From December 8-11, Ambassador Froman will travel to the United Kingdom and Belgium for meetings on TTIP. He will meet with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström for an informal meeting ahead of the next round of TTIP negotiations in early 2016. (Photo Credit: European Commission Audiovisual Service)

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TTIP Graphic of the Week

A deal so secretive that nobody knows it’s the most open & transparent trade negotiation to date!

             ttip action dec 10

                                            Source: EU_TTIP_Team
In the context of their strategy to increase transparency of trade negotiations, the European Commission has “translated” TTIP to explain what it is really about- and what it is not about! Download your free copy here.

Speeches and Official Announcements

Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman to Chatham House

“Both for the economic and for the geostrategic rationale, it’s very important that we move this project forward and we get it done. If we’re going to get it done in this window of opportunity, we need to see accelerated progress.” – Mike Froman

US Trade Representative Mike Froman stopped in London on his way to meetings in Brussels with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to give a talk on TTIP at the London based think tank Chatham House. In his speech, he stresses the importance of TTIP for both Europe and the United States for geostrategic as well as economic considerations and urges to speed up the negotiations if an agreement is to be reached before the Obama administration leaves office. (Office of the United States Trade Representative)

Malmström Speaks in Berlin on the Need for Liberal Voices in Trade Debates

“It is possible to have an effective open trade policy that also safeguards democracy and is in line with European values.”- Cecilia Malmström

Last week, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke in Berlin on the need for liberal voices to join the trade debate. She stressed the Commission’s efforts to address concerns from the public about transparency and regulation in negotiating TTIP and other trade agreements while maintaining a commitment to liberal principles. (European Commission)

To underline the Commission’s efforts in transparency and commitment to liberal principles, see this news archive, where all of the Commission’s announcements and proposals for trade policies are listed.

A Conversation with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström

“I appreciate the fact that so many people are interested in trade policy and that they have concerns. We listen and we try to engage to show them the facts about TTIP. But indeed, some misconceptions still prevail in public debate.” – Cecilia Malmström

The editing team of Emerging-Europe.com recently interviewed Commissioner Malmström about transparency in TTIP negotiations, misconceptions and fallacies she comes across when discussing TTIP with various stake holders, benefits and challenges, investment regulation in TTIP, and a tentative timeline for the conclusion of an agreement. According to Commissioner Malmström, an agreement can still be reached with the Obama administration, if both sides are ready to fully engage in all areas of the negotiations.(Emerging-Europe)


Agriculture Secretary: Geographic Protection ‘not an easy issue’ in TTIP

In an interview with EurActiv, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discussed the COP21 Summit as well as agricultural issues in trade agreements, especially TTIP. While coming to an agreement on agricultural exports and geographical indications will be one of the most difficult parts of the negotiations, Secretary Vilsack stressed his belief that TTIP could benefit agricultural exports for farmers on both sides of the Atlantic while providing more choice to consumers. (EurActiv)

Commissioner Malmström: TTIP Could Follow Vietnam Model

While in Germany last week, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström pointed to the recent trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam as a potential model for TTIP and an example of the Commission’s commitment to transparency and ensuring free trade benefits everyone. The agreement with Vietnam incorporated the Commission’s new Investment Court System as well strong labor protections that the Commission would also like to include in TTIP. (EurActiv)

TTIP Action Partners

Rigoni di Asiago, a century old family-owned company from Italy, produces delicious, organically farmed and GMO free jams, honeys and chocolate spreads. A family business that, with time, has become an international brand, Rigoni di Asiago is inspired by traditional recipes and supported by continual research and innovation, to achieve the finest and tastiest products that are both good for the consumer and respect nature.

Marsilli is a global manufacturing solutions provider of coil/motor winding and assembly systems for the automotive, appliance, industrial, consumer, and RFID electronics industries.

