TTIP Action – September 9
Juncker ResizedThe European Commission is back from its summer break, with European Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker providing his first State of the Union address on September 9. 

This Week’s Trade Highlights

Both sides of the Atlantic are back in session- both with a packed to-do list. On the US side, trade enthusiasts are hoping for new impetus to finish the Trans-Pacific Partnership, look forward to a high-level visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of September, and await the fate of the US Export-Import Bank and customs legislation.

Meanwhile, the fourth round of trilateral talks on the EU-Ukraine Trade Agreement concluded earlier this week in Brussels, followed by the European Parliament passing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement today. In his State of the Union address earlier today, Commission President Juncker gave an outlook over the opportunities and challenges facing the European Union this year, re-emphasizing the Commission’s commitment to concluding an ambitious trade deal with the United States. 

And what about TTIP? TTIP negotiations will continue this fall, with politicians on both sides of the Atlantic hoping for a timely conclusion of the deal by the end of 2016. US Trade Representative Michael Froman and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström are expected to meet in late September to “talk TTIP”, followed by an 11th round of negotiations in Miami in October and a possible 12th round in December. 

Speeches and Official Announcements

State of the Union 2015: Time for Honesty, Unity and Solidarity

“I am in favor of the TTIP treaty but I am not in favor of giving up standards, European principles.” I am in favor of a maximum of transparency but I am against developing public negotiation positions of the EU- we are weaker the more we are telling those we are negotiating with.  Negotiations have to be conducted in a serious way.”

Addressing the European Parliament in his “State of the Union 2015” on September 9th, European Commission President Juncker addressed the migration crisis, Greece’s economic difficulties, the Ukraine Crisis, and climate change, stressing the need for more unified action to address the issues facing the European Union. He also stressed the importance of TTIP and other economic reforms to promote a dynamic EU that benefits all its citizens. (European Commission)

To read more on the progress of the European Commission’s ten priorities, please click here.   

Increasing Transparency in TTIP Negotiations

“The Commission has always made all TTIP documents available to the national governments of the Member States and will continue to do so. Furthermore, we have published virtually all the EU’s negotiating positions and textual proposals. Anyone can see them – they are all on our website.” – Cecilia Malmström

In a blog post on the EU Commission’s website, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström laid out the steps the Commission has taken to make negotiations over TTIP as transparent as possible, publishing all of its proposals and negotiating positions on its website. Her blog entry is just one of many this summer, in reaction to the Wikileaks announcement of a remuneration for the leaking of allegedly “secret” TTIP documents. (European Commission


Ambassador O’Sullivan Says EU Standards Will be Maintained in TTIP

Speaking to the Irish Times, Ambassador of the EU to the US David O’Sullivan stressed that TTIP would be good for businesses while maintaining high regulatory standards. He also emphasized that TTIP would further boost US investment in Ireland, which is already a vital source of investment for the Irish economy. He also argued that the European Commission has made significant efforts to promote transparency in the negotiations and that much of the opposition to the deal is “scaremongering.” (European Delegation to the United States

EU Judges Will Not Address ISDS Legality

EU officials stated that they would not ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to address the legality of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP or other free trade agreements. While NGOs wary of ISDS have pushed the European Commission to ask the ECJ for an opinion, an EU official pointed out that because these trade agreements are negotiated with countries outside the EU, any tribunal would not be interpreting or undermining EU law and there would be no interference in EU law. (Euractiv)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

Potential Benefits to States and Congressional Districts from TTIP

Research assembled by the UK Foreign Office, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the Atlantic Council looks at the potential benefits to both states and congressional districts from TTIP. The research assesses which sectors in each state and district stand to gain significantly from TTIP as well as estimated gains in job and exports. (Government of the United Kingdom)

EU Disclosures Could Complicate TTIP Negotiations

The European Union, in an attempt to stem the persistent accusations of secrecy in the TTIP, has taken the highly unusual step of publishing its full negotiating proposals, a move that experts say could complicate the already precarious talks. This article argues that there are good reasons why negotiators keep consultations under close watch, as public rancor over the substance of a given proposal can critically weaken the negotiating position of a party. (Law360)

Trade Benefits Patients and TTIP Promises to Deliver

The author of this blog entry makes a strong case for how patients stand to benefit from TTIP. By creating greater regulatory compatibility between the United States and the European Union, TTIP would increase the efficiency of regulatory processes and allow for faster access to safe and innovative medicines, treatments, and cures whilst improving the environment for research and innovation. Finally, free trade and open markets generate competition, lower prices, and greater choice for the consumer.

Trade in Action

EU Parliament passes WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The EU Parliament voted in favor of the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the WTO today, September 9. The agreement is expected to ease customs regulations and procedures, providing more export opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. The agreement still needs to be ratified and implemented by a number of countries before it will go into effect.(European Commission)

Fourth Round of Trilateral Talks on EU-Ukraine Trade Agreement Conclude

Representatives from the EU, Ukraine, and Russia held trilateral talks on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in Brussels on September 7th to discuss continued disagreements over the details of the AA/DCFTA between the EU and Ukraine. All sides are aiming to come to an agreement by the end of this year prior to the agreement taking effect at the beginning of 2016. (European Commission)

USTR Froman: Getting Trade right

In an essay in Democracy, US trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman lays out a case for the TPP, TTIP, and other free trade agreements. Froman points to a legacy of trade agreements dating back to the Roosevelt Administration as evidence of trade’s central role in American prosperity. Employing the example of the TPP, he points out the significant consumer benefits to trade agreements and the way that new standards would establish norms and help undermine trafficking and trade in illegal products. (Democracy Journal)

Upcoming Events

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

TTIP: Opportunity or Danger for the Europeans? September 10 in Nice, France, hosted by the European Movement of the Alpes-Maritimes- More Information

WorldMatters: TTIP & You: Why the European Union is Important to Alaskans– September 10 in Achorage, Alaska, hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Council- More Information

The EU’s Role as an International Actor: TTIP & Beyond – September 11 in Achorage, Alaska, hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Council- More Information

EU Digital Single Market Conference – September 15 in Brussels, hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

Let’s Talk about TTIP– September 16 in Warsaw, hosted by the European Commission Representation in Poland – More Information 

Renminbi Internationalization in Volatile Markets– September 18 In Washington DC, hosted by the Atlantic Council- More Information 

Roundtable “Tiptoeing to the TTIP: What Kind of Agreement for What Kind of Partnership?”– September 18 in The Hague, Netherlands, hosted by the Asser Institute – More Information 

Trade for Sustainable Development Forum 2015 – October 1-2 in Geneva, hosted by the International Trade Centre – More information