TTIP Action | February 10


Speeches & Official Announcements

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: TTIP Is in our Interest

I believe the benefits [of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] significantly outweigh [its] potential risks.”

Ahead of her trip to the US and Canada, Chancellor Merkel said that a transparent discussion is needed to address the often unwarranted fears about the effects of TTIP. She insisted that European standards, such as environmental protection standards, will not be weakened as a result of TTIP. Moreover, the Chancellor demanded that national courts are not annulled by the ISDS mechanism. Finally, Merkel cited the TPP negotiations happening across the globe to underscore that the European Union’s needs TTIP to boost economic growth and assure its position as major player in world trade. (YouTube) – In German

8th Round of TTIP Negotiations – Remarks by Ignacio Garcia Bercero (Chief EU Negotiator) and Dan Mullaney (Chief US Negotiator)

Bercero “The regulatory cluster is the most innovative cluster of TTIP as it goes beyond what either the EU or the US have done in their [previous] trade agreements.”
Mullaney “The fundamental principle of our work in the regulatory issues in TTIP is to ensure that nothing that we do will undermine the ability of governments to regulate in ways that we consider necessary to protect consumers, workers, and the environment.”

Mullaney explained that this week’s negotiations mostly covered issues ranging from regulatory coherence to technical barriers of trade, and sanitarian measures. Both negotiators stressed that a TTIP agreement would have a particularly positive impact on SMEs by cutting red tape in the customs process and provide SMEs with better access to information about export and import provisions. (Europa)

Remarks by Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Munich Security Conference

Protectionism and barriers to trade are failed recipes from the past. These recipes are outdated in a time of increasingly free trade.”

Merkel affirmed that Germany is strongly pushing for a free trade agreement with the United States. The Chancellor warned that the European Union must not stand still while countries in Asia are signing a large number of free trade agreements. She also pointed to the potential for a free trade deal that would include the United States, the European Union, and the Eurasian Union. However, Merkel cautioned that such a project could only go ahead if Russia stops its aggression in Ukraine. ( – Original Article in German

Remarks by Vice President Biden at the Munich Security Conference

Just as NATO reinforces the norms of global security, TTIP can strengthen the global trading system and to the benefit of people everywhere, even as it ties our two continents more closely together.”

Vice President Biden contended that the TTIP is vital t o ensure the continuing strength of the US and the European economies. Biden emphasized that TTIP does not take a backseat to the TPP by saying that the United States is both a Pacific and an Atlantic power. Furthermore, the Vice President stressed the importance of shaping globalization and the global economy with help of trade agreements such as TTIP and TPP. (

Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Munich Security Conference

Today, for example, even as we concentrate on regional initiatives like improving our energy security and completing the hugely important Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, we and our European partners are also leading – and I mean leading – the responses to global challenges like climate change and Ebola.”

Secretary of State Kerry identified TTIP as a potential cornerstone of the transatlantic relations. Kerry also emphasized that the current trade negotiations about TTIP and the TPP are a testament of the strength of the international system and the growing interconnectedness between the world’s economies. (Department of State)

Blog Post by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom: Cutting Red Tape, Safeguarding Standards – Regulatory Cooperation in EU-US Trade Talks

With TTIP, we want to build bridges between the EU and US regulators to make regulation more compatible – without lowering health, safety, environment or consumer protection standards.”

The EU Trade Commissioner argued that the sophisticated regulatory regimes in the United States and the European Union often have “different, but equivalent solutions to the same problem.” According to Malmstrom, better regulatory cooperation in these areas would create jobs and maintain the already high standards on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, areas of disagreement will not be part of regulatory cooperation efforts. As a result, TTIP could significantly reduce red tape and thus foster more transatlantic trade. (EU Commission)

Please follow this link to read the EU Commission’s official proposal on regulatory cooperation: EU Commission

Please follow this link to read the EU Commission’s fact sheet on regulatory cooperation: EU Commission


TTIP Round 8: Market Access Negotiations Kick Off as Key Dividing Lines Remain

EU and US negotiators discussed import tariff liberalization, services sector liberalization and public procurement, as well as the general principles and overarching framework for regulatory cooperation during the 8th round of TTIP negotiations. However, significant gaps between the two sides remain. While the EU wants to make significant progress on accessing the US’s public procurement markets, especially at the state level, the US is asking for greater EU ambition on the phase-out of import tariffs and the opening up of services markets. (Borderlex)

Currency Manipulation Remains Prickly Issue for Congress

Democrats and Republicans are pushing for the addition of language in TPP that would create a framework for detection and enforcement of currency policies designed to give countries a global trade advantage. Addressing currency concerns could help smooth the path for TPA, but the Obama administration has essentially ruled out adding currency provisions at this late stage. (The Hill)