Recent Analysis

Ambassador David O’Sullivan: Responding to TTIP Criticisms

Responding to a critical contribution on TTIP, EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan posts a very informative letter on the YoungEuropeansNetworks’ website. In his letter, he addresses various concerns citizens have voiced with regards to TTIP, including economic concerns, myths concerning the Investor State Dispute Settlement, claims of secrecy of the negotiations, and misperceptions concerning an alleged lowering of European standards through TTIP. He concludes by saying that “Europe invented trade and will succeed or fail through our ability to remain competitive in a globalized economy.” (YoungEuropeansNetwork)

Economic Implications of TTIP for Sweden and Other Major Actors 

A new paper from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise looks at the potential for TTIP to enhance trade and investment flows between the European Union and the United States, as well as its potential impact on Sweden. The paper also provides an overview of studies that have been published about TTIP concluding that TTIP will have a positive impact on transatlantic trade, jobs, and growth. (Confederation of Swedish Enterprise)

A French Perspective on TTIP’s Benefits

Hervé Guyader writes for GenerationLibre, a French think-tank chaired by Gaspard Koenig, on the importance of TTIP. He argues that TTIP is an economic necessity as it would significantly benefit SMEs and support exports. He also highlights the level transparency in the negotiations under EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström as a sign of the agreement’s benefits for all. Looking at France’s involvement in the negotiations, he concludes that French actors must be more involved to add to the debate and ensure that the French opinion is included in the agreement. (GenerationLibre)

How TTIP Could Become a Game-Changer for Small and Medium Enterprises

A piece for the Atlantic Community puts forward three points about the impact of TTIP on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): Maintaining simple rules of origin, harmonizing customs processes, and continuing to increase the dialogue between the European Union and the United States with SMEs will all ensure that TTIP benefits SMEs significantly. (Atlantic Community)

For more on TTIP’s potential benefits for SMEs, check out this Atlantic Council report, “TTIP: Big Opportunities for Small Business.”

TPP News & Analysis

Advisory Committees Release Reports on TPP

Last week, the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations submitted its report endorsing the TPP. The committee oversaw reports from 27 different advisory committees for different industries and interest groups, including groups reporting on pharmaceuticals, labor issues, agricultural products, and more. While some committees dissented from the majority, most of the reports concluded that the TPP would be beneficial to the United States. (Office of the United States Trade Representative)

Why Indonesia Joining the TPP Would Be a Good Thing 

Indonesia has expressed interest in joining the TPP, with President Widodo declaring Indonesia’s intention to join in October. Todd Williamson, a Robert Bosch Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, argues that Indonesia’s support- along with support from other potential members like the Philippines- is critical because it will help demonstrate the importance of and support for the TPP to the next US President. (The Diplomat)

The Nexus of Development and Trade in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

A piece for the US Global Leadership Coalition looks at the various chapters in TPP that address development, as well as capacity building and standards to promote transparency and better governance. The TPP is the first trade agreement to include a chapter on development, helping commit the TPP countries and their trade policies to ensuring sustainable development. (US Global Leadership Coalition)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Brussels Briefing on Trade – All You Need to Know for December 2015 

If you want to know what trade issues are still on the agenda for 2015, the news outlet VieEUws provides a great overview in their video, with a breakdown of news and upcoming negotiations on trade in the European Union. (Vieuws)

Cecilia Malmström in Amsterdam to Push for Better Labor, Environmental Conditions in Global Supply Chains 

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke in Amsterdam earlier this week on the Commission’s efforts to ensure that goods entering the European Union and ethically-sourced and fairly traded. She emphasized the Commission’s work alongside other international organizations, while also stressing that more must be done to uphold labor rights and environmental protection throughout the world. (European Commission)

Check out Commissioner Malmström’s speech on global supply chains here

The Challenges of Trade Negotiations in the 21st Century

Richard Rousseau, an Associate Professor at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, argues that trade negotiations have become increasingly complex. Additionally, the WTO has grown significantly larger, limiting its ability to reach consensus on all but a few issues. In this context, trade agreements have shifted to the bilateral and regional level, where significant progress has continued, but negotiations have become much more complex. The authors sees potential for the WTO to revitalize itself and regain importance if it can create more flexible agreements and treaties. (Diplomatic Courier)

Upcoming Events

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

The Precautionary Principle in TTIP: Trade Barrier or Essential for Consumer Protection? January 26, 2016, hosted by the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in Brussels – More Information 

Opportunities and Potential of TTIP – February 29, 2016; hosted by thre Bavarian Trade Union in Passau, Germany – More Information 

The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations is scheduled for early 2016. Want to refresh your memory on what has been discussed in the 11th round of negotiations? Read the detailed report here or the final day remarks here.