picture for ttip action
US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero shake hands after the completion of the 11th round of TTIP negotiations last week in Miami. (Photo credit: United States Mission to the European Union)

This Week’s Trade Highlights

Looking at last week’s 11th round of TTIP negotiations in Miami, here are the key takeaways:

– The negotiators exchanged revised market access offers. After this round of negotiations, 97 percent of tariff lines are agreed to be eliminated on both sides, with the remaining 3 percent left for the final stages of the negotiations.

– Other areas discussed included: Customs and trade facilitation, the SME chapter, and regulatory cooperation across key sectors.

– After a period of slow progress (on the US side partially due to its focus on closing TPP negotiations), this round of negotiations ended with very optimistic statements from both the US and the EU negotiators- who even suggested that if significant progress is made in the next few months, a deal could potentially be done before President Obama leaves office.

With many outstanding issues yet to be addressed, negotiators have to commit to intensifying the pace of negotiations and to translating words into actions. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for early next year in Brussels when both sides aim to table offers on public procurement.

For a concise overview on where we stand in the negotiations, check out this issue area by issue area overview by Borderlex

Speeches and Official Announcements

Statement by EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero on the 11th Round of TTIP Negotiations

“TTIP is an opportunity to develop a shared vision on how global trade rules should be modernized to catch up with today’s reality. A shared and ambitious approach to global trade issues will help us shape rules for the 21st century”—Ignacio Garcia Bercero 

After the conclusion of the 11th round of TTIP negotiations in Miami last week, the European Union’s chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero released a statement on the negotiator’s significant progress and intesification of talks in many areas. He emphasized that the partnership will be based on two core principles: 1) the level of protection for citizens stays the same or improves, 2) Any form of regulatory cooperation will not change the way member states regulate. (European Commission)

US and EU Chief Negotiators Speak After the Close of Miami Talks

“We also have the opportunity in this negotiation to send a clear message about trade as well as our shared values to the rest of the world. The United States remains firmly convinced of the economic and strategic importance of T-TIP and is committed to doing its part to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion in 2016.”—Dan Mullaney

At the close of TTIP negotiations last week, US chief negotiator Dan Mullaney specifically mentioned the recent conclusion of the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In his view, it shows just how dedicated the Obama Administration is to the goal of promoting shared prosperity by negotiating the reduction of trade and investment to barriers around the world and insists that it is important to try to finish these negotiations during President Obama’s presidency. (United States Mission to the European Union)

US Trade Representative Froman Speaks at the Atlantic Council 

The economic case for TPP is clearBut the importance of America’s leadership on trade extends well beyond economics. There’s a strategic logic, too. The positive power of trade, and of TPP in particular, is one of our most important tools for dealing with one of this century’s greatest challengesWith TPP concluded, there is even greater focus on advancing the T-TIP negotiations. When we complete TPP and T-TIP, we’ll have free trade with two-thirds of the global economy, making it easier to multilateralize high standards.”—Michael Froman

In his first public event since concluding TPP negotiations, USTR Michael Froman visited the Atlantic Council to speak about both the enormous economic benefits but also the substantial geo-strategic benefits of the deal, pointing out the role TPP as well as TTIP could play in promoting a rules-based global order while promoting American leadership in the global trading system. To Mr. Froman, you cannot compare TTIP to the status quo- it is a choice between moving allied leadership ahead or falling behind. (Office of the United States Trade Representative)

Read Atlantic Council’s Ashish Kumar Sen’s take on the event here. A webcast of the event can be watched here.

Commission Work Program 2016- No Time for Business as Usual

One year after the Juncker Commission took office, the Commission published a work strategy for 2016 on October 28 which reiterates the ten priorities set out in the “Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change”, the mission statement of the Juncker Commission. Promising to: “Doing things differently” and “Doing different things”, the Commission plans on “being big on the big things, and better in how we deliver them”. In this light, the conclusion of a comprehensive TTIP agreement remains a top priority for 2016. (European Commission)


United States, Europe Make New Offers in Effort to Accelerate TTIP Negotiations

With the conclusion of the 11th round of TTIP negotiations in Miami last week, negotiators hailed the progress made towards an agreement while also looking forward to future negotiations. Both sides are eager to complete a deal in 2016 before the Obama Administration leaves office. As part of the accelerated timeline, the negotiators plan to exchange offers on purchases of goods and services by government departments and agencies in February. They aim to discuss market access for financial services in the coming weeks.(Reuters)

Official: Next Four Months Critical for TTIP Completion

Speaking after the end of negotiations, US chief negotiator Dan Mullaney said that the next four months would be critical to TTIP negotiations. With both sides having made big progress in agreeing on tariff reductions, there remains a number of important chapters to negotiate. In order to conclude an agreement before President Obama leaves office, negotiations will need to make significant progress over the next few months. (Politico)

