TTIP Action | January 27


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Speeches & Official Announcements

Remarks by John Kerry After Meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini

The range of our dialogue and our ability to be able to coordinate actions is really a source of strength. It’s a source of strength on both sides of the Atlantic, and we appreciate the cooperation and the relationship very, very much.” – Secretary of State John Kerry

On her first trip overseas, High Representative Mogherini met with Secretary of State Kerry to discuss key areas of cooperation on global issues and current hot spots as well as the future of the transatlantic partnership. Mogherini emphasized the strategic importance of the TTIP negotiations, as the agreement would create the world’s largest free trade area, “injecting momentum into the development of global rules in areas where multilateral negotiations have stalled.” (US Department of State)

An Interview with US Ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner

I’m confident we will see at the next round in early February, and following this round, some concrete proposals to show the public that the fresh start is indeed fresh and that we are making progress in both directions: improving our existing offers and proposals and in areas where we haven’t yet been able to make announcements.” – Anthony Gardner

Anthony Gardner highlighted Washington’s policy priorities in terms of its close relationship with the EU. He emphasized the importance of greater transparency, accountability and stakeholder participation in the process of EU-US regulatory policymaking. Although the US does not plan on following the EU’s example of publishing specific negotiating papers, Gardner emphasized that US negotiating objectives are listed clearly on the USTR website. (Europolitics)

Remarks of Treasury Secretary Lew with European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis

We are … working together with our European partners on an important agreement to further link the economies of the United States and Europe. TTIP is a priority for the Administration and the conversations have been progressing in a very constructive way.” – US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew

Speaking to a European audience, Secretary Lew emphasized the challenges still facing the global economy and the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to durable economic growth. This includes setting up debt firewalls, improving transparency in the banking sector, enhancing the transmission of monetary policy, and reducing the fear of a potential Greek exit from the eurozone – as well as finalizing TTIP negotiations to enhance growth. (US Department of the Treasury)

To see the video of the press conference, click here.


US Senator Says Wants to Introduce Fast-Track Trade Bill by End January

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said he wanted to introduce a trade promotion authority bill by the end of January. Following many conversations with congressional Democrats, Hatch underlined that much progress has been made on the final form of the bill. Mr. Hatch said the aim was to move the bill out of the committee stage by the end of February, which could suggest a vote in March. (Reuters)

Commerce Secretary: Dozens of Dems Back Obama on Trade

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker stated that dozens of Democratic lawmakers in the House and the Senate support granting President Obama new authority to fast-track negotiations on a pair of major trade deals. Speaker John Boehner has said the legislation needs at least 50 Democratic votes to pass. Cabinet officials have divided up around 80 Democratic lawmakers who are seen as trade-friendly for personalized lobbying efforts. (The Hill)

Syriza Win Throws Down Challenge to Europe

The Leftist Syriza party led by Alexis Tspiras secured a momentous election victory in Greece in Sunday night, challenging European governments determined to resist its demands for extensive debt relief and an end to austerity. Syriza will be under intense pressure from Greece’s EU and IMF creditors, who own most of the nation’s foreign debt, to abide by the reform commitments of previous Greek governments in return for more assistance. However, it will also be facing demands of hard-left factions to drive as hard a bargain as possible with Greece’s creditors. (Financial Times)

Davos 2015: Businesses Rally Support for Transatlantic Trade Deal

European business executives gathered at the World Economic Forum rallied in favor of TTIP last week in Davos. These included Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL and John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation for British Industry. The push for TTIP in Europe comes as the business community in the US is mobilizing to back the Obama administration’s broader trade agenda. (Financial Times)

Currency Fight Hinders Talks on US-Pacific Trade Deal

Concern that some trade partners are manipulating their currencies to gain an export edge has emerged as a major hurdle to the Obama administration’s efforts to move TPP through Congress. Disagreements over whether rules on currency manipulation should be included in trade deals pit the White House and multinational companies, which oppose such measures, against scores of lawmakers from both parties, labor unions, and US-based manufacturers. (The Wall Street Journal)

Exclusive: Senator Says Preparing New Push Against Currency Cheats in Trade

US lawmakers from both parties are preparing a standalone bill to stop currency cheats and ensure that TPP includes strict currency rules. These new demands from Congress come at a delicate time for TPP, which officials hope to wrap up within months after nearly five years of discussions. However US automakers fear increased competition from Japan, and the American Automotive Policy Council has said it will oppose a deal without strong currency rules. (Reuters)

Recent Analysis

If It’s High Standard Trade, Will Democrats Fall In Line?

