Civil Society DialogueEuropean Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom speaks with a variety of leaders from trade unions, business associations, nonprofit groups, and other civil society organizations at an open dialogue to discuss the European Commission’s Trade for All strategy earlier this week. (Photo credit: European Commission)

This Week’s Trade Highlights

It’s TTIP Week! 
This week, representatives from both sides of the Atlantic meet in Miami, Florida, for the 11th round of TTIP negotiations since talks started in 2013.  Representatives from the European Union, led by Ignacio Garcia Bercero (on behalf of EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström) and a team from US Trade Representative Michael Froman’s office led by Dan Mullaney, will be focusing on details this week.

According to the German Embassy to the United States, the 11th round will confer about cutbacks in customs in order to facilitate imports and reductions to other, non-intuitive obstructions to trade, like the necessity to fill out forms for both the import and the export countries. On both sides of the table, negotiators want to avoid compromising any standards in the United States or the European Union. Another hot topic will be investment. The United States and the European Union hope to create a network to protect investors and companies by setting standards of investment and preventing fraud and discrimination. In this light, the negotiators will discuss the European Union’s draft proposal on investment court systems for TTIP. 

Today, the teams met with stakeholders and on Friday, the Chief Negotiators will hold a press conference to discuss progress. In the meantime, follow us on twitter via @TTIPAction and read some official statements from both sides of the Atlantic bolstering TTIP. 

In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce some fresh additions to our TTIP newsletter! “All things TTIP” will of course still be our focus but we will also be giving you brief updates on the latest on TPP as well as other trade deals!

Speeches and Official Announcements

Malmström Gives Speech on Trade at the College of Europe

“The people of the European Union depend on trade for our prosperity. One in seven of us who are lucky enough to have a job, have exports to the rest of the world to thank for it. 80% of our imports, after all, are the energy, raw materials, and components that keep the European economy functioning. And it’s our economic success that funds the social, regulatory and cultural infrastructure that make up the European way of life.”—Cecilia Malmström

Commissioner for Trade Malmström spoke at the College of Europe on Monday to outline the tenets of the Commission’s new Trade for All strategy, which is focuses on effectiveness, transparency, and values. The strategy is meant to promote the most effective trade agreements possible for Europe while informing the public about the details of agreements and upholding European values. (European Commission)

Secretary Kerry Talks TTIP in Spain

“With the passage of the TPP, it is really important for Europe now to come together around the TTIP because this can help to elevate the rules and regulations by which we do business all across the planet. It raises the ability of everybody to be able to do better, but it takes away the interferences that prevent our ability to be able to grow jobs faster.” – Secretary John Kerry

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Manuel García-Margallo to talk about nuclear contamination, TTIP, and the Spanish economy, among other things. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry emphasized that TTIP won’t lower standards and won’t hurt either labor standards nor the environment. (US Department of State)

Commissioner Malmström holds Civil Society Dialogue Meeting & Talks at ALDE Hearing on Trade

Commissioner Malmström hosted a live-streamed meeting on Tuesday to get input from a variety of stakeholders in trade issues including a variety of trade unions, business associations, nonprofit organizations, and other civil society groups. Participants were able to ask the Commissioner questions about TTIP, other trade agreements, and the Trade for All strategy as well as provide input about concerns and hopes they had for future negotiations. (European Commission)


TTIP Negotiators Meet for Next Round of Talks

The 11th Round of TTIP negotiations is currently taking place in Miami. With the United States now focused on TTIP after completing the TPP, negotiators on both sides hope to make significant progress. The current round of negotiations is focusing on reducing tariffs and harmonizing government procurement standards, and the European Union negotiators are also expected to introduce chapters addressing labor and environmental standards. (EurActiv)

Chancellor Merkel Makes Case for TTIP with Trade Unions

In a meeting with the German Industrial Union of Metal Workers earlier this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel talks about the opportunities TTIP would offer for workers. She understands the concerns of the public who fear that German standards will be lowered but assures them that “no EU standard will be lowered in TTIP”. Rather, TTIP offers an opportunity to set the standards for future globalization. Chancellor Merkel invites the unions to resume talking about TTIP with her. (Office of the German Chancellor) – Original article in German