TTIP Action Partner

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Recent Analysis

O’Sullivan Makes the Case for TTIP

In an op-ed in USA Today, EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan laid out an argument for TTIP and for increasing the pace of negotiations. He argues that the European Union and the United States share much in common and both produce cutting-edge goods, making a trade agreement between them a boon for exports and economic cooperation. Furthermore, he makes the case that a deal would promote continued transatlantic economic leadership while boosting jobs and growth. (USA Today)

“TTIP: A Strategic Opportunity for the Transatlantic Partnership”

Writing for the Cato Online Forum, Frances Burwell- Vice President of European Union & Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council– looks at the strategic opportunity TTIP presents for the transatlantic community. Burwell points out that promoting transatlantic economic leadership and economic integration is a central part of maintaining security and a way to deepen political relationships with key allies. It could also act as an incentive for strengthening the European Union and expanding it even further. A finalized deal would represent a significant strategic victory for the transatlantic relationship and would complement the TPP. (Cato Institute)

“Picking Up the Pace in the Transatlantic Trade Talks”

Marjorie Chorlins, Vice President for Europe at the US Chamber of Commerce urges both parties in the TTIP negotiations to put words into action and increase the pace of negotiations. While recognizing that the negotiators face significant political challenges and that there are policy differences on both sides, she argues that “fact is far more unites us than divides us” and that TTIP is essential to promoting continued economic and job growth on both sides of the Atlantic. (US Chamber of Commerce)

Trade Deals are Good News for the Alliance System

A paper for the Atlantic Community looks at both TPP and TTIP as two parts of a whole boosting growth, creating a common economic community, and reinvigorating US relations with partners in the Pacific and the Atlantic. The paper also argues that both agreements, beyond their economic benefits, promote democracy, domestic reforms, and international cooperation. TTIP especially would deepen Atlantic cohesion and provide an economic complement to NATO.  (Atlantic Community)

Examining Investment Dispute Mechanisms

A paper recently published by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) addresses some of the criticisms voiced against investment dispute mechanisms. The paper argues that international investment agreements (IIAs) safeguard foreign direct investment (FDI) against political risks and are a central tool of states for promoting foreign investment. The paper takes a closer look at the criticisms most frequently voiced against these mechanisms and tries to counter some of the misconceptions commonly put forward. (Federation of German Industries)

TPP News

“Read TPP before You Judge” 

In an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, Susan Ariel Aaronson, professor at George Washington University, urges Americans to look closely at the TPP before deciding their position on the agreement. It requires careful analysis of the agreement to really understand the effects it will have on production, consumption, investment, and many other aspects of the US economy. She argues that there will be plenty of time to assess the TPP’s benefits and drawbacks, and that critics should read the agreement with an open mind and recognition that the TPP will deeply shape and regulate globalization.  (Baltimore Sun)

TPP’s Importance Goes Beyond Asia

Writing for The Hill, Atlantic Council’s Jason Marczak emphasizes the effects of the TPP beyond just opening markets in Asia. Seven of the twelve participating countries are actually in the Americas, including the two biggest export partners of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Deepening partnerships with countries in Latin America, it is likely that several other partners in the Americas will eventually join the agreement as well. Marczak argues that these strategic benefits go beyond domestic political considerations and should be carefully considered when the agreement is debated in Congress. (The Hill)

Indonesia to Join TPP

During his visit to the United States, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo stated that Indonesia intends to join the TPP. Indonesia is the first of several countries who are not part of the agreement yet but are strongly considering joining. Indonesia’s attempt to join is an early sign of the benefits of the TPP and the strong draw it has for countries that want to be included in a large free trade area that will significantly impact global trade standards and patterns. (BBC)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Launch of the World Trade Report 2015

The World Trade Organization recently launched the World Trade Report 2015. The report focuses on implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and the potential benefits of streamlining and standardizing customs processes throughout the world. The report is the first major study of its effects released since the agreement was completed in late 2013. (World Trade Organization)

Malmström Visits Moldova to Discuss EU-Moldova Free Trade Agreement

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström visited Moldova last week to hail the success of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Moldova. The agreement went into effect last year and has significantly decreased tariffs between the two parties. The agreement is a central part of the European Union’s commitment to Eastern Partnership countries and is a critical part of trying to help raise standards and reduce corruption in Moldova. (European Commission)

Commissioner Malmström’s blog post about the visit can be read here

A Deeper and Fairer Single Market: Commission Boosts Opportunities for Citizens and Business

The Single Market is one of Europe’s greatest achievements but opportunities do not always materialize, because single market rules are not known, not implemented or simply jeopardized by unjustified barriers. Today, October 28, the European Commission has presented a road map to deliver on President Juncker’s political commitment to unleash the full potential of the Single Market and make it the launchpad for Europe to thrive in the global economy, reflecting innovative ideas and new business models. (European Commission)

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 Luxembourg– More Information