Margaret Talev writes in a piece for Bloomberg Politics that the Obama administration is attempting to win the support from the Democratic base for TPP and TTIP. Therefore, the administration is addressing the perceived shortfalls of past trade agreements, by stressing that TPP and TTIP would not only safeguard high labor and environmental standards at home, but also help establish those standards and regulations in developing countries such as Vietnam. (Bloomberg)

TTIP is ‘Big Bonanza’ for Developing Countries, EU Claims

A recent study, commissioned by German Development Minister Müller, contends that developing countries would profit from the proposed TTIP. The trade deal would lead to higher economic growth in the US and the EU. This in turn would increase the demand for goods and services from developing countries. A TTIP agreement would create uniform consumer protection and environmental standards in the United States and the EU. As a result, exporters from developing countries could export more easily to both sides of the Atlantic and thus reap more benefits. (Euractiv)

Please follow this link to read the whole study: (CESIFO) – Original Study in German

UPS CEO: “Ending Poverty Through Trade”

UPS CEO David Abney writes that trade agreements have not gotten enough attention for their positive contributions towards reducing poverty. Abney cites a study by the World Bank that calls for “trade policy reform,” to lend support for his demand to enact current trade initiatives such as the TPP, the TTIP, and TFA. Finally, he points to China as an example of a country that changed its economic trajectory with the help of trade. (UPS Longitudes)

The EU Is ‘Under Strain’ But Must Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, vice chair of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, conceded that the EU is facing internal challenges from discontent voters, who lend more support to populist voices, and external challenges such as the Ukraine crisis. To counter the rise of anti-European parties, Saryusz-Wolski emphasized the importance of TTIP for revitalizing the EU’s economy in the long-term. He stated: “Concluding TTIP would not only bring the US and EU closer politically, but also contribute to growth and secure Europe’s place in the world economy.” (The Parliament Magazine)

The Intellectual Basis of US Trade Policy Trench Warfare

In a report for the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Michelle Wein and Robert D. Atkinson detail arguments from the major economic schools of thought for and against free trade. They conclude that both the neoclassical and the neo-Keynesian doctrines should take a more measured position on the benefits and disadvantages that result from trade agreements. Wein and Atkinson believe that a third school of economic thinking, the innovation economics doctrine, “offers the best opportunity for creating at least some actionable consensus on trade policy moving forward.” (ITIF)

Cosmetics Europe Support for TTIP

In a letter to the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecelia Malmström, the President of Cosmetics Europe, Loïc Armand, stressed the positive effects for the cosmetics business from more regulatory coherence between the United States and the EU as a result of TTIP. Armand also proposed to include more representatives of interested parties in the next round of the TTIP negotiations to ensure that European interest would be well represented in the areas of safety assessment and in-market control for cosmetics products. (Cosmetics Europe)

Upcoming Events

Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland – January 27 in Washington DC; hosted by the Brookings Institute – More Information

House Ways and Means Committee Hearing – US Trade Policy Agenda with Ambassador Froman – January 27 in Washington DC – More information

Senate Finance Committee Hearing – President Obama’s 2015 Trade Policy Agenda with Ambassador Froman – January 27 in Washington DC – More information

EMI TTIP Briefing with the EU Ombudsman – January 29 in Brussels, Belgium; hosted by the Madariaga Foundation – More Information

EU-US: From Disappointment to Hope with Gianni Pittella, MEP – January 30 in Washington DC; hosted by the Center for Transatlantic Relations – More Information

Towards a Transatlantic Strategy for Europe’s East – January 30 in Washington DC; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Stakeholders’ Event of the 8th Round TTIP Negotiations – February 4 in Brussels; hosted by the European Commission – More Information

TTIP Power Lunch: Power Players, Power Networking, Power Content – February 4 in Washington, DC; hosted by the Washington International Trade Association – More Information

The 2015 Trade Agenda and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Congressman Dave Reichert and Under Secretary of Commerce Stefan Selig – February 5 in Washington DC; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

The 2nd Annual EU-US Trade Conference: TTIP Where Now for the EU-US Trade Deal? with Commissioner Malmström – February 5 in Brussels; hosted by Forum Europe – More Information

Chairman Paul Ryan’s First Public Address on Trade – February 5 in Washington DC; hosted by the Washington International Trade Association – More Information

Conference and Debate on TTIP – February 5 in Grenoble, France; hosted by Mouvement Européens, France – More Information

Beyond Tariffs: Trade Relations and the Transatlantic Relationship in the 21st Century– February 6 in Washington, DC; hosted by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service – More Information

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

February 2-6, 2015 – Eighth Round of TTIP Negotiations in Brussels