TTIP Action | April 28
US Chief TTIP Negotiator Dan Mullaney with EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero

Speeches & Official Announcements

Remarks By the President at the Organizing for Action Summit

“So if America does not write the rules for trade that are good for us, if we’re not writing the rules of trade for the global economy while our economy is still in a position of global strength – because we’re right now the fastest – we’re the strongest economy compared to a lot of our competitors – now is the time for us to write the rules that make sure that we aren’t locked out of markets, that we’re able to sell our goods in places like Asia.” – President Barack Obama

Last Thursday, President Obama made a speech at the Organizing for Action Summit highlighting the importance of the trade agreements currently under negotiation. While noting that trade has always been a tough sell, especially for the Democratic Party, Obama also emphasized the importance of “winning the future” and writing the rules so that American workers and businesses can compete fairly. TPP, the highest-standard and most progressive trade agreement in our history, would strengthen America’s hand overseas and give the US the tools to open up other markets to American goods and services. (White House)

Video of the event

Chart of the Week: How TPP Improves on NAFTA

The White House published a chart noting various areas and opportunities TPP would secure which past deals such as NAFTA did not. These include various measures concerning worker protection, such as minimum wage requirement and trade sanctions for violating labor rights, environmental preservation, and progressive priorities such as protecting consumers from fraud and deception and helping to simplify export rules for small businesses. (White House)

European Commission: TTIP Round 9 – Final Day Press Conference

“This week we have also stepped up our work in the rules area. We consider that an important element of TTIP should be the development of rules, not only to govern our bilateral trade relationship, but also to contribute to global rules and standards in areas such as competition, energy and raw materials or sustainable development, to name a few.” – EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero

The Chief Negotiator for the European Union, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, outlined the main areas of progress throughout the most recent week of the ongoing TTIP negotiations. In the area of regulatory cooperation and rules, the negotiators worked on issues of horizontal cooperation like technical barriers to trade. In addition, they discussed regulations pertaining to specific sectors such as cars, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. Bercero stressed that horizontal cooperation would only happen in areas where regulators consider cooperation to offer efficiency gains compared to the current regulatory regime. He added that regulatory cooperation as a result of TTIP would not violate the regulatory sovereignty of the EU. (European Commission)

Opening Remarks by US and EU Chief Negotiators for the TTIP Round Nine Press Conference

“We have in T-TIP the best opportunity in a generation to build upon the U.S.-EU economic relationship. We already trade extensively and invest heavily in each other’s economy. But we can make it easier. We can make sure that small business owners in Illinois and Italy can reach across the Atlantic to find new customers and to sell more.” – US TTIP Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney

Chief Negotiator Mullaney reiterated last month’s joint statement by Ambassador Froman and EU Trade Commissioner Malmstr öm that TTIP will not limit the ability of governments to regulate public services such as water, education, and health. Moreover, Mullaney described some of the progress made in this round of negotiations. For instance, he cited discussions on red-tape cutting regulations that would allow European and US exporting firms to test their products only in their home countries before shipping them abroad. As of now products shipped to the US or Europe are tested again upon arrival. (USTR)


Shinzo Abe, Barack Obama and the TPP: What You Need to Know

TPP negotiations began more than five years ago, but last week’s introduction of TPA in Congress could give the negotiations their final push. TPA allows the President to hold an up or down vote on TPP in Congress. In turn, the international negotiators can make a deal in good faith. In addition to more trade, TPP has an important geostrategic component for Japan and the US. This ambitious trade agreement would enable both countries to shape the international rules of trade and counter similar attempts by China. However, before the negotiations are completed both Abe and Obama have to persuade their own political parties that TPP will create more winners than losers.(Financial Times)

Kerry Makes National-Security Pitch for Trade Deals

In a speech at the Atlantic Council, Secretary Kerry argued that national economic and security policy cannot be considered as separate entities anymore. In turn, he stated that both TPP and TTIP have important implications for the economic prosperity and the national security of the US. (Market Watch)

For a full video, transcript, and recap of the Atlantic Council event with Secretary Kerry, please see our webpage.

Pelosi’s Choice: Obama or the Left?