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Recent Analysis

Malmström’s Response to John Hilary’s recent controversial Op-Ed on TTIP

Commissioner Malmström responded to a recent controversial op-ed criticizing TTIP in the The Independent byExecutive Director of War on Want John Hilary. Malmström responded by pointing to the Commission’s various measures to make TTIP negotiations as transparent and inclusive as possible, and to their continued efforts to engage in dialogue with trade unions and other nonprofit organizations with concerns about TTIP. She also argued that ultimately, approval for TTIP would rest with the democratically elected European Parliament and national governments of EU member states. She concludes that she hopes that future debate on TTIP will be more constructive and based on facts . (The Independent)

EconoGraphic: TTIP Divides Opinions in Europe

In light of last week’s protests against TTIP in Berlin, this week’s EconoGraphic of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics program looks at how diverse opinions on TTIP currently are across Europe. It finds that in the European Union overall, TTIP enjoys fifty six percent public support, with only twenty eight percent of the population disapproving. The statistic illustrates TTIP’s broad support throughout European society, with only the populations of Malta, Luxemburg, Austria, and Germany disapproving. (Atlantic Council)

Making the Strategic Argument for TTIP

A piece from the Economist looks at the difficulties TTIP negotiators have faced, with significant public pressure against the deal and trouble explaining the benefits. Because TTIP takes complex regulatory issues and other technical hurdles rather than just reducing tariffs, it is difficult to explain the importance of the deal and make the impact clear to the public. However, when TTIP is understood as an “Economic NATO” it gains significant support, and there is a similar effect when it is explained how TTIP would establish Europe’s lead in global trading standards. While these arguments are not enough, they are an important part of making the case for TTIP. (The Economist)

Can TTIP Save Europe?

In a piece published on the Cato Institute’s Online Forum, John Gillingham- a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies- argues that TTIP is a way for the European Commission to reestablish confidence in its leadership of the European Union and put the European project back on track. He points to a slowing down of European integration and a crisis of confidence within the European Union since the Financial and Sovereign Debt Crises as significant threats to future European cooperation and Europe’s continuing influence in the world. In this context, TTIP could provide not just economic opportunity, but also a way to revitalize European liberalization efforts and improve confidence in European institutions. (Cato Institute)

TPP News

TPP Would Boost Jobs and Exports in California

The United States Department of Commerce released a report on Monday detailing the impacts of the TPP on California jobs and exports. The TPP is likely to significantly expand exports of California’s agricultural products, a critical sector of the state’s economy. The report also demonstrates the almost complete elimination of import tariffs in critical export sectors like health products, transportation equipment, chemicals, high tech instruments, and communications equipment. (US Department of Commerce)

Senator Hatch likely to be the Key to TPP Passage

As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch will play a critical role as TPP moves towards a vote in Congress. The Senator’s criticism of the compromise on patent protections for biologics and the carve-out excluding tobacco companies from challenging regulations in dispute settlement courts have some worried that he may come out against the agreement. With opposition coming from some members in both parties of Congress, securing Senator Hatch’s support is likely to be critical to putting together a bipartisan majority to pass the agreement. (Politico)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Malmström Meets with Trade Ministers from ACP Countries Before WTO Conference

Commissioner Malmström met with ministers from African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to discuss strategy before WTO ministerial negotiations coming up in Nairobi from 15-18 December. The main topics of discussion were agricultural export competition, development, and transparency. They also discussed broader attempts to maintain the importance of the WTO and the multilateral trading system. (European Commission)

Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU): Commission Takes Concrete Steps to Strengthen EMU

Following the presentation of the “Five Presidents’ Report” by the Presidents of the Commission, the Euro Summit, the Eurogroup, the European Central Bank and the European Parliament, the Commission launched Stage 1 (“Deepening by doing”, 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2017)) of the process of completing EMU on 1 July 2015. It followed up today with concrete measures to begin the implementation of the ambitious plan to deepen EMU. The “Five Presidents’ Report” sets out three different stages for completing the EMU. Today’s package addresses Stage 1, and preparations for Stage 2: Using existing instruments and the current Treaties to boost competitiveness and structural convergence, achieving responsible fiscal policies at national and euro area level, completing the Financial Union and enhancing democratic accountability. (European Commission)

Find a fact sheet on the questions and answers with regards to the completion of the EMU here

Upcoming Events

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

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of Bilateral Investment Treaties: What Investors and Their Advisors Need to Know About Investment Protection When Investing in Foreign Countries– October 29, 2015 in New York, hosted by the European American Chamber of Commerce- More Information

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 

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 LuxembourgMore Information