Read about the latest developments today in TTIP and the global economy below. 

Speeches and Official Announcements 

A Strong Transatlantic Bond for an Unpredictable World
On July 7, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave his final public speech in Washington at the Atlantic Council about the interplay between a healthy economy and a secure environment, describing the relationship between peace and prosperity as a “virtuous circle”. Economics and security are clearly deeply intertwined, exemplified by the transatlantic partnership. In times of increasing global competition, he sees TTIP as a unique opportunity to reinforce transatlantic ties and shared values, even as NATO moves forward into somewhat uncharted waters in the years ahead.
You can read his speech in its entirety here. Video and a summary of the event is available here.

Fresh Momentum for a Transatlantic Economic Partnership
European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht spoke in Berlin about TTIP as a future source of sustainable growth in Germany and Europe that cannot be ignored or taken for granted. He addresses the recurring public topics of transparency, investment protection, regulatory standards and trade in services.
Read his speech in its entirety here.

Merkel Urges Big Push on EU-US Free Trade Deal
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel made a strong plea on Thursday for the European Union and the United States to complete their negotiations towards a transatlantic free trade and investment area. “I feel totally committed to this deal and really want to implement it,” the chancellor told a conference of business supporters of her conservative CDU party in Berlin, refuting “false arguments” used by the deal’s critics. (Reuters)

Protecting Public Services in TTIP and other EU Trade Agreements
As the EU’s provides among the best public services in the world, the EU and European member-states are fully committed to protecting them in new trade agreements. This pamphlet by the European Commission elaborates on the three important guarantees for public services–encompassing regulation, monopolies and so-called “national treatment” protecting public goods like healthcare and education. (European Commission)


France Hits out at Dollar Dominance in International Transactions
France’s political and business establishment has rallied against the hegemony of the dollar in international transactions following the BNP Paribas fine of $9bn by US authorities. Michel Sapin, French finance minister, has called for a rebalancing of the currencies used for global payments. This issue is expected to be raised at meetings with fellow Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels this week. (Financial Times)

ECB Under Pressure to Tackle ‘Crazy’ Euro
Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to take action against a persistently strong Euro. These calls coincide with calls from the IMF and politicians in many Eurozone countries for the ECB to implement programs of quantitative easing. However, any explicit attempt to weaken the Euro is likely to be opposed in Germany due to persistent fears of inflation. (Financial Times)

Why the Export-Import Bank Matters
Countries don’t always play by the same rules when trading and financing exports, especially in countries where the government and large companies are often on the same team. This results in an uneven playing field, making it harder for US companies, especially small ones, to compete globally. In order to attempt to level the playing field, the Export-Import Bank was set up to finance export loans the private sector passed on. However, the bank’s charter expires at the end of September, and a fierce political debate is raging in Washington on whether its charter should be renewed. (CNN)

US Warns China over Tech Trade Deal
US Trade Representative Mike Froman has warned China that a proposed bilateral investment treaty, among other negotiations, could be in jeopardy should the two sides fail to resolve a stand-off over liberalizing the $2tn annual trade in high-tech products. China is pushing to exclude a number of products from the talks, while the US wants to protect intellectual property for its high-tech industries. Washington is eager to use this week’s US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to break the deadlock over this issue. (Financial Times)

China Faces Yuan on Yuan as US Decries Weak Currency
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Trade and Investment Policy Sharon Yuan is among the half-dozen US Treasury officials traveling to Beijing for talks with their Chinese counterparts this week. Her immediate task is to persuade the slow-moving and cautious Chinese government to allow greater market access for US businesses. Brookings analyst David Dollar argues that China still closes many markets to foreign investment, particularly in sectors such as the financial sector, media, and telecoms. (Bloomberg)

Political Risks Top Concerns for UK Company Finance Chiefs
Political risks ahead of next year’s UK general election and referendums on Scottish independence and EU membership are more of a concern than interest rate rises or housing price bubbles to the finance chiefs of Britain’s largest companies. The danger of policy changes and political uncertainty is leading to a relative dearth of confidence and investment. (Financial Times)

Main Parties Bid to Firm up Grand Coalition in the European Parliament
The grand coalition of the main center-right and center-left groups in the European Parliament is working on a coalition agreement in a bid to establish control over the work of the EU over the next five years. Leading MEPs from both the center-right EPP party and the center-left S&D are drafting coalition agreements in order to include specific policies, based on a model previously used within the German government. The Liberal ALDE party is also taking part, despite losing its status as the Parliament’s third-largest party. (European Voice)

