The Importance of the Internet and Transatlantic Data Flows for US and EU Trade and Investment
In his most recent blog entry, Joshua Meltzer, fellow for global economy and development at Brookings, stresses the importance of data flows for transatlantic trade, and global investment. With regards to TTIP, he underlines that the transatlantic economic relationship is built upon and strengthened by the cross-border movement of data with cross-border data flows between the United States and Europe ranking the highest in the world. Hence, decisions of the United States and the European Union on cross data flows have the potential to have global implications. (Brookings)
Joshua Meltzer recently published an excellent paper on cross-data flows
On October 22, Brookings hosted a discussion on the importance of data flows for transatlantic trade. For the audio cast of the event, click here. If you want to read an excellent analysis of the event, I recommend the article by Mark MacCarthy of the Software and Information Industry Association.
Speeches and Official Announcements
Secretary of State John Kerry Meets with Angela Merkel in Berlin
“We hope that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership can move forward, because all of our countries can benefit from the economic stimulation and growth that will come from that,” said Secretary Kerry.
Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, Secretary of State John Kerry met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday, to talk about current crises like the ISIL threat, the Ukraine-Russia crisis and the spread of Ebola, but also about opportunities through economic cooperation in TTIP. With regards to both crises and opportunities alike, Angela Merkel made clear that “all of these can only be mastered by us if we act together, if we act in close partnership and coordination with our partners and friends in the United States of America.” (United States Department of State)
Read the full statements of Chancellor Merkel and Secretary Kerry here.
Deutsche Welle offers a great analysis of the meeting and its significance for transatlantic relations.
Setting Europe in Motion: President-elect Juncker’s Main Messages from His Speech at the Europe Parliament
“I am confident that – with your support – we can negotiate an ambitious trade agreement with the U.S. along these lines, with full respect of Europe interests and the rule of law.”
Ahead of the final vote on his new college of incoming commissioners on Wednesday, incoming Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker addressed concerns, which have been expressed during the hearings of the incoming Commissioners, as well as opportunities through a single digital market and TTIP. Juncker made clear that ISDS will only be included in TTIP if Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President in charge of the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, will agree to it. However, Juncker is convinced that an ambitious agreement can be reached, stressing that his speech is a “call to set Europe in motion again.” (European Commission)
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel Meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Jack Lew- Talks on TTIP
Vice President Joe Biden met with German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel yesterday at the White House to discuss US-German relations and to address common challenges such as ISIL, Ebola, and the Ukraine-Russia conflict. They underlined the strategic importance of the conclusion of TTIP for sustaining economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to this meeting, Secretary Jack Lew and Vice Chancellor Gabriel talked about the slowdown of global economic growth and Germany’s role in the revival of the Eurozone. (White House)
If you are interested in further information on the meeting of Vice President Joe Biden with German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, click here. – Original article in German
Deutsche Welle offers a concise analysis of the meeting between Secretary Jack Lew and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and their debate on Germany’s role in the revival of the Eurozone.
European Parliament Elects Juncker Commission
On October 22, the European Parliament accepted the new college of commissioners as suggested by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with 423 votes in favor, 209 against and 67 abstentions. In a final step, the European Council will formally appoint the European Commission, before it finally starts its term of office on November 1. (European Commission)
The European Voice offers an excellent overview and analysis of the changes in portfolio allocation that Juncker had to undertake for his Commission to be finally approved.
