TTIP Action | February 19

Ryan Singapore

Speeches & Official Announcements

TTIP: Subsidiarity and Other Shared Transatlantic Principles, by Cecilia Malmström

You can rest assured that TTIP will not limit our ability to regulate or provide public services the way we want. […] TTIP won’t undermine our ability to help and protect the people we represent, it will strengthen it.”

Addressing the Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions on February 12, Trade Commissioner Malmström underlined the similar values and principles shared by the US and EU, such as open markets, rule of law, and the respect for individuals and their human rights. She noted that regulation in Europe is decided by the EU, national governments, or local authorities and that TTIP cannot and would not change that. Finally, Malmström concluded that subsidiarity had a place in international affairs. (Europa)

President Obama: “Writing the Rules for 21st Century Trade”

My top priority as President is making sure more hardworking Americans have a chance to get ahead. That’s why we have to make sure the United States – and not countries like China – is the one writing this century’s rules for the world’s economy.”

Yesterday afternoon, President Obama sent a message to the White House email list, explaining why it was important to ensure that America is the country that write this century’s rules for the world economy. The President noted that TPP would establish enforceable commitments to protect labor, environmental, and other crucial standards that Americans hold dear, and emphasized the importance of TPA, asking Americans to give him the tools he need to grow US economy, boost US exports and give hardworking middle-class families a chance to get ahead. (White House)
To see the accompanying video, please click here.

In Malaysia, Ryan Delegation Urges Progress in TPP Negotiations

Our economy, our national security, and our very standing in the world are all tied to our trade agenda. […] I look forward to talking more about expanding economic cooperation with our friends in Asia.” – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Last Monday, a congressional delegation led by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan held meetings in Singapore, the first of three Asian nations the group will visit on the week-long trip, followed by Malaysia on Tuesday. The eight-member delegation will meet with senior government officials and American and local business leaders in an effort to advance the US trade agenda and strengthen ties with these countries. (Committee on Ways and Means)

TTIP: On Course to Deliver for the UK, by Cecilia Malmström

The price of admission to a discussion is as important as this is that you base your arguments on facts, not distortions. If people are taking the time to listen and learn then we owe them the truth, not a new batch of euromyths. People have rightly said that they need more transparency in order to do that. That’s why we have provided it.

Last Monday Cecilia Malmström underlined the benefits of TTIP for the UK, stating that it would help the UK’s economy grow and its people prosper; that it would help the EU and the US cooperate to strengthen, not weaken, the governments’ ability to respond to people’s needs at home; and finally that it would strengthen Europe’s cooperation in the wider world, at a time when it’s more important than ever. By putting many of the EU’s proposals for legal text on-line, Malmström hopes that educated debate will revolve around TTIP. (Europa)

Transatlantic and Global Trade, and Security, by Cecilia Malmström

Trade policy will not solve our security challenges. […] But if done right, it can make a contribution, helping set the economic framework for peace.”

Addressing the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Cecilia Malmström sought to show the links between security and trade policy. She noted that trade and open markets for raw materials and energy can boost security while also pointing out how geopolitical reasoning can help trade policy be more effective at meeting its own goals. Neither narrow economic nor security views of trade or foreign policy will provide the right policy answers: it is essential to combine them both in order to achieve growth, jobs, and stability. (Europa)
To see the European Commission’s video on the “Benefits of TTIP”, please click here.


House Lawmakers Headed to Asia-Pacific to Talk Trade

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and seven colleagues departed Washington for a week-long trip to Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, all countries participating in 12-nation TPP talks. The congressional delegation will meet with senior government officials as well as US and local business leaders in an effort to advance the US trade agenda and strengthen ties. “Other countries are trying to reshape the state of play in Asia, and so we have to stay engaged.” (The Hill)

Video: Brussels Briefing on Trade: All You Need to Know for February 16 – March 2

The EU’s most pressing trade issues for the next few weeks include the WTO’s Parliamentary Conference, the WTO’s General Council meeting, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body and the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee meeting. Additionally, the 9th round of the EU-Japan trade talks will be held next week in Brussels. Although more progress is expected now that Japan’s parliamentary elections are out of the way, the main issues (NTBs, sanitary and vetosanitary measures, and European geographic indicators) remain. Finally, on the TTIP Advisory Group will meet on the 24th. (EU Trade Insights)

UK Exit From Europe Would Be ‘A Disaster’

EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would be a ‘disaster’, especially in light of TTIP. This admission was unusually frank for an EU commissioner, since in the past, European officials have simply said the decision is a matter for the British people. Several concerns have been raised about TTIPs potential impact on the National Health Service, but a government spokesperson said that TTIP posed no threat to the NHS whatsoever. (BBC)