TTIP Documents Could be Made Public after EU Court Ruling
EU documents relating to the EU-US trade deal could be made public after a European Court of Justice ruling on the July 3. This ruling was in relation to a case brought by Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in ’t Veld against the EU Council of Ministers over access to legal opinions on transfers of bank data to the US. While the case was about public access to financial documents, the ruling’s precedent sets rules on documents related to international activity, including TTIP. The Council will now have to give specific reasons to limit public access, though negotiating texts will be exempt from these new rules. (EurActiv)

Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks going on in Ottawa
Trade officials and small working groups from Canada and other Asia-Pacific nations are meeting this week in Ottawa to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership at a working-level technical meeting. Negotiating partners have set themselves a deadline of the end of this year to conclude a deal. (CBC News)

Recent Analysis

TTIP – Post Election, Bureaucratic, & Information Access Hurdles
In her opinion piece, Natasha Marie Levanti focuses on what’s changed for TTIP ahead of the next negotiating round following the recent European elections. She questions if the factors affecting the progress of TTIP are still the same as before the elections, and concludes that the changes in European leadership have brought about significant changes which are likely to result in more transparent negotiations but are also likely to delay the completion of the talks. (European Public Affairs)

Put American Foreign Policy Back on the Pitch
Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers writes in the Financial Times and makes a strong plea for more active American engagement in foreign economic policy. He places great importance on the reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank and elaborates on the interesting claim that ‘A failure to engage with global economic issues is a failure to mount a strong defense,’ in the face of accelerating global change. (Financial Times)

Employment Gains Accelerate in June
The article by Gary Burtless is a detailed summary of the recent developments in the US job market. He examines the reasons for the accelerating pace of job gains and gives a balanced insight into the composition of the jobs of the recent job growth, specifying positive as well as negative developments. (Brookings)

Improving Regulatory Coordination and Cooperation – A 21st Century Approach
Kenneth E. Bentsen argues that the commitment to improving regulatory coordination and cooperation after the 2009 Pittsburg G20 summit is now in jeopardy. He stresses the role of the IOSCO taskforce and suggests a shift away from the current “localized” approach, which fails to take account of the complexity and interconnectedness of the global markets, to a more outcomes-based approach achieved through the coordinated development of international standards. This development would provide for more oversight of global markets as well as transparency for financial market participants. (Regulation Asia)

After Bali: The Ways in Which Business must Push for Open Trade
The International Chamber of Commerce has adopted a plan to encourage increased trade liberalization as a result of the success seen in the WTO meeting in Bali, Indonesia, last December. The statement ICC World Trade Agenda post-Bali Business Priorities welcomes the renewed pursuit of global trade and investment beyond Doha. This includes further liberalization both regionally, within the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and through TTIP. (ICC)

In Search of a Leader to Mend Transatlantic Relationships
The article ponders on the importance of the need for a true leader to reinvigorate the transatlantic relationship. Edward Luce claims that there is a blatant lack of leadership from both European leaders as well as President Obama on long-term issues, and points at the ongoing frictions underlying the current transatlantic alliance. The conclusion of TTIP could underline and firmly demonstrate the much-needed unity of the West, but currently TTIP instead shows just how much the two powers disagree. (Financial Times)

Keep Calm and Carry on with the Spitzenkandidaten
Friend and Bertelsmann Foundation colleague Kara Sutton writes about the new nomination process for the European Commission President and highlights several critiques of the new procedure. She finds that the concerns about the transfer of power to the Parliament voiced by British Prime Minister David Cameron were justified and should be seen as a call for the revision of the so called “Spitzenkandidaten” (German for leading candidates) procedure, rather than scrapping it completely. (Bertelsmann Foundation)

The EU wants a Piece of America’s Fracking Boom
The Washington Post analyzes European motivations behind a recently leaked document which casts light on the pressure the EU is putting on the US to lift its longstanding ban on crude oil exports, insisting that the US should make a legally binding commitment to exporting energy. The main argument that the EU puts forward revolves around the instability sparked by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as many of the EU’s member states are highly dependent on Russian oil and gas and need to diversify. (Washington Post)

China begins to take great power role in world trade negotiations
The article addresses China’s role in the global economy, showing a gradual development from a very passive position to the adoption of a more active role in international trade negotiations. Regarding its increasing economic weight, the remaining question is how effective China can be at the negotiating table. In that light, it will be interesting to follow this week’s negotiations in Geneva, when China joins the US and the EU to debate on liberalizing trade in environmental goods. (Financial Times)

Upcoming Events

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 – Video of the conference is available here.

Regulating Moral Hazard – July 11-12 in Paris; the Atlantic Council’s Chris Brummer and co-editors of the Journal of Financial Regulation will be hosting the journal’s first annual conference. Event details can be found here.

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.