TTIP Action | April 21
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EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

Speeches & Official Announcements

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015

“TPP and T-TIP are critical to American economic security, supporting higher paying jobs here at home while leveling the playing field for US businesses abroad. TPP and T-TIP are vital to our national interests by cementing our ties to strategically vital regions and raising standards that are essential to American ideals and ingenuity, including strong environmental protections, high labor standards, a free and open internet, protection of intellectual property rights, and transparency.” – Secretary of State John Kerry

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan introdued bipartisan, bicameral Trade Promotion Authority legislation last week that establishes concrete rules for international trade negotiations to help the US deliver strong, high-standard trade agreements. Any administration, Republic or Democratic, must follow the outlined negotiating objectives when entering into and conducting trade talks with foreign countries. Both US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Secretary of State John Kerry noted their support for bipartisan Congressional TPA in speeches to the Senate Finance Committee on Congressional Trade Priorities. (USTR)

Trade Promotion Authority – What It Means

“One in five American jobs is tied to trade. That’s 38 million jobs in total. And jobs that are tied to trade pay, on average, 18 percent more.”
The House Ways and Means Committee published a bullet-point fact list of what trade promotion authority would mean for American workers, employers, and national security. Not only would it empower Congress and hold the administration accountable, but it also ensures that the United States gets better trade agreements. (House Ways and Means Committee)

Report: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the European economy. These companies will channel the benefits of TTIP back to their local communities. That’s why the EU and the US are working to deliver an ambitious agreement that meets their concerns. This reports helps us do that, by pointing out the concrete obstacles and problems that we have to solve. This is one of the issues to be discussed when our negotiators are meeting this week.” – Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

Yesterday, the European Commission released a report highlighting the significant potential TTIP represents for small and medium sized enterprises. The report finds that SMEs are already big winners from transatlantic trade, but that European SMEs still see challenges when exporting to the US market. These obstacles, however, can be eased by a TTIP agreement that is both ambitious and comprehensive, and maintains high standards of regulatory protection. (European Commission)

For the full report, click here.

Check out the report that we wrote at the Atlantic Council last fall on TTIP and SMEs, with 8 transatlantic case study examples, here.


New Round of US-EU Free Trade Talks Begins

The ninth round of TTIP negotiations kicked off this Monday in New York City. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström noted that issues on the negotiators’ agenda this week included regulatory cooperation, rules on competition, state-owned enterprises, energy, raw materials, and sustainable development, among others. While significant criticism of TTIP has increased on both sides of the Atlantic, industry has, by and large, spoken out in favor of the proposed deal. (Deutsche Welle)

Juncker: ‘There Will Be No Default’

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Monday that the lack of Greek flexibility risks pushing the European Union towards an economic catastrophe. While an agreement on a financial rescue package remains far off, Juncker ruled out a Greek debt default or exit from the Eurozone. Juncker scolded the Syriza government for blocking European creditors from accessing critical documents in Greek government buildings, noting that “They are not collaborating in a way we would like them to collaborate.” (Politico)

Video: Brussels Briefing on Trade: All You Need to Know for April 13 – 24

We are currently in the middle of two very busy weeks for the European Union. The 11th round of the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations ended last week, as the European Parliament International Trade Committee held its monthly session. This week, the 9th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is being held in New York, while the 10th round of EU-Japan trade talks happen in Tokyo. (Vieuws)

Thousands Across Europe Protest Against TTIP

Thousands of European protesters took to the streets on Saturday April 18 to oppose TTIP. Underlying reasons encompass a rising anti-American sentiment linked to revelations of US spying, fears of US digital domination, and skepticism of more contentious parts of the proposed transatlantic trade agreement such as ISDS. The new round of negotiations, continuing through April 24, is an opportunity for negotiators and supporters to speak out in favor of TTIP and help convince the European public of its multiple and varied benefits. (EurActiv)

Recent Analysis

A Big Step Forward for the US Trade Agenda

Jeffrey J. Schott from the Peterson Institute notes that the new TPA bill contains updated priority negotiation objectives and new provisions aimed at facilitating closer cooperation between Congress and the Executive in the negotiating process of trade agreements. However, he insists that any bills targeting currency manipulation must not be attached to the TPA bill. Moreover, Schott predicts that the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance, a priority for Democrats, will likely proceed simultaneously to TPP in order to win bipartisan support for both bills. (Peterson Institute)

Wyden and Blumenauer on Trade Legislation

Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer note that TPA does much more than previous fast track bills. Not only does it require information about US positions on future treaties to be publicized as they are made, but it also demands access to the full text of negotiations for every member of Congress from beginning to end. Moreover, TPA requires that the entire negotiating text be made public for 60 days before the President signs it. As Wyden and Blumenauer note, TPA is only the first step in tearing down the walls for Oregon innovators and paves the way to growing middle-class jobs and paychecks. (Oregon Live)

A Lift for Free Trade

Despite the passing of a bipartisan TPA bill last Thursday, writers at the Wall Street Journal believe that there are still Members of Congress fighting free trade progress out of resistance to giving President Obama too much authority. Senators Hatch and Wyden try to mollify these factions with a provision stipulating that Congress can override fast-track authority if either chamber votes a resolution that disapproves of the agreement negotiated by the President. (Wall Street Journal)

Beyond the Beltways: Tour Highlights Views on TTIP for EP Staffers

Elizabeth Martin-Shukrun, Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Mission to the EU, writes that a group of European Parliament staffers rounded off a US Mission-organized visit to the US by stopping in North and South Carolina, visiting tech centers and agricultural producers. They found that the trade debate reaches many local communities and businesses in the country, and that trade and implicit reduction of tariffs for exports seem to have positive reactions in terms of economic development and prosperity among the local communities. (US Mission)

Transatlantic Trade Deal Is a Step in the Right Direction

Diego Zuluaga, International Outreach Officer at the Institute of Economic Affairs, notes that EU-US mutual recognition of rules is preferable to harmonization because it preserves regulatory competition while also reducing the compliance burden on exporters. In its currently proposed form, TTIP is likely to bring prosperity for both sides of the Atlantic. (CAPX)

Graphic: Unleash Global Investment in America

The Organization for International Investment published a report highlighting How TTIP and TPP Have the Power to Increase Global Investment in the United States and Create New American Jobs. Not only would TTIP and TPP increase the stock of FDI in the US economy by an estimated $173 billion, but it would also increase employment by more than 1.4 million US workers. (Organization for International Investment)

A Dangerous Campaign

Martin Greive, journalist for the German newspaper Die Welt , cautions that by opposing TTIP, Germany would undermine free trade, which is the foundation of German wealth. Moreover, Greive argues that the political benefits of TTIP are even larger than the economic ones. TTIP would enable both the European Union and the United States to write the rules of trade for the 21st century. Thus, Greive condemns the myth-based anti-TTIP campaigns by many German NGOs. (Die Welt) – Original Article in German

What Will EU Parliamentarians Vote on TTIP?

Doru Frantescu, director and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe, argues that TTIP enjoyed strong backing early on, with the exception of the radical-left and members of the Green Party. In Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg currently less than fifty percent of the population are in favor of TTIP. By contrast, TTIP still enjoys the support of a majority of the European public. Frantescu concludes that the strong opposition against ISDS might result in a softened mechanism, which could win the support of a majority in the European Parliament.(Vote Watch)

Upcoming Events

Expanding American Trade with Accountability and Transparency – April 22 in Washington; hosted by the House Ways and Means Committee – More Information

Trade and National Security: Renewing US Leadership Through Economic Strength with Secretary of State John Kerry – April 23 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

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 9th Round of TTIP negotiations is take place in New York City this week.