TTIP Action aggregates the latest news and best analysis from across the United States and European Union on the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Belgian PM Offers Obama Beer Bet Over World Cup Clash Last Friday, Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo tweeted President Obama: “Hey @BarackObama, I am betting some great Belgian beers that our Red Devils (Belgium’s soccer team) will make it to the quarterfinal!”, offering the American President some top-notch Belgian beer in case the US team manages to defeat Belgium at the FIFA World Cup this afternoon. (Reuters) US’s Top Trade Negotiator Bets Colorado Beer on Belgium Match The trend of President Obama and the Belgian PM seems to have set a trend, with the two of them being followed by US Trade Representative Michael Froman and his counterpart from the European Union, Karel de Gucht, who have bet a case of beer on the outcome of today’s US-Belgium match. “May the best team win (obviously Belgium) & the best beer win (obviously Belgian),” tweeted Commissioner De Gucht’s spokesman John Clancy. (DenverPost)


Schulz Re-Elected as European Parliament President
Martin Schulz has been elected for a second term as president of the European Parliament. The vote was 409 for Schulz, 314 against or blank. He is the first to be confirmed for a second term as president. (European Voice)

Left takes Chairs of Business Committees in Parliament
European Parliament political groups have decided on who will chair the Parliamentary committees during the first half of the coming five-year mandate. A Socialist MEP, Roberto Galtieri of Italy, will chair the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, a Green will assume leadership of Transport and a hard-left MEP takes the chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. (European Voice)

EU to Table Services Offer Before TTIP Round 6, Without Financial Services
The EU plans to table its services market offer in the TTIP before the next round of negotiations, but will not include commitments in the financial services sector. The final offer is expected to contain some changes from the document leaked in June, as the offer is still being reviewed by EU member-states. This decision to remove the financial services market from the offer is due to the US stance to exclude financial regulatory cooperation in TTIP. However, this stance may change if the US changes its mind. (World Trade Online)

German Finance Minister Schäuble Pledges to Keep UK in Europe
Following British Prime Minister Cameron’s “defeat” in the discussion surrounding the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next European Commission President, German Finance Minister Schäuble is trying to assuage Cameron, emphasizing the indispensability of the UK for the EU both culturally and economically. Both Juncker and Cameron have taken steps of rapprochement in order to settle the dispute, insisting they can and will work together in the years to come. (Financial Times)

USA Using Trade Deal as Leverage on GM Crops
A planned trade deal between Europe and the United States should see the barriers to US sales of many GMCs removed, according to the US government. The TTIP should see markets open to GM crops that have proven to be safe. Over the course of the last year, agriculture has predictably emerged as a major point of contention between the US and EU. The US is concerned by suggestions that GM crops pose a safety risk, as there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims, and yet this fear is the reason the EU will not allow imports of such items. (Farmers Weekly)

EU and US Insurers Support Including Financial Services Market Access and Regulatory Cooperation in TTIP
Various insurance countries among the two regions continue to support the TTIP as a comprehensive agreement, and thus believe it necessary for financial services to be fully included in any final outcome. They believe it is necessary for TTIP to contain both ambitious market access commitments as well as a framework to enhance regulatory cooperation in financial services. TTIP is an opportunity to support and grow the bilateral trade relationship, including transatlantic insurance markets. (Insurance News)

BNP pleads guilty to sanctions violations and faces $8.9bn fine
BNP Paris has been sanctioned to pay a record $8.9bn penalty in a landmark settlement with US authorities as a consequence of conspiring to violate sanctions that forbid transactions with Sudan and other regimes. The case of a bank pleaded guilty in a sanctions-busting case is without precedent and suggests a general trend of tightened sanctions against global financial institutions.(Financial Times)

NZ PM Suggests Completing TPP Deal Without Japan if it Can’t Meet Ambition
During Key’s visit to Washington, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key became the first high-ranking official from a TPP country to suggest that negotiating parties should close a deal without Japan if that country continues to refuse to provide comprehensive market access across its protected sectors. He has argued that while TPP leaders could sign a less comprehensive deal, as it will be politically palatable, but achieve very little in the long run. New Zealand has taken the position that a TPP deal must eliminate all tariffs on these products. (World Trade Online)

