TTIP Action – June 18
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
delivered her State of the Nation Address this week ahead of the EU Summit, emphasizing the importance of TTIP and her intent on working closely with President Obama to resolve any outstanding issues.

This Week in a Nutshell

Just a few moments ago, the House narrowly passed Trade Promotion Authority (218-208), which now heads to the Senate. The renewed push does not include TAA. However, the House’s ability to reconsider the TAA vote was extended earlier this week up until July 30, the very last possible moment before the month-long August recess.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee exchanged views on the 116 amendments to the Parliament’s draft recommendations on TTIP and decided to hold an extraordinary meeting on 29 June in Brussels to decide whether the tabled amendments should be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole. Looking forward, next week will start with the European Trade Policy Day, followed by the EU summit of the European Council which will focus heavily on the financial state of Greece.

Speeches & Official Announcements

Weekly Address: Stand Up for American Workers and Pass TAA

“We’ve got to adapt to make sure America leads the way in this new century, just like we did in the last. Part of that means sparking new sources of growth and job creation that keep us on the cutting edge. And one big way to do that is through smart new trade agreements that level the playing field for our workers, open new markets for our businesses, and hold other countries to the kinds of high standards that Americans are proud to hold ourselves to here at home.” – President Obama
In his weekly address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to grow the American economy and to advancing the interests of American workers through high-standard trade agreements like TPP and TTIP. The President called on the House to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) along with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) without delay. (White House)

Statement by USTR Michael Froman on Trade Votes in the House of Representatives

“We now have within our reach an opportunity to shape tomorrow’s global economy. America doesn’t shrink from the task of leading to promote our values and interests abroad. I look forward to continuing the work with Democrats and Republicans to ensure that the trade bills currently before Congress are signed into law.” – Ambassador Froman
In a press release last week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman signaled progress on the administration’s trade agenda by highlighting the fact that bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress have voted-though not yet definitely in the House-in favor of TPA. He also flagged the importance of passing TAA alongside any fast-track bill. (USTR)


House Sends Trade Bill Back to Senate in Bid to Outflank Foes

Earlier today, the House approved a standalone bill to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in a vote of 218-208, sending the bill to the Senate, which is expected to take it up next week. In order to move the trade promotion measure forward, Republicans decided to tie Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to a relatively non-contentious trade preference bill related to Africa, which will be sent to the House for final passage in the coming weeks. (New York Times)

Chancellor Merkel’s State of the Nation Address ahead of EU Summit

Ahead of next week’s EU summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in a government declaration in front of the German Bundestag (lower house of the German Parliament) earlier today that the topic dominating the current EU agenda is the financial state of Greece. However, she also emphasized the importance of TTIP and her plan to cooperate with US President Obama to move quickly to resolve outstanding issues. (Handelsblatt) Original article in German

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

France’s Unexpected Role on the Way to a Reasonable and Balanced TTIP

In a policy paper issued by the German Marshall Fund, transatlantic fellow Guillaume Xavier-Bender recommends that the French government to drive the public debate on a more conciliatory and flexible agreement in order to dispel misperceptions surrounding TTIP, encourage fact-based discussions about the negotiations, clarify its own public messaging when it comes to politically sensitive chapters of the agreement, and at the same time build a leadership role in designing the future of trade and investment policy in Europe. (German Marshall Fund)

What the Failure of TTIP would Mean for Germany

In this very informative piece by Dorothea Siems of the renowned German trade magazine Die Welt, the author spells out the disastrous effects that the failure to find an agreement in TTIP would bring for Germany, a country whose economic well-being is heavily reliant on high exports and free trade. Despite showing understanding for the concerns of critics, she insists that the negotiators and especially the European Commission recently have been very keen on addressing them. She rather sees TTIP as a chance to continue Germany’s reputation as “export world champion”, setting global standards, and reforming ISDS. (Die Welt) Original article in German

Future of ISDS in TTIP and Beyond. Is Now the Time for Reform?

Attorneys at Romanian law firm Bulboaca & Asociatii SCA provide background on the public debate surrounding the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDs) and examine current trends and potential developments in this field. The authors argue that the ongoing debate should be used as an opportunity to reform ISDS in certain areas through TTIP and improve its public perception at the same time. While a consensus on reform is developing, the main stakeholders-businesses and governments-must take a clearer stand on how they hope ISDS will change in the future. (Lexology)

EU-US Negotiations On TTIP: A Survey Of Current Issues

In the lead-up to the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) meeting on June 29 and the next round of TTIP negotiations in July, the Parliament’s research service has provided a sector-by-sector analysis of the outstanding issues in negotiations, which include rules of origin, financial services, and public procurement. (EP Research Service)
To read a PDF of the report, click here.

TTIP: Why We Need to Talk More About Textiles Labeling and Car Safety

Emanuel Adam, Public Affairs & Policy Manager with BritishAmerican Business, writes that in order to generate more public support for TTIP, the business community must do a better job of illustrating the tangible benefits of the agreement, such as the common safety rules and labelling schemes that regulatory convergence promises to deliver and how it directly affects people and businesses in a positive way. (British American Business)

Trade in Action

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

TPA and TPP: At the End of the Road, or Just another Bend?

Jim Kolbe, senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, unpacks a few of the “myths and mysteries” surrounding TPA and the underlying agreements it seeks to launch-the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TTIP. In terms of moving TPA forward in the House, Kolbe believes that the most probable scenario is for the Senate to pass TPA without any worker retraining provisions (i.e. TAA).The Senate could pass TPA without any worker retraining provisions but pass a separate bill including them and send it over to the House for consideration. If the current window is not used, the United States will have forfeited its leadership role in a world of growing commercial ties. (German Marshall Fund)

Get to ‘Yes’ on Trade Promotion Authority

The editorial board of the StarTribune has come out in support of TPA, emphasizing the importance the continued US leadership on the global economic stage. Given the strategic and economic benefits that both TTIP and TPP promise to deliver, the stakes involved in passing TPA could not be clearer. TPA should be done, not for any politician’s legacy, but for America’s future prosperity and security. (StarTribune)

Upcoming Events

TTIP: Chances and Risks for Developing Countries – June 18, hosted by the German Development Institute – More Information

European Trade Policy Day – June 23 in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission – More Information

Roundtable on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – June 25 in Brussels, hosted by the European Ombudsman – More Information

Open for Business: What a Transatlantic Free Trade and Investment Agreement Means to the UK Food & Drink Sector – June 25 in Leicester (England), hosted by The BritishAmerican Business – More Information

Meeting of the TTIP Partnership Advisory Group – June 30 in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission- Find the meeting agenda here

UK National Road Shows – June to December in the United Kingdom, hosted by the British American Business – More Information

EU Digital Single Market Conference – July 16 in Washington, hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information