Why Trade Matters

This great report is an excellent overview of the economic and strategic foundation of “an ambitious domestic and global trade agenda” for the United States, written by former Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro. The underlying rationale of the paper is that it is imperative for the United States to strengthen its economic alliances to ensure US economic security and international stability. The article extracts four maps from her paper, which illustrate current US trade agreements, TPP member-countries, TTIP member-countries, and potential total trade agreement partners. (Brookings)
Download the full paper which emphasizes the geopolitical and economic necessity of concluding robust and ambitious agreements across both the Pacific and Atlantic here.

Speeches and Official Announcements

September 3rd European Parliament International Trade Committee Hearing on TTIP
Carlo Calenda, Italian vice minister for Trade, spoke yesterday in Brussels at the International Trade Committee, presenting the European Council Presidency priorities in international trade for the remainder of the year. In order to for the European Union be a successful and competitive global economy in the future, it needs to conclude TTIP, which he regards as the most important agreement ever negotiated. He also called for more transparency in the talks to generate greater public support.
An overview of the Italian Presidency’s priorities is available here.
You can watch the hearing in its entirety here.

Ambassador Gardner’s Remarks before the EP’s Committee on International Trade
Ambassador Anthony Gardner, the US ambassador to the European Union, used his testimony yesterday to the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade to fight back against some popular TTIP myths and urged members of the committee to keep an open mind during the negotiation process. Gardner asserts that recent events in Ukraine and the continued sluggish recovery in Europe simply underline the need for a deeper transatlantic partnership, and specifically a successful and comprehensive TTIP agreement. Gardner warns that a failed TTIP agreement will allow the international economic agenda to be set by other countries that may not necessarily share transatlantic values. (US Mission to the EU)

Remarks by President Obama and President Ilves of Estonia in Joint Press Conference
President Obama and Estonian President Ilves held a joint press conference yesterday in Tallinn, covering the crisis in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, ISIS, and a host of other geopolitical concerns. Estonian President Ilves remarks that Estonia welcomes the opportunity to increase its trade and investment across the Atlantic, and reminded the audience that TTIP is a “crucial effort” for both the European Union and the United States. (White House)


UK Hits back at Transatlantic Trade Critics
Shawn Donnan and Brian Groom of the Financial Times report that current UK polls indicate critics of TTIP are having a negative impact on public opinion. Lord Livingston, the UK trade minister, is making a sustained case that the criticisms are unsupported and the UK is accusing skeptics of spreading misinformation. Lord Livingston also seeks to assuage public concerns, and asserts that TTIP would result in a household benefit of up to £400 per year and increase the economy overall by as much as £10bn each year. (Financial Times)

US Hopes to Reduce EU Gas Dependence on Russia
The Azeri Press Agency details the geopolitical importance of including energy trade in a future TTIP agreement. Europe heavily depends on Russian sources of energy and needs to diversify to new suppliers. At the same time, the United States now produces more natural gas than it consumes. A TTIP agreement that includes exporting gas from the United States to Europe, despite current logistical obstacles, would send a strong signal to Russia that Europe has options. (Azeri Press Agency)

Recent Analysis

To the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament
The Bruegel Institute has recently written a collection of short memos to the new leadership of the European Commission, providing an overview over the current state of affairs, and offering recommendations on how to proceed in the future. The authors stress three main challenges: the economic situation, reforming the functioning of the EU institutions while dealing with pressing external matters, and meeting the need for EU treaty change. Focusing mainly on economic matters, the authors suggest pro-growth policies, a deepening of the single market and increased global trade integration through trade agreements such as TTIP. (Bruegel)
A great piece outlining the specific recommendations for the Commissioner of Trade can be found here.

TTIP’s Geostrategic Implications
Professor Dan Hamilton’s paper focuses on the many geostrategic implications of TTIP. It concludes that next to the profound direct economic benefits, TTIP offers a great opportunity to have a vast, valuable geostrategic impact. Due to its ambitious goals, TTIP will be difficult to conclude, but it is more than worth the effort, it as it offers the unique opportunity to revitalize and strengthen a powerful, dynamic, and holistic transatlantic alliance which focuses on economics in addition to security. (Johns Hopkins SAIS)