Recent Analysis

Cities and the Wealth of Nations: How Can Helsinki, London, Paris, and Stockholm Prosper from TTIP
This European Centre for International Political Economy looks at two of the most import trends changing the global economy today–globalization and urbanization. Both are brought to the fore when discussing trade and investment issues, and expanded international competition through projects like TTIP. The report does a nice job highlighting the benefits and challenges for these four global European cities which have specialized in the face of international competition, and stand to gain handsomely from an ambitious TTIP agreement. (ECIPE)

Reviving Free-Trade Agreements Would Revive the Economy
In this Washington Times op-ed, the authors make a strong case for passage of Trade Promotion Authority as a means to bring credible, sustainable economic growth to the United States by focusing on expanding access to fast-growing international markets. (Washington Times)

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the American Defense Industry
In this opinion piece, the author talks about the ramifications of TTIP for the American defense industry. Although defense is unlikely to be part of the agreement, the author elaborates on the interesting viewpoint that closer cooperation in trade will inevitably spill over to defense industries in the future. (Mondaq)

The Transatlantic Trade Deal Must Work for the People, or it won’t Work at All
In this article, the forum “OECD Insights” talks about the importance of an employee-centric approach to TTIP in order for it to be beneficial for workers on both sides of the Atlantic. It condemns a corporate approach, as the deal will have ramifications far beyond the economic sphere. The forum insists that rules for the protection of workers should not be regarded as trade barriers, and sees the potential for the US and the EU to elevate their new common standards to the global level if TTIP is properly negotiated and implemented. (OECD INSIGHTS)

TTIP: Ambiguities, Opportunities, Challenges
In his paper, Patrick Messerlin, professor of economics at Science Po, elaborates on the opportunities and challenges that TTIP is currently facing. His paper gives a good overview over the topics included in TTIP negotiations and looks at its potential global effects, especially for non-TTIP countries. He claims that TTIP can only succeed if both economies agree that domestic reforms will improve their domestic economy and that TTIP is the most effective common vehicle to achieve these goals. (International Affairs)

TTIP: Why Europe is Still Key to the UK’s Export Prospects
In this opinion piece, Mark Cliffe, chief economist at ING Group, elaborates on two arguments in favor for the UK to redirect their trade interests and exports in the EU. Although recent growth rates have been slower in the EU than in the emerging markets, he argues that investment in the EU is favorable because there are no uncertainties such as geopolitical tensions which would interrupt investment. His second argument concerns TTIP which is likely to not only lead to further trade liberalization and growth outside of the EU but also to a potential increase in growth rates inside the EU. (International Business Times)

Chart of the Week: Political Groups in the European Parliament since 1979
The recent European parliamentary elections have shown an alarming increase in public support for anti-establishment and even xenophobic parties denouncing the EU’s status quo. In contrast to the common belief that this phenomenon is without precedent, this chart outlining the level of support for various parties in the Parliament historically shows that this is not a new trend, or a particularly strong one. The author gives hope that the trend can be reversed and hints at the positive influence that the newly elected Commission President Juncker could have. (Bruegel)

Letter from Rome: Two Old Partners Rekindle Their Romance
The article by Frances Robinson uses a refreshingly funny analogy of a long-wedded couple to explain the current state of TTIP before the next round of negotiations in mid-July. She sees the upcoming negotiations as an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate the relationship between the US and the EU, and gives examples like data privacy, and food security to show that this debate is much like the domestic arguments that everyone can relate to at home. (Financial News).

Upcoming Events

Next Steps in the Trade Facilitation Agenda – July 2 in Washington DC, hosted by CSIS – More Information

NATO Looking Forward: The Alliance in the Contested 21st Century with Anders Fogh Rasmussen – July 7 in Washington DC, hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Facing a Revisionist Russia: Discussion with Carl Bildt – July 8 in Washington DC, hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

The Results of the European Parliament Elections and the EU Agenda for the Next 5 Years – July 8 in Brussels; hosted by the Martens Centre – More information

Round 6 of TTIP Negotiations – July 14-18 in Brussels

Transatlantic IPR Working Group Stakeholder Meeting – July 17 in Brussels hosted by the Transatlantic Business Council – More Information