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).
Speeches and Official Announcements
Without Growth there is No Future in Europe Speaking at the start of the new Italian Presidency of the European Council on July 1, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi addressed the European Parliament, asking Europe to move from its emphasis on budget austerity towards sustainable growth. “Italy is not coming here to ask for change which it is not able to provide itself, Italy is coming here to say it wants [the time and the opportunity] to change,” Renzi told the parliament. You can find his speech, on the official webpage of the Italian Presidency, in its entirety here.
TTIP is “not about Full Liberalization” – EU Agriculture Commissioner In an interview with EU Trade Insights, Dacian Ciolos, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, refuted the public allegation that TTIP would lower the EU’s food standards. Instead, he insisted that both parties will benefit and make joint progress on agricultural exports for the benefit of consumers and producers alike. Read the full interview here.
WTO REVIEW: EU Calls on China to Deepen Reforms and Further Open up the Economy In this review, the EU praised China’s impressive economic development; however, the EU also makes the case that China needs to improve its business environment by providing greater transparency and by abiding by its WTO obligations, especially pertaining to subsidies and state-owned enterprises. The EU is hoping that China, as a supporter of the multilateral trading system, will play an active role in WTO negotiations; and as a country of great influence, would exercise the increased responsibilities these powers come with. (European Commission)
Next Three EU Council Presidencies Say Trade Focus Will Be On TTIP, CETA, FTAs with Japan, India The future Italian, Latvian, and Luxembourg Presidencies have established the Council’s future work program, which aims to fully overcome the economic and financial crisis and boost economic growth. These presidencies argue that open and fair trade and strategic partnerships with major economies are fundamental to stimulate economic growth, competitiveness, and increase employment. Thus, the EU will aim to pursue and complete bilateral trade and investment negotiations with the United States, Canada, Japan, and India, as well as emerging economies.(InsideTrade)
EU-US Trade Deal must have National Approval, say MPs National deputies within the EU have argued that the landmark trade agreements between the EU and the US should be approved by national parliaments before being enacted into law. This moves illustrates the wariness of many lawmakers about the powers bestowed on Brussels to negotiate trade deals on behalf of the member-states. While national ratifications would lead to a slower approval process, they would also add necessary democratic legitimacy and transparency to the process. (EUObserver)
TTIP won’t Let Big Banks Wriggle Out of Regulations, EU Negotiators Insist The European Commission strongly denies that it is using negotiations over TTIP to weaken financial regulation on either side of the Atlantic. Instead, however, the Commission is campaigning for increased transatlantic cooperation when crafting and designing new regulations. (InternationalBusinessTimes)
Key EU Portfolios Slipping out of Belgium’s Hands The delays in forming the Belgian government could result in a reduction of influence in the European Commission. Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said that it was in Belgium’s best interests to put someone forward as soon as possible, but there is no official timetable for any possible next steps. If Belgium fails to put forth a candidate for the Commission by September, they will have to accept a role of less influence than the vitally important Trade post they currently hold in the person of Karel De Gucht. (Euractiv)
Far from being a Threat to European Democracy, the EU-US Free Trade Deal is an Ideal Opportunity to Reform Controversial Investment Rules and Procedures
The article addresses recent criticism over the potential inclusion of ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ procedures in TTIP, refuting the critics’ argument that including the procedure would undermine democracy for both the EU and the US. Instead, the author argues that the TTIP negotiations offer a rare opportunity for progressive reform and that in fact, the status quo might prove to be a greater liability to democracy in the long term. (LSE)
TTIP and an Investor-State Dispute Settlement Clause
This study, commissioned by the Dutch government, elaborates on the impact and risks associated with including an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in TTIP for the Dutch government, industry and society. The study addresses concerns over ISDS by highlighting the costs and benefits which the inclusion of an ISDS chapter in TTIP may entail, concluding that ISDS should indeed be included in the agreement. Although the study focuses on the repercussions of the clause for the Dutch economy, it nevertheless gives a detailed overview of general risks and impacts for all countries involved. (AmCham Netherlands)
BNP Paribas’s Record Fine Highlights Double-Edged Sword for US
In his opinion piece, Geoff Dyer elaborates on the consequences of the recent record fine levied on BNP Paribas for evading sanctions, warning that despite its power to deter international banks from breaking the rules, an overuse of the procedure might have grave repercussions for the American economy. He calls on US regulators to keep in mind the importance of a strong position of the dollar in the global economy, especially at a time when emerging economies are increasingly seeking a greater role in the international financial system. (Financial Times)
US Economy: The Productivity Puzzle
The rise of modern civilization has rested on one trend: for each person to continually improve his own productivity with technological advancements. Output per head has increased by about 2% per year for the last 120 years, but has now slowed dramatically. As a result, the Federal Reserve is edging down forecasts for long-term interest rates. However, many optimists have faith in new discoveries, leading to expectations that growth will accelerate rather than decline. This question of productivity growth has huge consequences for the future of the global economy, as it affects everything from the rise of interest rates, peak interest rates, to the sustainability of US debt. (Financial Times)
The Great Transformation: Memo to the Incoming Presidents
European Union leadership has spent the last five years fighting acute crises, but the next five years will be no less difficult. The three central challenges incoming leaders will face are feeble economic conditions that are inhibiting job creation, the need to reform EU institutions and the EU budget, and facing up to the possible requirements of treaty change to put monetary union on a more stable footing. The EU overall needs to adapt by deepening the single market, improving governance, and solving the democratic questions the recent election of the Parliament and Commission President have raised. (Bruegel)
The Juncker Affair and the British Question The election of Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Commission has been seen as a crushing defeat for British PM David Cameron. Many euroskeptics in the UK have called out the prime minister for his failed attempt to block Juncker, as they fear this will reflect poorly on his chances for success in securing reforms to make EU policies more palatable to British views. (German Marshall Fund)
NATO Looking Forward: The Alliance in the Contested 21st Century with Anders Fogh Rasmussen – July 7 in Washington; 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 Facing a Revisionist Russia: a Discussion with Carl Bildt – July 8 in Washington; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Stakeholder events Round, Brussels – July 16 in Brussels- During the sixth round of TTIP negotiations, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission will organize two stakeholder engagement events. 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 Bridging the Pacific: Why Now – July 23 in Washington; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More details forthcoming.