“After 11 rounds of TTIP negotiations, this is the state of play of all available documents.” (Photo credit: EU Commission TTIP Team)

This Week’s Trade Highlights

On the US side, this week is dominated by a number of issues:

-This morning’s release of the long-awaited TPP text

– The 22nd round of negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty between China and the United States

– Concerns over the fate of the US-EU Safe Harbor framework after its invalidation by the European Court     of Justice in October

– The potential revival of the Export-Import Bank

– The European Parliament delegation’s annual visit to meet with Congress legislators in Washington DC in the framework of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue to talk about TTIP, the transatlantic digital     market, energy cooperation, Syria and more. The delegation met with USTR Mike Froman yesterday to   talk about the state of TTIP negotiations.

Further details here. (WTONewsstand)

On the European side, it looks like European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will have a busy November:

– Visiting the EU-Nigeria Business Forum (Lagos, Nigeria,  November 5)

– Speaking at the 80th International Session of the European Youth Parliament on TTIP (Leipzig, Germany, November 9)

– Joining an extraordinary meeting of the INTA Committee on China’s request for market economy status (November 12)

– A trilateral meeting with the EU, Russia and Ukraine

– Visiting Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister, Pavlo Klimki (mid-November)

Further details here. (Vieuws)

Speeches and Official Announcements

The Juncker Commission: One Year on

The European Commission released a series of documents looking at the progress the Commission has made in each of its ten priority areas in its first year under Commission President Juncker. Specifically on TTIP, the Commission’s release emphasized its commitment to concluding a comprehensive agreement with the United States, the steps the Commission has taken to make negotiations as transparent as possible, and a timeline for the negotiations going forward. (European Commission)
All of the Commission’s documents on the 10 priorities going forward can be found here.

Secretary Pritzker Gives Speech at Transatlantic Business Conference

“All told, completing T-TIP is not only good for the parties involved, but will strengthen the transatlantic marketplace – ‘the fulcrum of the world economy’ – at a challenging moment for global economic growth.”Penny Pritzker

Speaking at the Transatlantic Business Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker discussed the deep ties between Germany and the United States and the importance of TTIP to the partnership. Her speech stressed TTIP’s benefits for small businesses and its labor and environmental protections, while also emphasizing how the transatlantic alliance is indispensable to global security and future economic growth. (US Department of Commerce)


TTIP’s 11th Round: Where Are We and What’s Next?

Garrett Workman, Director of European Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, writes on the current state of TTIP negotiations and what’s next in the negotiation process. The most recent round of talks in Miami focused on the exchange of revised market access offers, eliminating 97% of all tariffs on both sides, as well as customs and trade facilitation, SME’s, and regulatory cooperation across important industries and sectors. If an agreement were to be reached by the time President Obama leaves office in 2016, negotiations will need a significant push in the upcoming months. (US Chamber of Commerce)

Froman Warns UK on ‘Brexit’

US Trade Representative Michael Froman gave a strong indication that the United States would not be in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, saying the United States is “not particularly in the market for free trade agreements with individual countries,” and that the United Kingdom would “be subject to the same tariffs, and other trade-related measures, as China, or Brazil or India” should they leave the EU. (Politico

Another article by BloombergBusiness discusses Froman’s comments on the need for EU governments to do more to persuade the public of TTIP’s benefits. (Bloomberg)

Nordic Countries Support TTIP

A recent survey done of Nordic countries found strong support (71%) for free trade generally. More specifically, support for TTIP was roughly four times higher than opposition in all five countries, including Norway and Iceland which are not in the European Union. Respondents to the survey felt the agreement would provide a wider range of consumer goods at lower prices while also promoting greater exports, jobs, and growth. (EurActiv)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

The TTIP: The Sluggish State of Negotiations

This analysis from the European Parliament looks at the current state of negotiations in relation to the political objectives of the EU mandate and those expressed by the European Parliament in its recent resolution on TTIP, as well as the US Congress’s objectives as specified in the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act. It also examines progress on each chapter of TTIP and what issues still need to be overcome. The analysis concludes that negotiations need to be sped up significantly if an agreement is to be completed before the end of the Obama administration. (European Parliament)

Wanted: A TTIP Fillip 

General James Jones, former National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, argues that TTIP could be the cornerstone of a renewal of the transatlantic alliance. An agreement, while difficult to reach, would significantly bolster growth and provide room for greater cooperation and innovation in a variety of sectors on both sides of the Atlantic. (Politico)

