TTIP Action | May 21
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TPA cleared a major hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate today, with a 62-38 vote ending debate on the bill and moving it toward a final vote in the House.

Yesterday, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program bid farewell to the “founding father” of TTIP Action, Garrett Workman, Associate Director at the Global Business and Economics Program. While he will be greatly missed at the Council, team TTIP Action wishes him all the best for his new position and will continue to provide you with your biweekly fix of “everything TTIP”.

Speeches & Official Announcements

A Robust Trade Agenda to Help Move America Forward

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) has paved the way for the renewal of TPA. Last April, he introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, alongside Ranking Member Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan. The US Senate Committee has also put together a list of Chairman Hatch’s work on TPA in 2015. (US Senate Committee on Finance)

Standing Up for the Environment: Trade for a Greener World

” The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rules-based, and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards.” –

President Obama

The USTR and US Department of State published a report underlining the importance trade agreements have in terms of shaping an international response to the global environmental challenges the world currently faces. TPP would help protect one of the most ecologically and economically significant regions of the world while establishing tough environmental protections. TTIP offers an additional opportunity to raise the bar on environmental protection. With strong traditions and a shared commitment to environmental protection, the EU and US have a unique chance to tackle pressing environmental challenges together. (USTR)


Senate Votes to Give Obama Fast-Track Authority on Pacific Rim Trade Deal

On a vote of 62 to 38, TPA received just enough Democratic support to advance in the Senate today. The TPA bill is now more likely to pass the Senate, possibly over the weekend. TPA would then head for an uncertain fate in the House, where Democratic opposition is much fiercer. (Washington Post)

White House Threatens to Veto Trade Bill Over Currency Measure

Last Tuesday, the White House threatened to veto a crucial trade bill if it contains legislation with binding punishments for currency manipulation. Many supporters of TPP note that no other country in the world would agree to a trade agreement that is required to come back with a currency discipline that is enforceable through trade mechanisms. (Wall Street Journal)

Markel Defended TTIP in Meeting with NGOs ahead of G7 Summit

In preparation of the upcoming G7 summit in Germany on June 7, Chancellor Merkel met with representatives of NGOs. In addition to discussing the agenda of the upcoming summit, Merkel spoke out in favor of the finalization of TTIP. She warns to not present TTIP as the “devil of world trade” and rather suggests that TTIP is a means to promote high European standards. (Deutsche Welle)

Video | Brussels Briefing on Trade: All You Need to Know for May 18 – 31

On Thursday May 28, in Brussels, members of the International Trade Committee will be meeting to vote on the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Commission on the negotiations for TTIP. In the meantime, the monthly meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s Dispute Settlement Body will take place in Geneva on May 20th, and the Eastern Partnership Summit will meet in Riga on May 21. (ViEUws)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

US Trade Policy and US Political System: A Defining Moment

Former Clinton administration trade negotiator and ambassador, Ira Shapiro, notes that as the Senate moves forward to consider TPA legislation, a genuine and intense clash of opposing world views is transcending party lines and letting the American political system work the way it was supposed to. Nevertheless, Shapiro does note that were opponents of TPA, TPP, and TTIP were to prevail, it would stamp the US as unreliable and hypocritical trading partner, as well as a protectionist and isolationist country, unmistakably in retreat. (The Hill)

A New Era for Transatlantic Trade

The Confederation of British Industry points out five reasons to support TTIP in their new infographic. Not only would it present big opportunities for SMEs and more choice and lower prices for consumers, but it would also bring about less red tape and customs bureaucracy. Finally, it would also allow the UK’s world-leading service companies to have a bigger footprint and promote higher investment creating new jobs. (CBI)

TTIP: EU Must Be Strategic in Determining Priorities

The European Parliament’s ALDE group shadow rapporteur on TTIP, Marietje Schaake, notes that while Parliament has secured a number of victories in the TTIP negotiations, many key issues are still to be discussed. In order to reap the economic and geopolitical rewards of increased cooperation with the US, while safeguarding the European standards, these issues require an informed debate and careful consideration of the options that are available. (The Parliament Magazine)

Fact-checking the Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama Trade Fight

PolitiFact’s Lauren Carroll digs into the substance of President Obama and Senator Warren’s arguments to see if Dodd-Frank is really in danger because of the current trade debate.Senator Warren is worried that the if fast-track passes, a Republican president could use a future trade deal to override domestic financial rules. But even if a new administration thinks trade negotiations are the appropriate avenue for dismissing financial regulations, it might not be so simple to get all parties to agree. As Atlantic Council senior fellow and Georgetown University law professor Chris Brummer notes, some regulations in Europe “are more stringent than those adopted by the United States in the financial crisis.” (PolitiFact)

TPP? TTIP? Key Trade Deal Terms Explained

The Brookings Institution put together a summary of terms, ideas, and research on trade in order to help readers understand current trade negotiations, as well as controversies surrounding trade deals domestically. They explain TPP, TPA, and TTIP, as well as other agreements and area currently getting less media attention, such as RCEP, FTAAP, and AGOA. (Brookings Institution)

Upcoming Events

TTIP and Health Stakeholder Meeting – May 27 in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission – More Information

The Digital Single Market: Implications for the Transatlantic Relationship with European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip – May 28 in Washington, DC, hosted by the Brookings Institution – More Information

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

Public Hearing | Can TTIP Be a Tool to Foster the Internationalisation of European SMEs? – May 29 in Brussels, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee – More Information