TTIP: Towards an Ambitious and Forward- Looking Partnership
The former chairman of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, Vital Moreira, looks at the potential benefits of TTIP for both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, using Portugal as a case in point. To him the success of an agreement of this impact rests largely on two factors: the willingness of political leaders to make the case for TTIP, and strong public support which is the base for the agreement’s democratic legitimacy. In this light, benefits should be explained, potential negative effects should be addressed, and all stakeholders need to be actively involved in an educated debate on the merits of the agreement. (Eurasia Review)

Speeches and Official Announcements

Statement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
“We remain committed, as we were when we launched these negotiations in June 2013, to build upon the strong foundation of our six decades of economic partnership to promote stronger, sustainable and balanced growth, to support the creation of more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and to increase our international competitiveness.”
On the margins of the G20 summit in Australia, the leaders of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain reaffirmed their commitment to a comprehensive and ambitious TTIP agreement. In their statement, they underline both the economic and strategic importance of the agreement, emphasizing their common principles, values, and high esteem for transparency. (European Council)

Remarks by President Obama at the University of Queensland
“We’ll keep leading the effort to realize the Trans-Pacific Partnership to lower barriers, open markets, export goods, and create good jobs for our people. But with the 12 countries of the TPP making up nearly 40 percent of the global economy, this is also about something bigger. It is our chance to put in place new, high standards for trade in the 21st century that uphold our values.”
While in Australia for the G20, President Obama spoke at the University of Queensland about US leadership in the Asia-Pacific, and the special bond between the United States and Australia. President Obama stressed the importance of open markets where trade is fair and free, and made a commitment to these and other shared values with regards to future US engagement in the region. He also underlined the commitment of his administration to finalizing TPP as soon as possible. (White House)

TTIP and Consumers: The Good (without the Bad or the Ugly)
“Two core principles are already clear to me. First, we can and we must negotiate an agreement that responds to European consumers’ needs and concerns. It cannot be bad or ugly. And second, we can only do that if we work cooperatively with all the different political forces and civil society organisations across our continent, and with our partners on the other side of the Atlantic. The Commission has a role to play in that. We must be more open to genuine two-way discussion. And we must be more transparent about the negotiations themselves.”
Earlier today, new EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström joined a public debate focused on the key issues for consumers: food, medicines, and public services, and how to best incorporate consumer rights in TTIP. She stressed that in order to give consumers what they need from the economy, an ambitious TTIP agreement needs to be concluded in cooperation with the public. She warned that in light of today’s challenges, the transatlantic community cannot risk standing still and she sees TTIP as a response to our common economic and strategic challenges. (European Commission)

Global Trade Increasingly Obstructed, EU Report Says
“I regret to see that many countries still consider protectionism a valid policy tool. This goes clearly against the G20’s commitment to abstain from imposing trade restrictions and to remove existing ones. Protectionism damages global value chains; trade openness is what we need if we are to keep the recovery going, especially in times of global economic and political instability.” (Cecilia Malmström)
The European Commission recently published its 11th annual report on protectionism covering 31 of the EU’s main partner trading countries. It found that the tendencies to impose trade-restricting measures remains strong, which leads to continuous uncertainty in the world economy. The report as well as the G20 summit showed that the fight against protectionism is a core priority of the G20, and makes the conclusion of trade agreements like TPP and TTIP all the more important. More importantly, it highlights trade-restrictive measures are still being implemented at the US state level in terms of public procurement. (European Commission)
Read the full report on potentially trade-restrictive measures here.

Angela Merkel: The World is not Waiting for Europe
“The world is not waiting for Europe, but it must act when it comes to free trade.” (Original statement in German)
Free trade was among the many topics at the G20 Brisbane summit. Speaking at a news conference following the G20 summit in Brisbane, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to numerous bilateral trade agreements recently concluded, like the one between Australia and China. In this light, the chancellor warns both her European and American partners that they urgently need to conclude TTIP, as other global actors are not standing still. (German Federal Government) – Official document in German
Euractiv offers a concise analysis of her speech underlining her call to action on TTIP.

