TTIP Action | April 14
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MEPs are debating several hundred proposed amendments to TTIP this week at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Speeches & Official Announcements

11.7 Million Reasons to Lead on Trade

Currently, around 300,000 small- and medium-sized businesses across the 50 states export to foreign destinations, supporting millions of American jobs. Impressive as they are, these figures only scratch the surface. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside of US borders, there is enormous potential for our businesses – and small businesses in particular – to grow their exports, hire more American workers, and expand their bottom lines.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker note that 11.7 million American jobs were supported by exports in 2014, with small businesses comprising 98 percent of all American exporters. President Obama is committed to addressing barriers to international trade, and making it easier for SMEs to do business abroad. The next vital step is passing bipartisan trade promotion legislation would clarify and strengthen public and Congressional oversight by increasing transparency throughout the negotiating process. (The Hill)

EU-US Trade Deal: 14 EP Committees Have Their Say

The amendments we are looking at today show that there are four main areas in which MEPs are currently divided. These are data protection, which services could be opened up to US suppliers, environmental sustainability, and investor protection rules.” – EP Trade Committee Chair and TTIP Rapporteur Bernd Lange

898 amendments to the European Parliament’s report on TTIP were debated by the International Trade Committee on Monday, implying that much further work and political compromise would be needed to build a strong majority behind the final resolution. Today, the Environment Committee will vote on its opinion on TTIP and Thursday, the Legal Affairs Committee will vote on its opinion on ISDS. In total, 14 EP Committees will contribute with their opinions, with MEPs due to debate and vote on the EP’s position before summer. (European Parliament)

For further analysis of the ongoing parliamentary debate on TTIP in Brussels, please see BBC and EUObserver.


What Is TTIP?

The US Embassy in Copenhagen published a nice document clarifying TTIP’s attributes and strategic value to both Denmark and the United States. Noting the various myths often associated with the transatlantic partnership, the document underlines how TTIP would promote shared values, set global standards, and unlock growth opportunities for both Denmark and the United States. Moreover, it would strengthen European and American hands in future negotiations with other partners. (AmCham)

AmCham EU: Parliament’s TTIP Reccomendations Can Lead to a Robust Deal

The Managing Director of AmCham EU, Susan Danger, spoke to EurActiv’s editor-in-chief Daniela Vincenti noting that while MEPs have the chance to make a substantial contribution to TTIP, it is important that they carefully listen to stakeholders before diluting aspects to the agreement that are essential to its success. It is only by directly addressing the sensitive issues that negotiators from both sides of the Atlantic will produce an agreement with the most benefits. ( EurActiv)

Labor Secretary Perez: Foes of Pacific Trade Deal are Laboring Under a Misconception

While many TPP opponents believe that ISDS and a lack of tariffs could hurt American workers, US Labor Secretary Tom Perez notes that these fears are misplaced. The current situation, where many TPP partner countries have limited labor protections, is not benefiting the United States or other countries in the world. Setting up a free trade agreement can help to improve working conditions around the world, open markets, and lead to better wage jobs for US workers who can more fairly compete on the global stage. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Recent Analysis

Congress Should Put Trade Atop its To-Do List

Editors at the Washington Post note that is extremely important for the House and the Senate to quickly pass a bipartisan TPA bill and complete TPP and, eventually, TTIP. TPP is not just about economics, but also about geopolitics. As an economically troubled Japan ages, it looks to forge deeper political and security commitments with the US to offset a rising China. Without TPP, the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia would be all but over, at a time when the economy is still in need of a boost. (Washington Post)

Danse Macabre on Trade

Bill Reinsch notes that numerous rumors and speculation about trade have started to circle around, now that debate is heating up in Congress. Not only do many of these allegations ignore the fact that TPP and TTIP are still being negotiated, but they are also often factually wrong. Reinsch notes that short-term specific losses due to trade, alongside the long-term diffuse overall societal gains create a political problem, not an economic one. (Ideas Lab)

