The Leaders of the G20 met in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015 to determine further collective actions towards achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth globally. To read more about the G20, and the outcome of the recent meetings, click here

Speeches and Official Announcements

European Commission Releases Finalized Proposal for an Investment Court System

Last Thursday, the European Commission released a final proposal for a new investment court system. The proposal is intended to provide clear rules that protect the ability of member states to regulate while speeding up the dispute resolution process and making decisions more clear and transparent. The proposal would also create special protections for small and medium-sized enterprises, which tend to be more exposed to discrimination and have less means to defend their rights than other companies. (European Commission)

Read the full text of the proposal here.

Examining the Investment Chapters of the EU’s Trade Agreements

The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade recently released a study conducted to assess the strengths and weaknesses of investment dispute systems agreed to in past trade agreements. The study is meant to assess what areas the European Parliament would like the Commission to make progress in while negotiating the investment chapter of TTIP. The study primarily examines the recent CETA and EUSFTA agreements with Canada and Singapore, respectively. (European Parliament)

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on TTIP and Social Partners

When we think about social partnership, let’s not forget that European workers or entrepreneurs are also consumers and, moreover citizens. They want a protected environment and high quality public services as well as good jobs. They also want policies that affect them to be made in an open, transparent and democratic way.”—Cecilia Malmström

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström gave a speech yesterday at a conference in Brussels with trade unions and other social partners interested in TTIP. Malmström’s speech emphasized that TTIP would boost employment in export industries while enshrining core principles and labor rights. Additionally, she discussed the Commission’s efforts to enhance the European Globalization Adjustment Fund and to ensure that TTIP included a transparent, clear investment dispute process. (European Commission)


At G20, Singapore’s Prime Minister says TTIP, TPP ‘next best option’ to WTO 

Speaking at the G20 in Antalya, Turkey, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that progress on multilateral trade deals like TTIP and the TPP was the next best option to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as they increase trade and make progress towards greater trade liberalization and economic growth. He also emphasized that these regional trade deals should be seen as bolstering the multilateral trading system rather than threatening it.(Channel NewsAsia)

German Members of Parliament Call for Greater Access to TTIP Documents

Members of the German Bundestag, as well as others in the German government have complained recently that they have not been given enough access to documents related to TTIP negotiations. Despite these complaints, the European Commission Ombudsman recently closed a case, finding “no maladministration by the Commission” in providing access to negotiating texts. (EUObserver)

TTIP Action Partners

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Recent Analysis

TTIP’s Impact on Third-Party Countries

An analysis from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs examines the potential impact of TTIP on third-party countries, especially low-income countries. The report concludes that while some previous studies have suggested an overall negative impact of TTIP on low-income countries from trade diversion, the impacts are much more diverse, with many low-income countries actually gaining from clearer, more widespread standards and existing integration into global supply chains of European and US companies through TTIP. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands)

Providing a Transatlantic Voice for Britain

BritishAmerican Business published its first policy manifesto, highlighting the massive benefits to the United Kingdom of integration into the transatlantic economy. The manifesto puts forward a number of policy recommendations to strengthen the UK’s economic integration with the European Union and the United States. It calls for direct support to companies keen to expand their business, a commitment to maintaining and promoting an open and business-friendly international trade and investment climate, and continued strong support for an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP agreement. (BritishAmerican Business)

TPP News

Remarks by President Obama in Meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

“Today, we’re going to discuss the road ahead to ensure that TPP is enacted in each of our countries as swiftly as possible. Obviously, execution is critical after we have arrived at the text. ” – President Obama

Traveling from the G20 to the Philippines for the APEC summit, President Obama met with the leaders of the other TPP countries today in Manila for the first time since the agreement was concluded. Praising the commitment of all leaders who helped reach an agreement, President Obama opened the meeting that will decide on how to best execute the agreement in each country now that the leaders have agreed on a text. (The White House)

The Office of US Trade Representative’s Chief Transparency Officer Tim Reif released a statement explaining the path forward for TPP’s review and passage in Congress, which can be read here.

International Trade Commission Begins its Assessment of TPP’s Economic Impact

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) put out a release yesterday stating that it has begun its review of the economic impacts of the TPP. After the President notified Congress of his intent to sign the agreement on November 5th, the ITC set in motion its review and has 105 days from the day of the notification to complete and release to the public a report on TPP’s likely impacts. (United States International Trade Commission)

Editorial: A Trade Deal Worth Adopting

An editorial in the New Haven Register argues that the TPP is a great deal for the United States and will significantly lower barriers to export for US companies while also bringing the US closer to Japan, improving a critical trade and security relationship for the United States. The paper concludes that TPP will boost trade to the benefit of millions of people, and that many of the criticisms are looking for the TPP to address issues that a trade agreement cannot address. (New Haven Register)

In a similar vein, this piece in the Economist argues that while the benefits of the trade in services may be small in the short-term, the TPP deal provides a strong, long-term building block in boosting the trade in services, and that critics of the agreement are being short-sighted in addressing its benefits.

USTR Michael Froman Insists TPP Will Work

In a radio interview with NPR, US Trade Representative Michael Froman reiterated his support for the TPP, insisting that the deal would help the United States shape globalization and gain access to markets in many countries where US companies had previously faced high tariffs. He also discussed other contentious aspects of the agreement such as the investor state dispute settlement chapter and the side agreement on currency manipulation. (NPR)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Discussions on Free Trade Agreement Between Ukraine and the European Union

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström last week to discuss the implementation a free trade agreement with the European Union. The agreement will take effect on January 1, 2016 and is expected to significantly boost Ukrainian exports to the European Union. (President of Ukraine)

Commissioner Malmström also wrote an interesting blog post about her visit, which can be read here. 

EU and Australia to Begin Free Trade Agreement Talks

Officials from the European Union and Australia announced earlier this week that the two parties would begin negotiations for a free trade agreement in the coming months. The negotiations will complement the EU’s broader trade strategy and other trade deals like TTIP, while Australia is pursuing the deal to complement the recently completed negotiations on TPP. (European Commission)

EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement: Negotiations to Start

The EU also announced that negotiations will begin with the Philippines on a free trade agreement. The European Council authorized the European Commission to begin negotiations at the beginning of this week. (Council of the European Union)

IMF Hints that Chinese Currency is likely to be included in SDR Basket

In a statement released last week, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), indicated that the Chinese renminbi could be approved for inclusion in the IMF’s basket of reserve currencies used to determine the valuation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) when the Fund’s governing board considers the issue later this year. Inclusion in the SDR basket would mark a significant rise for the renminbi and would be another signal of China’s economic strength and increasingly open markets. (International Monetary Fund)

Greece Reaches Deal to Receive More Bailout Funds

The Greek government reached an agreement with its international creditors this week that will allow it to receive the next slice of financial aid. Greece agreed to implement a number of new reforms in return for aid and loans to help recapitalize Greek banks. The compromise is considered a success, although more difficult issues will need to be addressed at the next round of discussions next month. (Wall Street Journal)

Upcoming Events

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