TTIP Action | March 12

15434805127 136fb6934b z
Speeches & Official Announcements

Trade Deals Tear Down Barriers for American Small Businesses

“Once we pass TPA, other countries will put their best offers on the table. In other words, they’ll tear down even more barriers to American businesses and level the playing field even more.”

The Committee on Ways and Means writes that small businesses have the most to gain from tearing down trade barriers. Tariffs, quotas, and red tape are harder for smaller producers to overcome than for bigger firms. These barriers mean American job creators get bogged down trying to fill out piles of paperwork, or their goods get held up in maddeningly slow customs procedures. (Committee on Ways and Means)

Investor-State Dispute Settlement – What is ISDS?

“TPP will have state-of-the-art protections. It will recognize the inherent right to regulate and to preserve the flexibility of the TPP Parties to protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety, the environment, and the conservation of living or nonliving exhaustible natural resources.”

The Office of the USTR released a comprehensive Fact Sheet on Investor State Dispute Settlement, underlining that it is a neutral, international arbitration procedure. ISDS seeks to provide and impartial, law-based approach to resolve conflicts without creating state-to-state conflict, protect citizens abroad, and signal to potential investors that the rule of law will be respected. (Office of the USTR)

Job Creators Need Trade Deals to Protect US Intellectual Property

“Trade agreements will help the United States compete and maintain its leadership in the world economy. Passing trade promotion authority and the trade deals is a sure way to help California companies like ours continue to grow and employ more people here at home. Without it, our economic competitiveness is at stake.” – Garry Ridge, President and CEO of WD-40 Co.

The Committee on Ways and Means states that American job creators need fair and strong rules that hold people in other countries accountable when they violate intellectual property rights. The entire US economy relies on some form of IP, and merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries account for more than 60 percent of total US merchandise exports. If we don’t sign trade agreements, other countries can violate US intellectual property rights and rob US innovators. If the US does sign trade agreements with other countries, they agree to protect American intellectual property, so everyone must follow the rules. (Committee on Ways and Means)

Why the President’s Trade Agenda is an Integral Part of Our National Security Strategy

“If the United States leads, we ensure that outcomes support our strategic objectives and are consistent with long-term US interests such as innovation, transparency, and stakeholder involvement in decision making, and the protection of labor rights and the environment.”

After last week’s roundtable at the White House discussing the President’s trade agenda, it is clear that trade agreements and US commercial relationships have significant implications for US national security and foreign policy interests. The US wants the regional architecture for trade in strategic regions such as Asia to reflect US values and benefit US stakeholders. If the US does not take the lead, the risk of ceding leadership to other countries who do not share similar interests and values grows exponentially. (White House)


EU to Lift Ban on Importing Chicken from the US Which Has Been Washed in Controversial Acid Disinfectant

Following pressure from the American government and US chicken producers, the EU is set to lift a ban on imports of chicken from the US which are washed with peroxyacetic acid (PAA). The European Food Safety Authority has ruled that PAA is not toxic to humans, though many consumer groups have warned that shoppers are reticent to accept this practice. (DailyMail)

Make or Break for Vital Trade Agreement with United States: Andrew Robb

Australian Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, has declared that negotiations for TPP are on the cusp of being concluded and could be signed within weeks. Negotiators are poised to strike a ground-breaking deal with would bring huge economic benefits to Australia and mark a major strategic win for the US. Mr. Robb also confirmed that the draft agreement contains pioneering provisions to facilitate information flows, combat bribery, and constrain non-market behavior by state-owned enterprises. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Recent Analysis

US Trade Deficit Excluding Oil Hit a Record High. Here’s Why It Matters

The WSJ’s Ian Talley notes that the US’s trade deficit matters because it says a lot about the health of the US and its major trading partners. The share of total exports as a share of GDP has steadily grown. Export stagnation would undermine growth, one of the reasons the Fed is looking at growth trends abroad as it debates when to raise interest rates. (Wall Street Journal)

Achieving Regulatory Policy Objectives: An Overview and Comparison of US and EU Procedures

