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 & Official Announcements
Congressman Devin Nunes’ Remarks on Trade Promotion Authority
At a recent hearing, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee underlined the importance of passing a Trade Promotion Authority bill. He argued that negotiating trade agreements without a strong Congressional mandate was giving countries across the negotiating tables leverage to exclude certain products from full tariff elimination and undermining US objectives. Read Congressman Nunes’ full statement here.
Google Sets up ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Form after EU Ruling
Google’s CEO Larry Page said that his will comply with the European Court of Justice’s ruling requiring the search engine giant to remove outdated information. The company’s intention is to balance the individual’s right to have “irrelevant” information removed from searches while also working to protect the public interest and free speech. Mr. Page warned that this ruling could potentially stifle innovation, especially for tech start-ups who could struggle to meet the new European requirements. (BBC)
Obama, in Warsaw, Pledges Solidarity with Eastern Europe
In his first stop on his European tour this week, President Obama announced that he would ask Congress for $1 billion to fund a “European reassurance initiative,” in the wake of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. The funds would boost the presence of American troops in Eastern Europe, send more American Navy ships to the Baltic and Black Seas, and provide more aid to other former Soviet Republics like Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. (New York Times)
France says BNP Paribas’ $10-Billion US Fine ‘Unreasonable’
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is concerned about the pending $10 billion case against BNP Paribas filed by the New York State Department of Financial Services, and said that the suit could affect ongoing TTIP talks. The French bank is accused of stripping out identifying information from wire transfers so they could pass through the US financial system without raising red flags. The French government argues that the fine was not proportional to the alleged crimes, and would have a significant negative impact on firms seeking loans from BNP Paribas. (Globe and Mail)
Tony Blair calls for ‘Manifesto’ to Reform EU
Tony Blair called on the European Council to draft a reform agenda to make to restore confidence in the European Union and “restore accountability” in European institutions. Mr. Blair also said that a British exit from the EU would negatively affect its standing on the world stage, and called on Prime Minister David Cameron to not only focus on national interests, but on improving the future of Europe. (Financial Times)
D-Day Warmth Belies Tensions in US-France Ties
Ahead of President Obama’s meeting with French President Hollande for the 70-year Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, the US and France increasingly find each other at odds over key issues. For example, the Obama Administration expressed disappointment at the French government’s refusal to cancel its deal to sell Mistral-class helicopter carriers to the Russian Navy. Tensions have only increased after today’s announcement of a $10billion fine against BNP Paribas. (Bloomberg)
Deal or No Deal? EU-Canada Trade Deal Falters at Final Hurdle
Reuters reports that the proposed EU-Canada deal has faltered at the last minute on a number of issues including on financial services and agricultural quotas. Given that EU Commission President Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Harper had announced six months ago that the agreement was a done deal, both Ottawa and Brussels are rushing to finalize everything to avoid further embarrassment. (Reuters)
Locked In or Left Out? Transatlantic Trade Beyond Brussels and Washington
Sinan Ülgen writes for Carnegie Europe that the United States and the European Union should take a number of steps to ensure that third party countries have the opportunity to eventually join a TTIP agreement. He argues that the EU and United States should include a specific provision for accession; TTIP should promote the principle of mutual recognition and streamlined rules of origin to allow for the integration of other regional preferential agreements; and form an international TTIP caucus to represent the interests of third countries to US and EU negotiators. (Carnegie Europe)
A Manifesto For European Change By Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair argues that while European Union institutions are in need of significant reform, EU leaders should remember that some reforms will take longer than others. The most pressing needs are job creation across Europe and sustainable economic growth. These should be addressed within the confines of existing European institutions and treaties as a first priority before leaders think seriously about treaty reform. Trade policy, and TTIP in particular, offer a clear path towards economic growth, where the gains can be realized quickly. (Project Syndicate)
The WTO Needs China to Lead
Former Congressman James Bacchus writes for the Wall Street Journal that given China’s economic clout in the global trading arena, it needs to do more to revive multilateral trade liberalization talks. China is certainly not solely to blame for the move away from the WTO to regional and bilateral preferential agreements, but when China excludes its products from the WTO Information Technology Agreement for example, it has serious spillover effects for the free flow of goods and services across the globe. (Wall Street Journal)
The New European Commission: Which President, And What Priorities?
Charles Grant of the Center for European Reform argues that the European Council should not bow to the European Parliament’s nomination of a candidate for European Commission president. He argues that the current top two candidates in the running, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, want to expand the European Union’s reach, but have no concrete plans as to how to improve the way it works. Moreover, very few European citizens are aware of the two spitzenkandidaten. Instead, the Council should pick a powerful voice that can unify Europe around a sustainable growth agenda. (Center for European Reform)
Benefits of EU-US Trade Deal ‘Substantial’
The Times of Malta notes that the United States does not wish to change the way the European Union performs its scientific assessments of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The point of TTIP is rather to find ways to bridge these differences in regulatory process, including the approval of GMOs. Moreover, bridging regulatory divides and removing tariffs between the world’s two largest economies will have significant benefits for consumers, companies, and workers. (Times of Malta)
Stakeholder Outreach – Update on TTIP’s 5th Negotiation Round – Today in Brussels – More Information
The European Elections and the Future of Europe -Today in Washington (also webcast) – More information
Wroclaw Global Forum – June 5-7 in Wroclaw, Poland (also webcast) – More information; EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht to speak on TTIP on Friday.
The Safe Harbor: Data Protection or Protectionism? – June 10 in Washington – More information
Global Trade: A Trade System for the 21st Century – June 9-10 in London – More information
Prospects of The Future Transatlantic Economic Relationship – June 8-13 in Ottawa, Ontario and Washington – More information
US-EU Legal Summit – June 16 in Brussels – More information; EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero will keynote.
Round 6 of TTIP Negotiations – July (dates TBD) in Brussels