More than Just a Trade Agreement
I recently wrote a piece for US News and World Report arguing that peace and economic prosperity are inextricably linked. TTIP cannot be viewed as just another trade agreement. In fact, given all of the uncertainty from Russia and Ukraine to Iraq and Syria to Ebola, TTIP has only gained in geopolitical importance and relevance. The time must be now to bridge our differences and cement the transatlantic relationship for years to come — the consequences of failure are significant and should not be underestimated. (US News and World Report)

Speeches and Official Announcements

US Ambassador to the EU Speaks to the EU Committee of the Regions
“Nothing in TTIP will in any way limit the ability of our governments to regulate in the public interest or reduce the level of health, safety, labor, and environmental protections.”
At the 108th plenary session of the Committee of the Regions, Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and US Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Luzzatto Gardner met with local and regional trade leaders from the EU on October 8, to discuss the potential local and regional impact of TTIP. De Gucht and Gardner both addressed common misperceptions about regulation, investment protection, and standards in TTIP, asking the public “to focus on the real topics and have a frank debate in the perspective of the wider geopolitical context.” In light of emerging economic powers, they stress the importance of TTIP for maximizing influence through transatlantic cooperation and leading by example in a fast-changing global environment.
Read Ambassador Gardner’s full speech and Trade Commissioner de Gucht’s introduction to the event.
Watch a video of the 108th plenary session of the Committee of the Regions here.

Kerry, Foreign Secretary Hammond on US-UK Relations
“It’s important that we remember that our national security is dependent upon our economic security. We can’t have a strong defense without a strong economy underpinning it.”
Yesterday, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Secretary of State John Kerry met in Washington to discuss their nations’ shared history and values, and their long-standing cooperation on global issues. They discussed future cooperation in tackling threats as Ebola, ISIS, and the crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, but also stressed the importance of transatlantic economic cooperation and emphasized their mutual commitment to quickly concluding an ambitious TTIP agreement. Secretary Hammond then traveled to the Atlantic Council to discuss progress on TTIP with stakeholders.
Read their speeches in their entirety here.

European Council Declassifies the TTIP Negotiating Mandate
“I’m delighted EU governments have chosen today to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public – something I’ve been encouraging them to do for a long time. It further underlines our commitment to transparency as we pursue the negotiations.”
Following the European Council’s decision to publish the member-states’ negotiating directives for TTIP, outgoing Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht expressed his satisfaction with the decision. The publication of the mandate signifies incoming Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström’s efforts for increased transparency in TTIP negotiations, which has been one of her priorities in her hearing in front of the European Parliaments committee for trade at the end of September. (Europa)
You can read the mandate in its entirety here.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland Speaks at the Aspen Institute in Berlin
“TTIP is not primarily about the big guys. Microsoft knows how to work in Europe. Siemens knows how to work in Kansas. It is the medium and little guys who need the help that T-TIP can offer. If we do it right, TTIP will finally open the marketplace to those medium and small businesses who have found the American market or the European market too complicated and too daunting, and that’s what we have to do.”
During a recent visit to Berlin, Assistant Secretary Nuland highlighted the role that TTIP can play in making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to do business across the Atlantic. She also highlighted TTIP as a strategic opportunity to strength the transatlantic alliance at a critical moment in history as we face several geopolitical risks across the world. (US Department of State)


MEPs Reject Bratušek and Force Juncker Rethink
After failing to convince the European Parliament of her competence in a confirmation hearing on Monday, Alenka Bratušek, former Prime Minister of Slovenia, was rejected by the Parliament’s Environment and Energy committees as one of the new Vice Presidents of the new Juncker Commission. The search for a new Vice President could reshuffle the whole set-up of the Commission and a new candidate from Slovenia would first need approval by the Council of Ministers before appearing before the Parliament. (European Voice)

‘Plan B’ Needed for EU-US Trade Pact: Italian Minister
Carlo Calenda, Italy’s deputy industry minister, is concerned about the pace of progress of TTIP negotiations. In a meeting in Rome on Wednesday, he made the case for an interim agreement which would exclude issues that cannot be resolved quickly, if a comprehensive agreement is not reached by the middle of next year. However, both Calenda and Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht assured the audience they preferred a comprehensive agreement. (Reuters)

SMEs Charting Europe’s Path to Recovery
At the event of the assembly of European SMEs in Naples last week, the role of SMEs in reviving the growth of the European economy was discussed. A planned European Banking Union as well as the conclusion of both TTIP and TPP are aimed at increasing the number of entrepreneurs, decreasing unemployment, attracting investment, and ultimately bolstering the Eurozone’s economic recovery through an increased internationalization of European businesses. (Euro News)

