congress, to pry open these markets and make sure there’s a level playing field that’s good for American businesses and American workers.” – President Barack Obama

President Obama emphasized that his administration’s trade agenda aims to help SMEs compete in the global marketplace. He explained that SMEs can benefit directly through increased exports, but they can also increase their economic opportunities as suppliers of global companies, which would of course also benefit from proposed trade agreements. Obama also stressed that any new trade deals would protect labor, environmental, and customer protections rather than diluting them.(USTR)


Commission to Reframe “Geopolitical” Trade Strategy

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström noted that a new EU trade strategy will be launched later this year in response to the changing world economy, the proliferation of bilateral free trade agreements and their increasingly high profile and political nature. The new strategy will be launched in a formal Commission communication to be published next autumn, and designed to last for the next five years. (EurActiv)

Something to Snack On: TTIP and Geographic Indications

The Bertelsmann Foundation published an interesting and informative infographic on geographic indications, highlighting the different kinds of labels in the EU and US, as well as the different systems in place to protect them. (Bertelsmann Foundation)

Recent Analysis

Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Rule of Law or Law of the Jungle?

Peter S. Rashish examines why ISDS has become such a controversial part of the TTIP negotiations. He points to the rising number of ISDS cases in Europe and the difficulty the EU is having to outline the benefits of trade as explanations for the contentious debate about ISDS. (Asia Pathways)

The Absolute Evil? A Free Trade Agreement?

Andreas Kern argues in a piece for the German magazine “The European ” that TTIP proponents in Europe have to step up their game to match the sophisticated anti-TTIP social media campaigns by groups such as Foodwatch. Kern states that the fears about TTIP are overblown. He notes that the proposed free trade deal would benefit SMEs by cutting red tape and reducing other tariff and non-tariff barriers. Moreover, completing the agreement would strengthen the German and European position in the global economy for decades to come. (The European) – Original Article in German

Third Way Partners with Former DNC Chairs to Urge Fellow Democrats to Support Trade Promotion Authority

Left-leaning US think tank Third Way partnered with several former chairs of the Democratic National Committee to noted that the trade agreements currently being negotiated would strengthen the middle class and help ensure America’s safety and security in the world. They encouraged Congressional Democrats to support TPA legislation. (Third Way)

New Poll Shows Americans Continue To Overwhelmingly Support Trade Agreements

Americans across the political spectrum remain decidedly in favor of opening overseas markets to US-manufactured goods through trade agreements. Polling data shows that they also believe that Congress and the President should work together to seek new trade deals. (McLaughlin Online)

Time To End EU’s Digital Borders

Peter Javorcik, Szabolcs Takas, Rafal Trzaskowski, and Tomas Prouza note that the invisible borders that ‘geo-block’ the free flow of online services and commerce must be abolished in order to better pave the way for start-ups, e-commerce, e-government, data-driven economy, data protection, and the digital infrastructure. As opening the digital economy offers one of the clearest pathways to economic growth in Europe, it must be a priority for both the EU and its member-states. (EU Observer)

Beyond Free Trade vs. Protectionism

Michelle Wein of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation notes that while economics has long been split into two camps, neoclassical and neo-Keynesian, current policy must move past it in order to break the cycle and make progress. Trade and globalization should instead focus on IT and innovation, to drive productivity by US companies and workers in a way that benefits everyone. (Real Clear Policy)

When We Trade, We Prosper

US Representative Pat Tiberi, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, notes that trade agreements are essential in order for American companies to compete on a level playing field in new markets, growing the US economy and promoting job creation. Passing TPA would give US negotiators the upper hand during these negotiations, and should be a priority in Washington. (The Delaware Gazette)

The IMF’s Changing Role

This week’s issue of the Atlantic Council’s EconoGraphic series highlights the IMF’s changing role in the global economy, noting that the IMF’s assistance in total financial rescue packages in Europe has significantly diminished since the late 2000s. While all member nations have agreed to expand the IMF’s lending power and to shift additional leverage to developing nations, the US Congress has not approved increasing American contributions, thus halting all reform. (Atlantic Council)

Be sure to follow the EconoGraphics series @ACEconoGraphics, and register for our upcoming event with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde next Thursday, here.

Upcoming Events

Why We Need a Strong IMF – A Conversation with Christine Lagarde – April 9 in Washington; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Getting Europe Back to Growth with European Commission VP for the Euro Dombrovskis – April 16 in Washington, hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

The Atlantic Summit on the Economy – April 23 in Washington; hosted by The Atlantic Live – More Information

Launch of the 2015 Transatlantic Economy Study with Congressman Erik Paulsen – April 30 in Washington; hosted by The Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

2015 Global Supply Chain Summit – May 12 in Washington; hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce – More Information

Global Commerce: New Trends and Opportunities in the Americas and Beyond – May 14 in Washington; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations will take place in Washington the week of April 20.