Speech by President Herman Van Rompuy at the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
“Important negotiations on [European] free trade agreements (FTAs) have been launched with Japan, India, Vietnam, Thailand and others. 10 negotiations have been concluded since 2009. We have also launched specific investment negotiations with China and with Myanmar. And we took the unprecedented step to start negotiations with the United States of America on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A successful outcome would represent a major boost not only for transatlantic commerce, but for the world at large. “
During his visit in Singapore, European Council President Herman van Rompuy held a speech at the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, focusing on five major points: current EU-Singapore relations, the broader context of EU-Asia relations, future cooperation between the European and Asian economies, challenges that the world economy is currently facing, and reflection points gained from his time as European Council President. In light of strengthening both US and EU economies, and the world economy, President van Rompuy stressed the importance of the conclusion of TTIP. (European Council)


French Government will not sign TTIP Agreement in 2015
Matthias Fekl, France’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, insisted that France will not support the inclusion of the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism in TTIP. He stressed that “we have to preserve the right of the state to set and apply its own standards, to maintain the impartiality of the justice system and to allow the people of France, and the world, to assert their values.” However, removing ISDS from the negotiations would be the wrong signal, and would open the way for the removal of other chapters. It is also important for member-states not to take positions on chapters of the agreement that have not yet even been discussed, like investor protection. (Euractiv)

TTIP: Cameron Pledges Support for European Union- United States Trade Deal
Speaking at the G20 summit in Brisbane, UK Prime Minister Cameron said that the arguments against TTIP are weak and fears and rumors concerning the NHS, consumer standards, and ISDS were “nonsense”. He insisted that TTIP is important to the United Kingdom and promised to put “rocket boosters” behind the plans for an ambitious transatlantic trade agreement. (BBC)
To get more insight into the discussion of TTIP as a key part of the future for the United Kingdom and transatlantic growth, I would recommend this excellent article that Cameron penned for The Guardian about the future of the global economy.

Businesses Voice Support for TTIP
Business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have recently spoken out in favor of the conclusion of TTIP. The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) spoke out specifically to counter the prominent criticism surrounding TTIP, insisting that its conclusion will have a major positive impact on the day-to day business of small and medium sized enterprises. (German Missions in the United States)

Recent Analysis

Germany’s Pivotal Role on the Way to TTIP
In his publication, Peter Sparding, transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, emphasizes Germany’s decisive role for the eventual success or failure of TTIP. He addresses the dichotomy of Germany being a leading global economy (focused on international trade), while its public is increasingly critical of TTIP. Given Germany’s influence as Europe’s largest economy, the author warns of the need to address this problem. If not, it could harm the EU’s image in Germany, the already strained transatlantic relationship, and complicate TTIP negotiations. (German Marshall Fund of the United States)

Tentative Hopes that Trade Could be an Area of Cross-Party Agreement
Following the Republican win in the recent midterm elections, this article calls for stronger public Presidential engagement on trade and TTIP in particular to win public and bipartisan support. Although the author anticipates major struggles between the President and the future Republican Congress, he is optimistic that Congress will pass Trade Promotion Authority in 2015, which would be a major step towards the conclusion of both TTIP and TPP. (European Voice)

TTIP is about Regulatory Coherence
This excellent column addresses the ambitiousness of TTIP negotiations, in that their largest success will not be the removal of tariffs but the increase in transatlantic regulatory coherence. The authors predict that a phasing-out of tariffs accompanied by a 25% cut in the trade restrictiveness of non-tariff measures would increase trade in goods and services between the two regions by 50%. This potential reward can only be achieved by making the regulatory systems on both sides of the Atlantic more cooperative and consistent, while avoiding undue interference with already existing national policies. (Vox)

Why Regulatory Harmonization Will not Equal Regulatory Erosion
In her interesting opinion piece, Dr. Claudia Schmucker, head of the Globalization and World Economy Program at the German Council of Foreign Relations, addresses the fears that TTIP might lead to an erosion of regulatory national standards. Instead, she asserts that making regulations more compatible does not mean that the lowest common denominator will prevail; rather, TTIP is an opportunity for negotiators and consumers to see where they differ unnecessarily, make regulations more compatible, and thereby provide higher global standards. (Atlantic Community)

Upcoming Events

Strategic Importance of Trade – November 18 in Washington DC with Ambassador Michael Froman; hosted by the Wilson Center – More Information

Enhancing TTIP: Reducing Regulatory Barriers – November 19-20 in Washington DC; hosted by The George Washington University along with the Atlantic Council, US Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council, and American Cleaning Institute – More Information

What Next for US Trade Policy? – November 20 in Washington DC; hosted by the Heritage Foundation – More Information

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: SMEs Perspective – December 2 in Sofia, Bulgaria; hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria – More Information

Invitation: What Can the United States and Europe still Expect of One Another? December 12-14 in Loccum, Germany; hosted by the Atlantic Community – More Information