EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström speaks last Friday about the Commission’s new sustainable development proposal for TTIP. (Photo Credit: European Commission Audiovisual Service)

The TTIP Timeline


The next round of negotiations will be at the beginning of 2016.
Photo Source: @EU_TTIP_Team

Speeches and Official Announcements

Malmström Lays out Commission’s Sustainable Development Provisions for TTIP

“We want to use trade agreements to set ambitious and binding standards, to address global challenges such as protecting the environment and labour rights in a globalised world.”Cecilia Malmström

In a blog post, Commissioner Malmström laid out the Commission’s plans to include strong labor and environmental protections in TTIP. The Commission has put forward proposals that would help combat illegal logging and fishing, as well as confront other transnational environmental issues. The post also emphasizes the collaboration on both sides to work with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to implement strong labor standards in an agreement. (European Commission)

Commission Proposes SME Committee

The European Union has put forward an initial proposal for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) chapter of TTIP that would establish a Committee on SME issues. The goal of the committee would be to work closely with SMEs to provide a forum for SMEs to engage with both parties, as well as helping them implement an agreement and find ways to increase trade and investment for SMEs. (European Commission)

EU Proposes an Article on Anti-Microbial Resistance within the SPS Chapter

The European Union also published another proposal to limit the use of antibiotics in animal production to help combat antibiotic resistance. The proposal would create a joint task force to share and help implement best practices in reducing antibiotic use in animal production while trying to harmonize animal production standards between the European Union and the United States. (European Commission)

Sizing up the Transatlantic Relationship

The EU Delegation to the United States has put out a fact sheet looking at the scale of the EU-US economic relationship as well as the many areas where the two sides have partnered to confront global challenges, such as the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, and more. The fact sheet emphasizes the massive scale of EU-US relations, with their combined GDP making up 46.1% of world GDP, and the need for continued transatlantic cooperation. (Delegation of the European Union to the United States)


EU Details Labor, Environmental Proposals for Transatlantic Trade Talks

On Friday, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström announced the Commission’s plan to ensure sustainable development is included in any TTIP agreement. The proposal comes in the wake of significant criticism from NGOs and protests in Europe, and is meant to allay concerns that TTIP would undermine labor, health, or environmental standards. The proposal is the first step towards a more concrete chapter on sustainable trade that could be included in a final agreement(Politico)

Another article from the Wall Street Journal also discusses the proposal and its effect on the pace of negotiations and the impact it may have on a final agreement. (Wall Street Journal)

Italian Farmers See TTIP as an Opportunity

While many Italian farmers remain skeptical of TTIP negotiations and their potential impact on geographical indications for their products, many also expressed cautious optimism about an agreement. The removal of some tariff and non-tariff barriers could be a significant boon to the Italian agricultural industry, and would significantly increase exports of certain agricultural products. (EurActiv)

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Recent Analysis

Fighting for Free Trade

In an interview, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo discussed TTIP and other trade issues. Regarding concerns about the impact of free trade, Azevêdo stated that “the advantages of free trade always add up to being greater than the disadvantages.” He also indicated that he does not believe that bilateral trade deals like TTIP have hurt efforts to complete the Doha Round, but also that more discussion is needed within the WTO to achieve larger, multilateral agreements. (Handelsblatt)

“Trade Is not just about Economics, but also Values”

In an op-ed for EurActiv, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström discussed the recently launched proposal for sustainable development in TTIP negotiations as well as the Commission’s “Trade for All” strategy. Malmström also emphasized the ability of trade and trade negotiations to enshrine values and uphold the already-high standards for labor and environmental protection in the United States and the European Union. (Euractiv)

Member of Parliament Marietje Schaake, from the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, further discusses the idea of values-based trade in a blog post. She argues that enshrining and enforcing high standards in TTIP helps spread those standards globally and that trade can promote values and goals for more sustainable growth. 