How to Make Sure Volvo Is Starting a Trend

Robert Kimmitt and Matthew Slaughter highlight the importance of trade liberalization in order to make the US a more attractive place for foreign investment. In recent years, the US share of global FDI inflows fell to 14% in 2013 from 37% in 2000. While Volvo, a Chinese owned company, announced last week that it plans to build its first auto plant in the US, this needs to start a broader trend. In order for this to happen, Kimmitt and Slaughter note that tangible progress on America’s trade agenda should be made by passing TPA in order to finalize TPP and TTIP. ( Wall Street Journal)

Letter Supporting High Standards in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Gabe Horwitz of the center-left leaning think tank Third Way addressed an open letter to President Obama underlining the importance of continuing to seek high-standard labor and environmental standards in trade agreements. With the US and China “locked in a race” to write the rules for Asia, the US must seize this opportunity and set a high-standard deal that would put more “Made in the USA” products and services in foreign markets, ensure global rules are fair, and help the middle class prosper globally. (Third Way)

The Ironies of Opposing TPA, TPP, TTIP and Other Trade Agreements

Bill Reinsch of the National Foreign Trade Council notes that several ironies are threatening efforts to enact the various trade agreements that are currently being negotiated. The first is process: while many criticize the negotiations’ lack of transparency, it has not stopped them from criticizing the contents of the agreement. The second refers to partisanship. While Republicans have consistently called on the President to show leadership on trade, some are now refusing to support him due to purely partisan concerns. (National Foreign Trade Council)

The TTIPing Point for Global Trade

UPS’s Kurt Kuehn writes that companies both large and small can benefit from TTIP. Presenting the substantial benefits that the easing of regulations, removal of tariffs, and customs facilitation could bring about, Kuehn notes that there are still considerable obstacles that need to be overcome. However, he maintains that the immense benefits are worth continuing to push for successful negotiations. (Longitudes)

Former Official Carla Hills Sees US Trade Leadership Eroding

Former USTR under President Bush and current Co-Chairwoman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Carla Hill notes that the US is failing to lead on trade and missing opportunities. Not only has the President been slow to act, but Congress has not given him the authority afforded to previous presidents to negotiate trade deals. Hills notes that the US should not be critical of China and its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, but rather look to what it could be doing to better lead on trade itself. (StarTribune)

China Will React With Displeasure if America Tries to Weaponise Trade

Michael Levi notes that TPP should not be marketed as the economic counterpart to a military strategy, or an “economic NATO,” lest China start to see the deal as an attempt at economic containment. Not only could this lead our allies to distance themselves from a bluntly confrontational approach to China, but it could also lead to increased geopolitical damage if the deal fails. Levi notes that the US needs to make it clear that TPP is not designed to split up Asia. But instead focus on the idea of the agreement (eventually) being open for others to join, once they meet requisite standards. (Financial Times)

Upcoming Events

Webinar: TTIP and the Wider Atlantic – April 15 in Washington, hosted by Atlantic Future – More Information

Japan’s Priorities in Shaping the Future of the Asia-Pacific Economic Order with Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for Foreign Affairs – April 15 in Washington, hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Europe, Trade, TTIP: What’s At Stake? with Commissioner Malmstrom – April 15 in Paris, hosted by the European Commission and Sciences Po Paris – More Information

A Conversation with Wolfgang Munchau – April 15 in Washington, hosted by CSIS – More Information

Conference: The Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – April 16 in Washington, hosted by the American Security Project – More Information

Shifting Gears: Merging Growth and Prosperity – April 16 in Washington, hosted by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Financial Times – More Information; RSVP here.

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

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Setting New Rules for Trade in the 21st Century – April 16 in Washington, hosted by Bloomberg, the National Foreign Trade Council, and the US Council for International Business – More Information

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

TTIP Stakeholder Forum: Stakeholder Presentations and Briefings by the Chief Negotiators – April 23 in New York City; hosted by the Office of the USTR – 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

It’s Our Job: Reforming Europe’s Labour Markets – May 5 in Brussels; hosted by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies – 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 Houston, TX; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

2nd Annual NFTC London Trade and Investment Forum – May 15 in London, hosted by the National Foreign Trade Council – More Information

The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations will take place in New York City the week of April 20.