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, is a steadfast supporter of President Obama, who is attempting to win the backing of his own party for TPA and his overall trade agenda. However, Pelosi also has to take the many anti-TPA voices from her own party into consideration. She has come out in support of TPP, but remains on the fence on TPA. (The Hill)

Brussels Briefing on Trade: All You Need To Know for April 27 to May 10

The 10th round of the EU-Japan trade talks are taking place from the 23 to the 28 of April. Similarly, the second round of the EU-Myanmar investment protection agreement will be held from the 4 to 8 of May. Moreover, EU Trade Commissioner Malmström will inform MEPs on May 7 about a planned reform of the ISDS mechanism. (Vieuws)

Recent Analysis

The Future of Global Trade: Jon Huntsman on the Radical Change Ahead

Governor Jon Huntsman, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, outlines his vision of the future of global trade in an article for the Wall Street Journal. He points to the increasing importance of the services trade to predict that 3-D printers will help make physical shipping obsolete. Huntsman continues by arguing that new institutions, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, are a sign that the old structures, such as the Bretton Woods institutions, will need to adapt and modernize to remain relevant. (Wall Street Journal)

Paul Ryan: Japan’s Massive Trade Opportunity

The Chairman of the House’s Ways and Means Committee, Paul Ryan, argues in a piece for the Washington Post that TPP would provide a boost for Japan’s slow economic recovery. Ryan adds, however, that Japan has to open up its agriculture and car markets to US exporters in order for TPP to be completed. Furthermore, Ryan makes the case that TPP would also strengthen Japan’s national security. Ryan concludes that the trade deal would allow the US and Japan to reaffirm their joint leadership in the Pacific and write the rules of international trade before China pushes through its rules on the international stage. (Washington Post)

Mr. Obama’s Trade Fight

The Washington Post’s editorial board lauds President Obama for comparing his own party’s opposition against TPA to the Republican’s opposition against Obamacare. The board points out that the negotiations are not secret as many Democrats claim. By contrast, labor unions and other civil society groups are members of the advisory committees that are briefed regularly by Ambassador Froman. The board concludes that TPP would allow the US to cement stronger international labor, environmental, consumer protection regulations. (Washington Post)

Tech Backs TPA

A blog post on the website of the House’s Ways and Means Committee notes the support of the tech industry for TPA. The new TPA legislation will strengthen the intellectual property rights of American tech companies abroad. For instance, TPA includes provisions that ensure less restrictions for digital trade across borders. (Ways and Means Committee)

Economists Actually Agree On This: The Wisdom of Free Trade

The economist N. Gregory Mankiw writes in article for the New York Times that economists are united in their support of free trade. Mankiw points to a letter that he himself and thirteen other former heads of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers have sent to leaders in Congress to persuade them to support TPA, TPP, and TTIP. He continues to argue that many voters judge trade from a merchantilistic perspective, they underestimate the power of the market mechanism to allocate good across borders, and they do not understand that trade allows countries to reorganize their labor force to be more efficient. (New York Times)

Tear Down These Tariffs

In an article for the National Review , Matthew Continetti argues that fears about TPP are overblown. The author concedes that free trade has costs. At the same time, he points out that the benefits of agreements, such as TPP, outweigh these costs. In the case of TPP, Continetti cautions not to forget the political and strategic aspects in relation to China. He adds that the diplomatic impact of TPP might just be bigger than the economic benefits. (National Review)

Fast Track The Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority

An article in Investor’s Business Daily highlights the many potential benefits of trade and TPP, calling for fast resolution to the TPA debate. Moreover, the article outlines that TPP would give US exporters unparalleled access to the fast growing Asian markets. In addition, TPP would strengthen US leadership in the region, strengthening US and partner country national security. (Investors Business Daily)

Upcoming Events

Morning Money Breakfast Briefing with Sen. Hatch and Rep. Levin – April 29 in Washington; hosted by Politico – More Information

ISDS in FTAs: An Essential Ingredient or Fly in the Soup – April 29 in Washington; hosted by the Washington International Trade Association – 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

The Statesmen’s Forum featuring Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner – May 4 in Washington; hosted by CSIS – More Information

The Path Forward in US-Japan Relations: Trade, Diplomacy, and Security – May 4 in Washington; hosted by the Brookings Institution – 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

Breaking Down Digital Barriers: Turning a Transatlantic Challenge into Opportunity – May 6 in Washington; hosted by the Atlantic 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 Houston, TX; hosted by the Atlantic Council and Baker & McKenzie – More Information

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