US, Latin American Leaders Push Hard for Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership

US Rep. Dave Reichert, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-chair of the House Friends of TPP Caucus pushed hard for TPP implementation during a Feb 5 discussion at the Atlantic Council. Besides Reichert, the panel also featured Daniel Price, Chilean Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdés, Shawn Donnan, and Ralph Carter. (Tico Times)

Recent Analysis

The Geopolitical Stakes of America’s Trade Policy, by Michael Froman

US Trade Representative Michael Froman notes that Americans today face an important choice. Either the US leads and ensures that the global trade system reflects our values and our interests, or the US can ceded that role to others, which will inevitably create a less advantageous position for American workers and businesses. As economic power has become more consequential in world affairs, so too has American leadership on trade. If the US leads on trade, it can strengthen rules-based order. (Foreign Policy)

US Ambassador: Europe Would Benefit From Free Trade Agreement

Speaking about the TTIP free trade agreement currently under negotiation, US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell said it was a ‘misunderstanding’ that such a deal would work only to the advantage of the US. She stated that there was a good opportunity ‘to open a new chapter’ in Hungarian-US relations at the start of this year, which would benefit both countries. (Hungary Today)

Are Modern Trade Deals Working?

In their report, Jim Kessler and Gabe Horowitz state that 21st century trade deals have increased exports at a far greater rate than imports, improved balance of goods trade for 13 of 17 countries, turned previous goods deficits into surpluses, and have added a net improvement of $30.2 billion annually in our trade balance on goods alone. With the expectation that TPP will be our highest standard deal yet, there is substantial opportunity to further contribute to America’s economic growth at a time of global economic stagnation. (Third Way)

The Open Door of Trade: The Impressive Benefits of America’s Free Trade Agreements

While the twenty countries with which the US has entered into FTAs represent just 10 percent of the world economy outside the US, in recent years they have purchased nearly half of all US exports, according to a study by the US Department of Commerce. US exports to new FTA partner countries have grown roughtly three times as rapidly on average in the five-year period following the agreement’s entry-into-force as the global rate of growth for US exports. (US Chamber of Commerce)

Ambassador O’Sullivan: No Need To Panic or Fret Over TTIP

David O’Sullivan noted that TTIP is not some pre-defined monolith to be admired or despised, but a concept which will be shaped by the negotiators and then be accepted or rejected by our respective democratic processes. “We will get there and we will get it right,” said Ambassador O’Sullivan, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the United States. (EurActiv)

TTIP Can Help Reap the Rewards of the ‘Internet of Things’

John Higgins, Director General of DigitalEurope explains the concrete benefits that technological innovations could offer to over 800 million people on both sides of the Atlantic, following a successful conclusion to TTIP. The Internet of Things, also known as Industry 4.0, is rapidly becoming reality, driven by the convergence of increasingly connected devices. EU and US negotiators must adopt a coordinated approach to this exciting new field if both economies are to reap the rewards the Internet of Things promises. (DigitalEurope)

Don’t Believe the Anti-TTIP Hype – Increasing Trade is a No-Brainer

Cecilia Malmström and Jonathan Hill state that the proposed transatlantic trade deal will benefit small businesses, and will help to entrench US and European values of democracy and the rule of law. Stating once more that the EU will never negotiate a deal that would lower high standards on food safety, health, or environmental protection, they went on to note the powerful backstop to the deal: the elected governments of all 28 EU countries and the European parliament must decide whether to go ahead with the deal. If Europe wants jobs and growth, it must act to bring them about. (The Guardian)

eBay’s Policy Recommendations for TTIP

eBay’s reliance on cross-border trade by SMEs gives it a solid position for advocacy in the TTIP area. It is lobbying for exempt returns from customs duties, harmonised standards and formats for postal services, addressing mobile roaming across the Atlantic and breaking new ground on customs relief thresholds by introducing a baseline threshold of the equivalent to $800 USD, index-linked, and regardless of the country of origin. (eBay Mainstreet)

Upcoming Events

The Congressional Budget Office at 40 – February 23 in Washington, DC; hosted by The Brookings Institute – More Information

TTIP: Prospects for the German Economy – February 23 in Berlin; hosted by The Trans-Atlantic Economic Forum – More Information

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

European Financial Regulation and Transatlantic Collaboration with Commissioner Jonathan Hill – February 25 in Washington, DC; hosted by the Brookings Institute – More Information

TTIP – New Business Opportunities for SMEs -February 26 in Brussels; hosted by EuroChambres – More Information

Can Europe Recover? With Manfred Weber – February 27 in Washington, DC; hosted by The Center for Transatlantic Relations – More Information

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