TTIP Action – July 23
rsz osullivanDavid O’Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the US, is optimistic that negotiators can complete TTIP under the Obama administration

This Week’s Trade Highlights

EU Ambassador to the US David O’Sullivan believes that TTIP can be finished before President Obama’s end of term in office, as long as negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are put to bed as soon as possible.

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that the TPP has general public support in most of the countries involved, but that deep partisan divisions remain. The strongest support for the agreement comes from abroad, where a median of 53% of foreign publics believe that the deal will be good for their country.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Interview with EU Ambassador to the US

David O’Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the US, discussed possible timetables for completing TTIP with James Rosapepe, US Ambassador to Romania, as part of an upcoming podcast produced by the Council of American Ambassadors, which you can find here. In an excerpt from that discussion, Ambassador O’Sullivan claims that completing TTIP before President Obama’s end of term is still conceivable, as long as negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are put to bed as soon as possible. (YouTube)


Parliament Vote Makes Arbitrators Roll Their Eyes over ISDS

Following the European Parliament’s call for a new investor-state arbitration mechanism in TTIP to replace the current system of private tribunals, legal experts have begun to weigh in on what the proposed system of “publicly appointed, independent judges” would look like, and whether it makes legal sense. Many experts, such as David Rivkin, President of the International Bar Association, seem puzzled by the idea of relying on national courts, which they say may lack neutrality in cases involving foreign investors. (EurActiv)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

Talk of a ‘Right to Regulate’ Is Hurting the Trade Debate

Simon Lester, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, explains why the term “right to regulate” – prominent in the TTIP debate – is misleading, as it glosses over key distinctions in how international economic law affects domestic regulation. Aside from banning governments from adopting regulations that discriminate against foreign goods, services, or investments based on their nationality, international economic law holds every domestic policy goal open to review under a standard that gives international courts a good deal of leeway in their review of the regulation. (Huffington Post)

Forging a Truly Transatlantic Digital Economy

Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, and John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, argue that TTIP represents a tremendous opportunity to increase the consistency of US and EU approaches to information and communications technology (ICT) policy, and to establish a de facto gold standard in digital trade for other trading partners around the world. (EurActiv)

Trade in Action

On Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Enter the ‘Threats’ Stage

Peter Clark, one of Canada’s leading international trade strategists, believes that the TPP ministerial in Maui from July 28-31 will be a “take it or leave it” moment for some of the pact’s more intransigent member nations. Both the United States and Japan are pushing hard to complete the deal in Maui, and are reportedly willing to force those who cannot sign on to the TPP at the end of the month to undergo an accession process sometime in the future. (iPolitics)

Intellectual Property of the Biggest Trade Deal in History

Writing in the Legal Intelligencer, Lawrence E. Ashery, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Caesar Rivise, explains the significance of various intellectual property (IP) provisions in the TPP – or at least those that have been leaked. One provision that has recently captured the most attention, he writes, is a patent linkage requirement, which prevents regulators from approving generic drugs for market entry if they have any outstanding patent issues. While patent linkage has existed in the US since 1984, most TPP countries do not require it – but that may change very soon. ( Legal Intelligencer)

Work Moves Ahead on TPP Trade Pact, but Nations Still Divided Over Deal

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that the TPP has general public support in most of the countries involved, but that there are deep partisan divisions in some of them over the issue, suggesting that the agreement – one of President Obama’s principal foreign economic policy priorities – is not yet a done deal. Among those foreign publics, a median of 53% think the deal would be good for their country. Americans, on the other hand, support the TPP by a 49%-29% margin, and nearly a quarter offer no opinion. (Pew Research Center)

Letter to US Trade Representative

In a letter on Tuesday, Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Robert Aderholt urged US Trade Representative Michael Froman to reject Vietnam’s demands that the USDA not inspect catfish-like pangasius imports as part of the TPP. The catfish inspection program may actually have the potential to scupper an agreement with Vietnam, which is adamantly opposed to stricter inspections by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. (US Congress)

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