TTIP: Good for Both World Trade and the World Trade Organization

Writing for the Cato Online Forum, Joost Pauwelyn suggests that TTIP is less of a threat to multilateral trade than were first generation Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) because it does not involve a proliferation of preferential tariff treatment. In fact, he believes that TTIP has the potential to reinvigorate the World Trade Organization by inspiring new thinking about its scope and functions. (Cato Institute)

European Opposition to TTIP in the Eyes of the United States

Quoting several prominent figures from the United States, this article looks at the response from European leaders to public opposition to TTIP. The US officials quoted point out that so far, leaders in Europe have been making the wrong arguments: Much of the public opposition stems from the feeling to be left out of negotiations which makes the public suspicious of EU decision makers. One US expert suggests that European companies should be appealing directly to the public — and especially their own employees — in favor of TTIP. (International Business Times

TTIP for Small and Medium Enterprises

An article for the Atlantic Community explores the potential hurdles in rule of origin regulation in TTIP and its impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While TTIP will in many ways ease the process for smaller firms exporting to either the United States or the European Union, there is also need for an agreement on rule of origin labeling that will not burden SMEs with additional costs that would make it difficult for them to compete with larger companies. However, the agreement has significant opportunities for SMEs overall, especially if greater standardization and harmonization is reached. (Atlantic Community

You can read an Atlantic Council report on “Big Opportunities for Small Business” in TTIP here.

TPP News

Statement from Senator Wyden on Access to Transpacific Partnership (TPP) Texts

“I look forward to continuing to work with the USTR on implementation of this year’s trade legislation, which included unprecedented new requirements on transparency.”—Ron Wyden

Senator Ron Wyden, the US Finance Committee’s Ranking Member, released a statement lauding the transparency of the Office of the Trade Representative in allowing Senate staff to have access to documents related to the TPP. (Senate Finance Committee)

The USTR’s guidelines for transparency and consultation with Congress can be read here.

The Transpacific Partnership: A Defining Moment for US-led World

According to former US trade negotiator Ira Shapiro, the TPP, beyond the tariffs it lowers and the ways it stimulates trade, is important because of the values it reflects. The agreement has unprecedented protections for internet privacy, endangered wildlife, labor and environmental standards, and more. If Congress fails to pass the TPP, it will signal a failure of US leadership and fail to promote high standards and market access that are critical to US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific.  (Nikkei Asian Review)

The Case for TPP

Michael Boskin, a professor at Stanford University, argues that TPP is a critical part of improving growth in the United States and abroad, especially at a time when growth rates remain sluggish. Additionally, he points out that the alternative to the TPP is not the status quo, but a move towards more barriers to trade. Greater economic integration through the TPP would also allow for greater cooperation on common security issues and discourage conflict because of the disruption it would create in economic relationships. (Project Syndicate)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Statement of the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission and the New Zealand Prime Minister

The Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, along with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, released statements on the opening of negotiations for a free trade agreement between New Zealand and the European Union. The agreement will seek to further cement the already-deep ties between New Zealand and the European Union, as well as increase the EU’s engagement in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. (European Commission

You can read more about the negotiations here.

Japan, China, and South Korea Seek Agreement in FTA Talks

Trade ministers from Japan, China, and South Korea met to discuss progress towards a trade agreement between the three countries. The negotiations came before a summit in Seoul this past weekend. The talks are the first to take place in three and a half years, and mark part of a broader renewal of trilateral discussions for greater cooperation on economic and security issues. (Nikkei Asian Review)

India Shares Draft of Bilateral Investment Treaty Copy with US

During the US-India Trade Policy Forum last week, India provided US trade negotiators with a draft of a potential Bilateral Investment Treaty with the hope of speeding up negotiations. Before the pace of negotiations can increase, the draft copy of the treaty must be approved by India’s Cabinet. (Economic Times)

Upcoming Events

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

Open for Business: What a transatlantic free trade and investment agreement means to the UK automotive sector– November 5, 2015 in Gaydon, UK, hosted by British American Business

The TTIP Nordic Debate “Regulatory Issues” – November 5, 2015 in Copenhagen, hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce In Denmark- More Information 

Evolving Europe- the London Debate – November 11, 2015 in London, hosted by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe- 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