Turkey Seeks a Fair Position within US-EU FTA
During talks about trade between the United States and Turkey with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker last Friday, Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi discussed Turkey’s position as TTIP talks progress. The minister insisted that in order to maintain its custom union agreement with the European Union, Turkey urgently needs to deepen trade relations with the United States, ideally through the conclusion of a free trade agreement. Otherwise, Turkish borders would be open to duty-free imports but would not enjoy the same reduction of tariffs when exporting to the US. (Daily Sabah)

China’s Leap forward: Overtaking the US as World’s Biggest Economy
New data collected by the International Monetary Fund has found that measured by purchasing power parity, China is expected to overtake the United States later this year as the world’s largest economy, restoring its economic status of 1870. However, when measured by GDP per capita, the US economy is still much richer than its Chinese counterpart. (Financial Times)

Recent Analysis

Judy Asks: Is TTIP Really a Strategic Issue?
In this excellent analysis, Judy Dempsey, editor in chief of Strategic Europe, a weekly blog from Carnegie Europe, asks several experts if TTIP really is a strategic issue. Ten experts provide excellent analysis, claiming that the conclusion of TTIP will be a strategic statement to the world: it will further transatlantic unity and enable the US and EU partners to set the global rules of the road in trade. The authors agree that TTIP is a values-based, rules-based strategic response to globalization, technological change, and the rise of emerging markets, and is “likely to strengthen Western economic, security, political, and social cohesion and confidence.” (Carnegie Europe)

De Gucht’s TTIP Legacy
This Euractiv piece considers the TTIP legacy of outgoing Commissioner Karel de Gucht, asking how Cecilia Malmström, the new Commissioner-designate for Trade, will handle stakeholders’ expectations, ease public concerns, and encourage a fruitful dialogue between the Commission and the European Parliament. In a panel debate last week in the framework of the European Movement International TTIP Summit event which ensued last week’s seventh round of TTIP negotiations, experts from both sides of the Atlantic met to discuss the issue of transparency and investment protection provisions, which are currently the main friction points in TTIP negotiations. (Euractiv)

New Trade Agreements Lead to More, and Better, Jobs
This article summarizes a Brookings Cafeteria podcast by Ambassador Miriam Sapiro who explains the importance of exports for the creation of jobs. Her podcast elaborates on misinformation about the effects that trade agreements such as TTIP and TPP have on jobs. Instead of eliminating positions, exports support economic growth and create jobs, “and they also support better paying jobs.” In her paper, “Why Trade Matters,” Sapiro finds that thanks to the NAFTA agreement, seven million US jobs were added in the seven years following its creation. In that light, the conclusion of TTIP could help recover from the financial crisis, spur growth, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. (Brookings)

Russia and US Politics Unsettle TTIP Talks
This excellent opinion piece elaborates on how political and strategic considerations currently influence on TTIP negotiations. According to Andrew Gardner, the prospect of mid-term elections in the United States, the start of the new European Commission in early November, recent difficulties in the trade talks between the United States and Japan, issues regarding the transparency of TTIP negotiations, and the crisis between Russia and the Ukraine currently impede the progress of the talks, limiting the seventh round of negotiations to a focus on regulation. (European Voice)

New Criticism of ISDS Obscures its Actual History
As a part of a current publication series of the Atlantic Community on TTIP, Oliver Wieck counters current criticism on the inclusion of ISDS procedures in TTIP. He claims that the procedure is included in many bilateral trade agreements and gives companies limited ability to counter only egregious government overreach. According to him, critics currently opposing its inclusion in TTIP should treat TTIP as an excellent forum to address concerns about current procedures, and see it as an opportunity to improve existing rules. (Atlantic Community)

Upcoming Events

The Next Stage of Eurozone Recovery: A Conversation with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem – October 10 in Washington DC; hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information

Transatlantic Free Trade: the Final Push? British, French and US Perspectives on a TTIP Agreement – October 13 in London; hosted by the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies – More Information

Friends of TTIP Breakfast Debate – October 15 in Brussels; hosted by Daniel Caspary MEP and Prof. Dr. Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl MEP – More Information

TTIP Town Hall – What does the Agreement Mean for Philadelphia? – October 22 in Philadelphia, PA; hosted by the Bertelsmann Foundation – More Information

Encouraging Transatlantic Startups – October 24 in London; hosted by The Global Innovation Forum and Level 39 – More Information

Launch of new Atlantic Council Publication: TTIP – Big Benefits for Small Companies – November 14 in Washington – More information forthcoming.