TTIP’s Impact on the UK Life Sciences Sector

A leaflet from British American Business looks at the significant benefits for the UK pharmaceutical sector from a TTIP agreement. The UK has Europe’s largest pharmaceutical sector, and would see even greater growth and employment from harmonizing regulations of new medicines and standardizing the approval process on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP could also help significantly increase transatlantic investment in the pharmaceutical industry, further improving development of new medicines and outcomes for patients. (British American Business)

Agriculture in TTIP: Tariffs, Tariff-Rate Quotas, and Non-Tariff Measures

TTIP aims to address several important barriers facing agricultural trade, including tariffs, tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), and non-tariff measures (NTMs). Estimated ad valorem tariff equivalents of tariffs/TRQs and NTMs currently in place are as high as 120 percent, significantly limiting trade between the two regions. This study uses model simulations to assess the effects of TTIP on agriculture. The results suggest an increase in transatlantic agricultural trade from TTIP, benefiting both regions. (United States Department of Agriculture)

TPP News

TPP Text Released by the White House

The White House released the final text of the Transpacific Partnership last week. The final agreement contains 30 chapters covering everything from intellectual property to the environment to small and medium-sized enterprises to labor. All of the agreement’s chapters, as well as additional appendixes and statements, can be found here.

The Washington Post has more on the deal, examining how the five most contentious issues in the negotiations turned out. (Washington Post)

A blog post from the Peterson Institute for International Economics looks at the implications of the currency manipulation statement added on to the final agreement. (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Ambassador Michael Froman: If We Don’t Write The Rules Of The Global Economy, Others Will

In a piece for GE Reports, US Trade Representative Froman writes about the importance of TPP in ensuring continued US leadership on shaping the rules of global trade. TPP provides an unprecedented opportunity for the United States to promote higher labor standards while expanding US exports and investment both in and from the United States. He points out that exports have been a critical part of the American economic recovery and TPP will help further increase their impact. (GE Reports)

TPP to Play a Large Role in Many 2016 Races

With an election year approaching, TPP will likely be a contentious issues in a number of campaigns. TPP has already been an issue in a number of states that are likely to have very close Senate and House races. This article breaks down races where TPP may be a major campaign issue. (Ames Tribune)

In a similar vein, an article from Politico looks at how the politics of the presidential campaign on both the right and the left are likely to make passage of the TPP more difficult. (Politico)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

United States Moves Towards Removing Sanctions on EU Firms doing Business with Cuba

The United States is moving towards removing extraterritorial sanctions that have significantly affected a number of European banks and other firms doing business in Cuba. The move comes as US relations with Cuba have improved significantly over the past year. The European Union is already Cuba’s second largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment, and removal of these sanctions would further increase EU economic relationships with Cuba. (EurActiv)

Economic Partnership with EU Vital for Nigeria’s Development 

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström gave a speech last week in Lagos at the EU-Nigeria Business Forum. Malmström emphasized the role an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union could have in helping Nigeria diversify its economy away from dependence on oil and gas. An agreement would help significantly reduce import costs of EU products to Nigeria, helping Nigerian businesses reduce costs and gain access to European markets. (European Commission

The text of Malmström’s speech can be read here.

Reduced Trade and Emerging Market Slowdown Hurting Global Growth

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published its twice-yearly Economic Outlook. While they project a steady increase in global growth over the next two years, much of that will depend on whether China and other emerging economies can rebalance in the face of slower growth. The report also pointed out concern over a continued decrease in global trade and investment that could also limit future growth. (OECD)

Upcoming Events

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

TTIP Citizens Dialogue – 
November 16, 2015 in Ingelheim, Germany, hosted by the Europa Union Germany- More Information 

High Level Conference “TTIP – What’s in it for the social partners?” – November 17, 2015 in Brussels, co-hosted by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee- More Information

TTIP. Facts. Assumptions. Arguments.– 25 November 2015 in Berlin, hosted by Handelsblatt and BDI-More Information (event page in German)

Impact of the TTIP on International Cooperation; Conclusions for New EU Member States – November 30, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland, hosted by the Warsaw School of Economics- More Info to follow

TTIP Citizens Dialogue with Trade Commissioner Malmström – December 3 in Berlin, hosted by the Europa Union Germany More Information 

Transatlantic Trade: Maximizing Regional Benefit- December 2-4 in Jacksonville, hosted by JAX Chamber and the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg– More Information