TTIP Action | April 30
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at the launch of the Atlantic Council’s Trade and National Security Initiative

Speeches & Official Announcements

Want to Hold the President Accountable? Then the “Trade Promotion Authority” Bill Is for You.

” Without TPA, Congress can only react to the deal the president puts in front of it. But with TPA, Congress can assert its rightful role throughout the negotiations. The way it works is simple. Congress lays out about 150 negotiating objectives for the president to pursue, plus a number of transparency and consultation requirements. If the president meets all these requirements, Congress agrees to give the trade agreement an up-or-down vote.” – Paul Ryan

The chairman of the House’s Ways and Means Committee, Paul Ryan, released an Op-ed in the Independent Journal Review to outline how TPA will enable Congress to shape trade negotiations. According to Ryan, TPA will improve members of Congress’ access to the content of trade negotiations through extended reading periods, more briefings by USTR staff, and the opportunity to attend negotiating rounds. Moreover, members of Congress will receive more oversight authority over negotiations. Finally, TPA improves the transparency of trade talks by requiring USTR to not only provide public summaries of ongoing negotiations and publicizing the text of the final agreement before a vote is held, but also by creating a USTR transparency officer who works with Congress and the public. (IJ Review)

Former Ambassadors Support TTIP, TPA In Letter To Congressional Leadership

“As senior officials in the transatlantic relationship, former US Ambassadors to European countries, the European Union, and NATO who served under Republican and Democratic administrations, each of us has witnessed first-hand the tremendous diplomatic, economic, and security benefits that transatlantic relations bring the United States.” – 17 former US Ambassadors

In their letter to Congress, the former Ambassadors urge the lawmakers to pass the new TPA bill and push for a quick and successful completion of TTIP. The Ambassadors argue that TTIP would be a boon for the already strong transatlantic trade relationship, while also reinforcing strong labor, environmental. and consumer protections on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, they note that TTIP would give the EU and the US an opportunity to shape the global trade rules of the future and bolster Western values in a changing world.

View the letter in its entirety here.


US to Open TTIP Reading Rooms Across EU

In response to requests from EU countries for easier access to the texts and greater transparency in TTIP, the US government will open “reading rooms” in its embassies across the EU, so that national politicians can read documents related to TTIP. These documents, called “consolidated texts,” combine both sides’ positions and do not make the US’ own negotiating positions public. The move is to ensure politicians in EU countries are better informed of the process, and do not have to travel to Brussels to read the texts at the offices of the European Commission. (EurActiv)

EU-US Trade Talks to Drift into 2016

The EU’s chief negotiator conceded last Tuesday that TTIP negotiations will drag into 2016, as “it is clear that a completion of the negotiations, a conclusion of the agreement […] will require more time than 2015.” However, the US maintains that it can continue negotiating into 2016, and that the election cycle will not reduce the likelihood of a smooth ratification process through the US Congress. (EU Observer)

Recent Analysis

Pacific Trade Pact Sails Past a Drifting Transatlantic Deal

TPP looks to be nearing completion, but the same cannot be said about TTIP. Shawn Donnan from FT notes that politics are largely to blame. While TTIP is rarely discussed in the US, discussion in Europe has morphed into a continuous downpour of criticism and anti-American fear mongering. This has led European negotiators to pander to their critics, allowing member states to opt-out of EU decisions concerning GMOs or suspending investment negotiations, stalling negotiations and leading many to believe that the transatlantic negotiations will drag on for years. (Financial Times)

TTIP Transparency Means Proactive Communication with Citizens and Stakeholders

Diego Pinto, Secretary General of the European Movement International, notes that while TTIP offers the prospect of economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic, it should not be agreed to without transparent and proactive engagement of all stakeholders. The EMI has hosted a series of pan-European debates on civil society and TTIP in an effort to promote an informed and honest discussion bringing the concerns of civil society actors to the table, yet Pinto notes that active, decisive answers and positive steps from the European Commission are still needed. (EurActiv)

The Future of US Trade Policy

James McBride of the Council on Foreign Relations presents a detailed report on the future of US Trade Policy. McBride starts by presenting the state of US trade policy, as well as the TTIP and TPP trade agreements currently under negotiation. He then remarks on Congress’ role and how these deals fit into broader US foreign policy goals. Finally, McBride notes that while expanded trade would largely benefit the US economy, leading economists, labor representatives, and consumer rights groups have expressed concerns over the potential lost employment, inequality, national sovereignty, and safety standards which must each be accounted for. (

On Trade: Obama Right, Critics Wrong

Thomas Friedman voices his support for TPP and TTIP, not simply for economic reasons, but also because they would help enhance American and partner countries’ national security. With rising disorder around the globe, there has never been a more important time for the coalition of free-market democracies and democratizing states to come together and establish the best rules for global integration for the future, whether it be trade standards, labor standards, or environmental standards. (NY Times)

Trade: Catalyst for Engagement

Representative Charles Boustany Jr. (R, LA) remarks that the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act is more than just a trade bill, as it provides the opportunity for the US to set the rules for foreign economic engagement. Failing to advance TPA would instead demonstrate America’s decline, and unwillingness to encourage peace and prosperity across borders, which would allow other economic powers to fill the void.(The Hill)

Congress Should Pass TPA

Representative Erik Paulsen (R, MN) remarks that the US must continue to lead through trade as this would lead to a healthier economy and more family-wage jobs. In order to do so, Rep. Paulsen notes that Congress must pass TPA so that TTIP and TPP can be successfully negotiated. Since 2002, 48 trade deals have been negotiated in Asia, with the US only being party to two of them – perhaps it is time for the US to pursue a path where they set the standards and are able to exert their influence. (RedAlertPolitics)

Oh, Canada: Surprise Loser in US EU Trade Deal

A Canadian-EU pact struck in September 2014 has been delayed to at least early 2016, and there is little chance that the deal, which covers nearly 80 million euros of annual trade, will take effect until 2017. This is largely due to the debate over the agreement’s ISDS provisions, which have become increasingly controversial across Europe as the TTIP talks continue. (Politico)

Upcoming Events

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

Breakfast with US Under Secretary of Commerce Stefan Selig – May 11 in Paris, France; hosted by the French-American Foundation and the American Chamber of Commerce in France – 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