EU States Tell Juncker Not to Water Down Trade Deal
On Tuesday, 14 ministers of the European Union sent a letter to the Commission, insisting that the inclusion of ISDS was essential, and should not be excluded from the TTIP negotiations. Despite the letter, Juncker revoked incoming Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström’s exclusive control over ISDS, including incoming vice president Frans Timmermans in the process. (Financial Times)
TTIP: FedEx Chief Urges Faster Resolution Over Trade Deal to Boost UK Exports
In an interview with International Business Times UK, FedEx Chief David Binks made a strong case for the timely conclusion of a comprehensive TTIP deal in order to boost British exports, and facilitate transatlantic trade for small and medium enterprises. (International Business Times)
Tobacco Companies Could Lose Investment Protection Rights in Pacific Trade Deal
Tobacco companies might be excluded from the investor protection chapter in TPP negotiations. Negotiators on the American side have suggested that the tobacco industry should not be able to sue governments if they decide to include anti-smoking healthcare regulation in TPP. (International Business Times)
An American in Strasbourg: US Ambassador Woos MEPs on Trade Pact
On his first trip to Strasbourg, United States Ambassador Anthony Gardner met with several EU representatives of trade and foreign relations, to address the current debate on the conclusion of ISDS in TTIP. In that light, Ambassador Gardner points out that “what concerns me is not the state of negotiations, but the negativity that has crept in the public debate in Europe,” and explained his strong support for the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP. (EU Observer)
Mars vs. Mercury- Germany, America, and the Global Order
In his very interesting opinion piece, Dr. Stephen F. Szabo, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy, argues that the future of the liberal world will strongly depend on the leadership of Germany and the United States. According to Dr. Szabo, Germany and the United States represent two different models of power, a geo-economic model and a geo-strategic model. The author calls on the two countries to redefine their relationship to each other, with TTIP offering an excellent opportunity to deepen transatlantic ties. (American Institute for Contemporary German Studies)
Regulatory Cooperation Will Provide a Geopolitical Advantage
In his thought-provoking piece for the Atlantic Community, Kent Hughes talks about the geopolitical advantage that TTIP offers for the United States and the European Union. To him, there are three reasons for a comprehensive TTIP: improved market access with regulatory cooperation, the possibility of setting global trade and investment rules, and the deepening of the transatlantic relationship. With the recent rise of geopolitical crises, the author calls the strengthening of transatlantic ties a geostrategic necessity. (Atlantic Community)
Opinion: Transatlantic Trust Only Goes So Far
During US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Berlin for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this opinion piece by Deutsche Welle warns that US-German relations and transatlantic trust are still undermined by last year’s NSA scandal. With the current rise of geopolitical challenges, which make joint transatlantic action more important than ever, the author suggests that the European Union and the United States should use the anniversary to remember what can be achieved if the two governments work together. (Deutsche Welle)
Encouraging Transatlantic Startups – October 24 in London; hosted by The Global Innovation Forum and Level 39 – More Information
The ECB and the Future of Eurozone Bank Supervision – October 27 Conference Call; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information
TTIP Reloaded – Additional Insights & New Perspectives – October 29 in Rome; hosted by Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Bertelsmann Stiftung – More Information
Trade Promotion Authority: Do We Need a New Approach? – October 29 in Washington DC; hosted by the InformationTechnology and Innovation Foundation – More Information
The Geopolitics of TTIP: Repositioning the Transatlantic Relationship for a Changing World – October 31 in Washington DC; Hosted by the Center for Transatlantic Relations – More Information – Read the book online here
Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Reality Check – October 31 in Washington DC; hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies – More Information
Manchester Policy Week – TTIP: Cash Bonanza or Risky Deal? – November 4 in Manchester, United Kingdom; hosted by the Politics Department at the University of Manchester – More Information
Outreach – Update on TTIP After the Seventh Negotiation Round – November 4 in Brussels; hosted by the European Commission – More Information
TTIP Road Show, Bristol: The US-EU Trade Negotiations and the Coalition for Transatlantic Business – November 12, in Bristol, England; hosted by British American Business – More Information
8th Annual Transatlantic Business Conference – The Transatlantic Marketplace: Challenges and Opportunities Beyond 2014 – November 12, hosted by AmCham Germany, the F.A.Z.-Institut, the Trans-Atlantic Business Council, and the Federation of German Industries e.V – More Information
Launch of new Atlantic Council Publication: TTIP – Big Benefits for Small Business – November 14 in Washington and live-streamed online – More Information