US and European Publics Support a More Traditional Role for NATO
This German Marshall Fund blog discusses the change in public perception of the role of the NATO on both sides of the Atlantic. A large majority in both the US and the EU see NATO as a community of shared values, whose political purpose is more important than its military role–an attitude which dissuades NATO from engaging militarily outside of the North Atlantic. However, the author makes a strong case for a revival of the NATO as a military and security forum with an increased defense budget, as he believes that effective operations outside of Europe are crucial to NATO member-country’s long-term security. (German Marshall Fund)

France and Friends: Merkel Increasingly Isolated on Austerity
The article by the German newspaper Spiegel focuses on the question that has divided Europe since the onset of the Eurozone crisis: shall the focus be on austerity and structural reforms or on flexibility and economic stimulus? Or at least, what’s the right balance of austerity and reform? As President Hollande insists on more flexible terms of the stability and growth pact, he joins the club of Matteo Renzi and Jean-Claude Juncker who push for measures that spur growth, increasingly isolating Chancellor Merkel and her program of austerity and structural reforms. The article also sheds light on the ramifications of Hollande’s recent changes in government for France’s economic policy, its position in the European Union, and its relations with Germany. (Spiegel)

Trading French Reform for German Investment: A Win-Win for Berlin and the Eurozone
In his opinion piece, Peter Rashish talks about the psychological and economic effect that increased German government spending would have in both Germany and France. Contrary to recent public opinion, a different approach to rules about budget deficits would not only be beneficial to the rest of the Eurozone but also for Germany itself. The author thinks it is high time for a “grand bargain” between France and Germany: pro-growth reforms from Paris in exchange for either an easing the German debt break or at least increased government spending. (AICGS)

European Commission Top Jobs: The Runners and Riders
This article in the Financial Times discusses the possible outcomes of Juncker’s suggestions for the new EU leadership next week, taking account of the problems of gender imbalance and the big versus small member state divide. The most important change is said to be the creation of new, more powerful European Commission vice-presidential positions, which makes the outcome of next week’s appointments all the more crucial for EU economic leadership. The authors provide an overview over how the most important economic jobs might be distributed and the consequences this would have for the economic future of the Eurozone. (Financial Times)
Euractiv has also released a leaked version of the Juncker Commission, with Germany’s Günther Oettinger receiving the coveted role as Trade Commissioner after Chancellor Merkel had publicly requested. The full organization chart and analysis is available on Euractiv.

Call Putin’s Bluff – He will not Cut off Europe’s Gas
Former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza counters the wide held perception that the European Union could not survive the winter without Russian gas. He compares the situation to the Andersen’s tale of “the Emperor’s new clothes,” insinuating that it is high time for the members of the European Union to realize that Putin’s new gas deal with China merely served to intimidate European leaders to stop them from intervening in Ukraine. Russian gas exports are too dependent on the European Union to abandon it. Bryza suggests practical steps forward to counter future intimidation and concludes that there is no reason for the EU not to adopt tougher actions to stop Putin’s military advance in Ukraine. (Financial Times)

Jobs Supported by State Exports in 2013
This report by the US International Trade Administration provides an overview of each US state’s export data and offers interpretation of the results of 2013. It differentiates between national jobs supported by goods exports and jobs supported by goods exports from each of the 50 individual states. California, Texas, and New York predictably do quite well, along with other internationally-oriented states from the Northwest, South, and Midwest. (International Trade Administration)

Upcoming Events

Seventh Round of TTIP Negotiations – September 29 – October 3 in Washington DC – a political stock-taking between Ambassador Froman and Commissioner De Gucht will follow the talks on October 13.

The EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership-TTIP – September 8 in Copenhagen; hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce In Denmark – More Information

Resolving Cross-Border Internet Policy Conflicts – September 9 in Washington DC; hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – More Information

Discover Global Markets: Free Trade Agreement Countries – September 9 -10 in Detroit, MI, hosted by the US Commercial Service – More Information

Jobs and Economic Growth for Atlanta: How TTIP Will Help – September 10 in Atlanta, GA; hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

TTIP Road Show, Edinburgh, Scotland: The US-EU Trade Negotiations and the Coalition for Transatlantic Business – September 23 in Edinburgh, Scotland; hosted by British American Business – More Information

Breakfast Briefing on the European Banking Union – September 23 in New York, NY; hosted by the European-American Chamber of Commerce – More Information

Jobs and Economic Growth for Indianapolis: How TTIP Will Help – September 26 in Indianapolis; hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council – More Information

Launch of new Atlantic Council Publication: TTIP – Big Benefits for Small Companies – October 9 – More Information forthcoming