Obama to Raise Trade Talk Concerns with Merkel

Disappointed with the progress made in last week’s round of formal negotiation, President Obama pressed the issue with Ms. Merkel yesterday during her visit to Washington. The US has been pressing the EU to agree to exchange new offers on the number of tariff-free goods, and has focused its concerns on EU officials and the EC who are not meeting their leaders’ desires for more rapid progress. (Financial Times)

Ryan Launches Trade Agenda

Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Paul Ryan is speaking about the trade agenda on an almost daily basis, sending the signal that the White House and congressional republicans can reach an agreement to approve fast-track negotiating authority. While Democrats are more divided on fast-track, the Ways and Means Chairman is also focused on producing Republican votes. (The Hill)

Recent Analysis

Commission Guide: TTIP represents ‘A Serious Response’ to EU Challenges

Commissioner Malmström underlines that TTIP is “the most important issue for the near future” and emphasizes that “a successful TTIP would help us build a strong European economy that provides jobs, and help us protect Europe’s values in a changing and unpredictable world.” While the results of the public consultation published in January, “represent only a first step and further discussions with other EU institutions and with stakeholders are necessary,” Malmström also describes TTIP as a serious response to Europe’s economic and geopolitical challenges. (The Parliament Magazine)

Public Procurement in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations

Steve Woolcock and Jean Heilman Grier review the current state of affairs between the US and EU on government procurement, examining the procurement they open to one another and the procurement they withhold. They then propose a strategy for the two sides to use the TTIP negotiations to move forward, which includes both steps to expand their current commitments in TTIP, as well as to develop a longer-term approach by making TTIP a ‘living agreement’. (CEPS)

The “Strategic” Case for TTIP

Supporters of TTIP have increasingly fallen back on the ‘strategic’ case for an ambitious agreement: economic growth, transatlantic unity and resolve, and setting the norms and standards for the twenty-first century. For Hans Kundnani of the European Council on Foreign Relations, “TTIP seems like a gamble”, however, if TPP is completed and TTIP is not, Europe could be left behind, which constitutes the real ‘strategic’ case for TTIP. (ECFR)

Ditching Investor-State Dispute Settlement May Come at Quite a Cost

Too much of the recent European debate on ISDS has been driven by hearsay, superstition, and myth, states John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce. Even the most reasoned commentators can fall into the trap of casually depicting big businesses as rapacious users of ISDS, when the facts tell a different story: ISDS cases remain relatively rare and almost 60 percent of claims filed over the past five years have been made by European investors. (Financial Times)

The Need to Address Currency Manipulation in TPP, and Why US Monetary Policy Is Not At Risk

Congressman Sandy Levin (D-MI) argues for establishing an enforcement mechanism against currency manipulation through TPP. While the IMF guidelines demonstrate that the US is not manipulating its currency and would not be at risk of losing a dispute, the far greater risk is that more middle class jobs will be lost in the US as a result of foreign governments’ currency manipulation. (Huffington Post)

TTIP, Its Impact on Business and Young Entrepreneurs

Przemyslaw Grywa, the Vice President of the Young Entrepreneurs Forum in Poland, argues that TTIP is a way forward for scaling-up small European businesses. TTIP would ensure that data and information continues to flow freely across the Atlantic to facilitate new trade, that the regulatory market would adapt to the thousands of new companies exporting for the first time thanks to the Internet, and would bring US capital and investors interested in investing in start-ups to Europe. (European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs)

All Grexit Needs Is A Few More Disastrous Weeks Like This

Wolfgang Munchau notes that the first two weeks after Syriza’s victory have led a skeptical northern European public to convert into a hostile one. Finding short-term funding is the main priority as the ECB will not further increase the ceiling for emergency liquidity assistance. Munchau sees no debt reduction in Greece’s future, and only marginal scope for a fiscal relaxation of any kind, with the biggest opposition coming from other periphery countries, such as Portugal, which did not revolt against the troika. (Financial Times)

Upcoming Events

The Intellectual Basis of Trade Policy Trench Warfare – February 11 in Washington, DC; hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – More Information

2015 Congressional Trade Agenda – February 13 in Washington, DC; hosted by the Washington International Trade Association – More Information

Keeping Our Edge: Jobs, Exports, and Global Competitiveness – February 25 in Washington, DC; hosted by Bloomberg Government – More Information

TTIP – New Business Opportunities for SMEs – February 26 in Brussels; hosted by the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry – More Information

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