Susan Dudley and Kai Wegrich notes that the US and EU continue to have the strongest legal institutions and the least complex and costly regulatory processes on average. A successful TTIP depends on strengthening EU-US regulatory coherence, and reducing regulatory barriers to transatlantic trade and investment. Not only can poorly designed or conflicting regulations inhibit transatlantic trade and investment, but differences in regulatory policy and procedural approaches may continue to challenge economic partnerships between the EU and US. (The George Washington University)

Investor Protection in TTIP: ‘A Head-in-the-Sand Policy Achieves Nothing’

Foreign Trade Manager of the German Chemical Industry Association’s Brussels office, Reinhard Quick posits that while excluding investor protection from TTIP would be a mistake, a reform is required. According to Quick, an international investment tribunal should be set up to decide on conflicts between investor and states. This would resolve the deficiencies of bilateral investment treaties and give due regard to the citizen’s concerns. (EurActiv)

Congress Should OK Fast-Track Authority to Get a Better Trade Deal

The LA Times’ Editorial Board notes that fast-track laws accomplish three main things. They declare Congress’ goals for trade deals, require consultations with Capitol Hill during the negotiations, and set an expedited process for the legislation needed to implement a trade treaty. Considering that the US typically imposes higher standards on its manufacturers and charges lower tariffs on imported goods, it has more to gain from free-trade deals than its trading partners. Lawmakers need to put fast-track authority back in place now, before negotiators push away from the table on TPP. (LA Times)

TTIP: The New Trade Route to Prosperity

Kurt Kuehn, Chief Financial Officer for UPS, highlights the incredible opportunities that await of TTIP is enacted. As a company in the business of promoting global commerce, UPS sees the enormous benefits that would accrue from TTIP, as well as the cost of continued inaction. The cost of inaction is particularly steep for small- and medium-sized companies, for whom the sheer complexity of existing trade regulations is a formidable barrier to growing their exports. (EurActiv)

The Five Things You Need to Know about TTIP

Sam Bowman, from the Adam Smith Institute, underlines five things that demonstrate why TTIP is a good idea for the US and the EU. While abolishing tariffs is only a small part of TTIP, the biggest costs to trade are from the so-called ‘non-tariff barriers’, and getting rid of these could have a big effect. Moreover, the economic gains from TTIP could be fairly substantial, and the only regulations that TTIP will prevent are ones that discriminate against foreign firms. Finally, Bowman notes that ISDS mechanisms are nothing new, and simply allow firms to challenge states that renege on their part of the deal. (Adam Smith Institute)

Intellectual Property Rights in the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership

The Trans-Atlantic Business Council’s IPR Working Group promotes a strong IP system across the Atlantic and beyond. IP-intensive industries are linked to 35% of US GDP and nearly 30% of US employment. The EU is no less reliant on its many IP-based industries. As internet-enabled innovation increasingly drives productivity and growth to both sides of the Atlantic, the importance of IP creating new jobs and growing exports will only increase. (TABC)

Why Obama’s Key Trade Deal with Asia Would Actually Be Good for American Workers

David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson note that while China may not join TPP, the US still stands to win. TPP would promote trade in knowledge-intensive services in which US companies exert a strong comparative advantage. Killing TPP would do little to bring factory work back to America, and although China is not part of TPP, enacting the agreement would raise regulatory rules and standards for several of China’s key trading partners. That would pressure China to meet some of those standards and cease its attempts to game global trade to impede foreign multinational companies. (Washington Post)

Upcoming Events

A Fresh Start for TTIP: Strategies for Moving Forward with Commissioner Cecilia Malmström – March 12 in Brussels; hosted by Bruegel – More Information

Adelphi Launch: Power Shifts and New Blocs in the Global Trading System – March 12 in London; hosted by IISS – More Information

Maintaining Transatlantic Unity in a Complex World with Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister – March 12 in Washington, DC; hosted by CSIS – More Information

Atlantic Council Strategy Initiative Launch: America’s Role in the World – March 13 in Washington, DC; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

International Trade: A Conversation with Cecilia Malmström – March 16 in Gothenburg; hosted by the European Commission – More Information

AmCham EU, Annual Transatlantic Conference – March 19 in Brussels; hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union – More Information

2015 Global Supply Chain Summit – May 12 in Washington DC; hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce – More Information

The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations will take place in Washington the week of April 20