TTIP Action | February 26

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Speeches & Official Announcements

Standing Up for Workers: Promoting Labor Rights through Trade

With TPP and T-TIP, we have a real opportunity to lock in the gains we have made in recent years to protect workers’ rights, improve working conditions, shape globalization and level the global playing field for American workers.”

The US Department of Labor and USTR jointly released a report highlighting how the US uses trade policy to promote and protect fundamental labor rights and ensure acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, maximum hours of work, and occupational safety and health. The Department of Labor, USTR, civil society organizations, and international agencies like the ILO are laying the foundation for an international trading system that defends the dignity of workers. TTIP and TPP are critical components of this US strategy. (USTR)

To read the full report, click here.

Benefits for Luxembourg: Eliminating Trade Barriers

Today, Cecilia Malmström met with members of Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies, Primer Minister Xavier Bettel, and other members of Luxembourg’s government. She noted that TTIP would widen economic opportunities, while strengthening Luxembourg’s and the EU’s positions on the world scale. Malmström reassured the audience at the Université de Luxembourg that the European Commission would do everything in its power to ensure that European citizens can participate directly in the process as TTIP moves forward. (Europa) – Original speech in French

Budget Hearing for the Department of State

Between TPP and TTIP, we are pursuing two of the most ambitious and important trade agreements in recent history. Forty percent of global GDP is wrapped up in the TPP. If we can achieve that, we will have a definition of the new standards of doing business in the region.” – Secretary of State, John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry supported TPP, TTIP, and the quick passage of trade promotion authority during his remarks before the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations yesterday. He underlined the importance of setting the standard for doing business and the rules of the economy and trade, noting that it was much better for the US to be standard makers than allow other countries to write the future rules of global commerce. (US Department of State)


Malmström: Germany’s TTIP Debate ‘More Heated’

During her visit to Berlin, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström could not explain why TTIP debate was so much more heated in Germany than in other parts of Europe. Malmström repeatedly indicated that there is a large majority in Europe that supports the deal, and that Germany is one of the countries that stands to benefit most from TTIP. German Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel accused TTIP critics of fear-mongering, and called for a more reasoned debate on the merits of the agreement. (Euractiv)

Yellen Says No To Currency Provisions in Trade Deals

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Tuesday that she would have a significant problem with adding currency manipulation provisions into global trade arrangements. While stating that currency manipulation undertaken in order to alter the competitive landscape and give one country an advantage is inappropriate, she also would be very concerned about a regime that would introduce sanctions for currency manipulation into trade agreements. This could hamper or even hobble legitimate monetary policymaking tools in the US and globally. (The Hill)

Recent Analysis

Is the US Still Leading in Global Trade?

This week, the Atlantic Council’s weekly EconoGraphic addresses the US’s lagging position in global trade. While the Asia-Pacific region has signed sixty-five free trade agreements in the last two decades, the US has signed just twelve. The difference is even more stark in the last few years. As President Obama aims to conclude negotiations over TPP and TTIP, has has argued that without new trade agreements, the US will no longer be able to write the rules of international trade. Without TPA, trade negotiations are virtually impossible to conclude, guaranteeing a widening gap between the US and the rest of the world in global trade. (Atlantic Council)

Free Lunch: Four Misperceptions About Greece

FT columnist Martin Sandbu points out that while there is no agreement yet, Grexit need not happen without one. Last Friday’s eurogroup meeting on Greece considered extending the rescue loan if, and only if, the institutions formerly known as the troika approved the reform proposals that Athens was scrambling to write down. Sandbu clears up various misperceptions riddle the running commentary, such as the notion that austerity has failed in Greece. (Financial Times)

TTIP Could Neutralize Populists from Right and Left

Erik Brattberg, Senior Fellow at the McCain Institute, notes that the outlook for TTIP is decidedly mixed in Europe right now. With the Syriza victory in Greece and other populist parties gaining popularity across Europe, TTIP faces new political challenges. Brattberg concludes that while there are certainly difficult issues that should be discussed openly, TTIP would generate real economic benefits across Europe and strengthen the EU’s global position, much to the chagrin of euroskeptic populist parties. (Svenska Dagbladet)

TTIP: An Opportunity Not To Be Missed

Commissioner Malmström and Tibor Navracsis, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, and Sport, state that if the United States and European Union negotiate a fair and balanced agreement, TTIP will be beneficial for all of Europe. The rise of emerging economies means a reduced level of European influence globally. A strengthened partnership with the US, though, would reinforce Europe’s global role and help diffuse labor rights and environmental values globally. (Vilaggazadasag) – Original Article in Hungarian

Upcoming Events

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

Cecilia Malmström: TTIP – The Benefits of Lifting Barriers -February 26 in Luxembourg; hosted by Université du Luxembourg – More Information

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

China’s Hundred Year Marathon with the United States – March 4 in Washington DC; hosted by ITIF – More Information

EU and the US: A Digital Love Story? – March 5 in Brussels; hosted by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies – More Information

2015 Global Supply Chain Summit – May 12 in Washington DC; hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce – More Information

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