TTIP Action | March 24

Speeches & Official Announcements

Malmström and Froman Discuss Way Forward with TTIP

“We have made considerable progress today on how to move further in our negotiations in the field of services, and how to move towards new offers before the tenth round. Both sides have shown a good understanding of each other’s sensitivities.” – Cecilia Malmström

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Michael Froman discussed current progress in TTIP negotiations as well as the agendas for the two upcoming negotiation rounds. They issued a joint statement discussing the important role of public services in the United States and the European Union. Malmström added that she was encouraged by the strong TTIP support shown by EU Heads of State and Government in the European Council. (Europa)

For the Joint Statement, please click here.

The Top 10 Myths About TTIP

“Europe faces big challenges. These include kick-starting our economy. Adapting to the rise of emerging econo mies outside Europe. Or maintaining our influence in the world. TTIP could help. At home, it could generate jobs and growth, cut prices when we shop and offer us more choice. And it would boost our influence in the world – by helping us to attract more investment, set high standards in global trade, and protect our values.” – Cecilia Malmström

The European Commission released a document highlighting the top ten myths about TTIP. By presenting each myth individually, the report presents the true facts as to what TTIP would really bring about in terms of standards, food safety, tariffs, government regulation, public services, cultural diversity, and many more topics. In fact, TTIP would uphold EU standards including food safety standards, while tightening up the existing system for settling disputes between foreign firms and governments. Moreover, TTIP will respect Europe’s distinctive and diverse cultural industries while fostering sustainable development. (Europa)

Senator Hatch Shares Tax Reform Vision at AAFA Summit

“Put simply, without TPA, our trading partners will not put their best offers on the table because they will have no guarantees that the agreement they sign will be the same one Congress considers.” – Senator Hatch

Speaking before the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s Executive Summit, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch addressed the nation’s trade agenda and other issues. He noted that without trade promotion, TPP and TTIP – which cover more than sixty percent of global trade – will never be finalized. He reinforced the importance of TPA to the Senate Finance Committee and his commitment to effectiveness and bipartisanship in order to craft the best possible bill. (Apparel)

Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2015

“Our strategic partners continue to maintain a variety of significant trade and investment barriers which are often difficult to tackle. In the current overall challenging context of economic uncertainty and considerable political tensions, there is a great risk that many of these barriers will persist and new barriers will be established, to the detriment of all.”

The EU’s Trade and Investment Barriers Report, presented last Thursday, notes that despite prospects of global recovery, trade and investment barriers persist. Many of the EU’s strategic partners (Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States) maintain a number of barriers that significantly hinder international trade and investment opportunities of EU companies. (European Commission)

Congressman Erik Paulsen Touts Benefits of Trade at Joint Economic Hearing

“There is no doubt that we need to establish fair and strong rules that hold other nations accountable for their unfair trade practices. We need to tear down these barriers that block our goods from foreign markets.” – Congressman Erik Paulsen

Congressman Erik Paulsen spoke last Thursday with Chairman Jason Furman of the Council of Economic Advisers on the Obama Administration’s efforts to engage Congress on trade issues at the most recent hearing of the Joint Economic Committee. Paulsen noted that 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States. Speaking on behalf of small and medium enterprises in his constituency, Paulsen noted the necessity to pass trade promotion authority in order to get the best possible trade agreement for the United States. (YouTube)

2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Off to a Roaring Start

“Today there are 550 million people in the middle class in Asia. That number will be 2.7 billion in fifteen years. The ability for our companies to be able to sell into the fastest-growing middle class market in the world is really critical.” – President Barack Obama

President Obama spoke to more than 1,200 investors and executives Monday, underlining his desire to boost FDI to strengthen his push for international trade partnerships and an overhaul of the US corporate tax system. The President also pledged progress with pending trade deals with Europe and Asia. The purpose of the summit is to make it “as simple and as attractive for you to set up shop here as possible,” President Obama stated. (White House)

For a statement by Vinai Tummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA, please click here.


EU-US Trade Deal: What Does Europe Have To Gain From It?

On March 18, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade convened representatives from the business sector, trade unions, and consumer and environmental organizations to discuss the potential benefits of a TTIP agreement. The EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstr ??m pointed out that especially SMEs could profit from the trade deal because it would significantly lower tariffs on export to the United States and harmonize regulations. Malmstr??m added that the TTIP agreement would benefit European consumers by pushing down prices and creating more choice between products. (EU Parliament)

The 12 Most Important Economic Charts of the Week

Quartz shows, amongst other things, that the mini rally of the oil prices has ended for now, while oil production in the United States continues to grow. Moreover, Euro zone deflation is improving slightly and unemployment in the United Kingdom maintains its positive downward trajectory. (Quartz)

Recent Analysis

Software Companies Make TPA Data Flow Appeal

The Software Alliance’s board of directors wrote a letter to congressional trade leaders in order to ensure that TPA legislation includes language guaranteeing the free flow of data across borders and rules against data localization. There are currently no prohibitions restricting cross-border data flows and data-localization. In order for the US to have a competitive advantage, they insist that TPA negotiators should focus on these specific barriers. (BSA|The Software Alliance)

TPA ‘Critical’ for Australian Farming

Australian Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb notes that Australian farming could be a significant beneficiary of TPP. Potential gains could be made from eliminating agricultural and non-agricultural tariffs and tariff-rate quotas, combined with potential gains from the new levels of market access with Korea, Japan, and China. “Given Australia’s reputation for ‘clean, green, and safe’ produce, we are extremely well placed to help meet increasing demand across the Asia-Pacific for premium quality food,” Minister Robb stated. (The Land)

America’s World Standing Hangs on Obama’s TPP Success

Keith Richburg notes that if TPP does not pass, the trade impacts would be minimal compared to the political repercussions for the United States. It is true that some countries, like Japan or China, would benefit from TPP failure economically, but TPP, he notes, is much more about national security than economics. It is to be the most visible component of Obama’s ‘pivot’ to Asia, and its failure would jeopardize America’s standing in the world, and Obama’s entire legacy. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Let Obama Close the TPP Deal

The editors at BloombergView note that letting TPP efforts collapse would be a great mistake and would damage the larger process of global economic integration. President Obama should be granted fast track negotiating authority to bring the talks to a conclusion and only when Congress sees the details should it decide whether it wants TPP or not. They note that letting TPP negotiating talks fold at this stage in the process would undermine US leadership. (BloombergView)

Upcoming Events

Select USA: Investment Summit – March 24 in Washington; hosted by the US Department of Commerce – More Information

TTIP Debate – March 26 in Nîmes, France; hosted by Maison de l’Europe – More Information

Trade and the Digital Economy: Opportunities for US-Japan Global Leadership – March 30 in Washington; hosted by the Brookings Institution – More Information

The Atlantic Summit on the Economy – April 23 in Washington; hosted by The Atlantic Live – More Information

2015 Global Supply Chain Summit – May 12 in Washington; 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.