Holiday Malmstrom_2
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström participates in a ceremony for Saint Lucy’s Day, a holiday celebrating a 3rd century saint that is 
commonly celebrated in Scandinavia. (Photo Credit: Cecilia Malmström)

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Happy Holidays from TTIPAction
Today will mark the last TTIPAction newsletter of this year ahead of the holiday season.

Dear TTIPAction readers, 
Thank you so much for your help and support of TTIPAction over the course of 2015. It has been a pleasure working on this important topic with you, and I am looking forward to continuing to update you on “all things TTIP” and trade in 2016. 

I wish you and your families a happy holiday season and a happy New Year. In case you cannot wait until the first newsletter in January, keep updated by following me on twitter @TTIPAction

Marie Kasperek
Managing Editor, 
TTIP Action

For those of you who would like to get a taste of how Christmas is celebrated “European style”, the European Delegation to the United States has made a list of all the European style Christmas markets around the United States. 

The Year in Review- What’s Next?

This year has been an eventful year for trade. TPP negotiations were concluded and TTIP negotiations progressed, not to mention the conclusion of numerous Free Trade Agreements (FTA). 

At the end of 2015, we want to show you where things stand, and what will be next, with a special focus on TPP and TTIP negotiations. 

For an overview of FTA and other ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union, check out thisEuropean Commission spreadsheet.   

For the United States equivalent, click here.

If you want to get a great overview of the opportunities that TTIP would bring to each US state individually, check out the report “TTIP and the 50 States”, by the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the British Embassy in Washington. The page also offers an overview on the congressional district level and elaborates on 14 key sectors. 

With all the misinformation that has been circulating on TTIP, read this great fact sheet by the European Commission on the “Top 10 Myths about TTIP”- separating fact from fiction. 

With TPP negotiations concluded this year, we still have some way to go until ratification. Bloomberg Newsprovides a country by country overview of what will be required for ratification in the TPP countries, the expected timing of consideration, and the anticipated outcomes. 

For a more detailed overview of the process in the United State, look at this overview from the Peterson Institute for International Economics

Speeches and Official Announcements

Ambassador Froman and EU Trade Commissioner Malmström Release Joint Statement

“We are fully committed to expeditiously reaching an ambitious, comprehensive agreement that promotes economic growth and jobs, strengthens our strategic partnership, and reflects our shared values.”—Michael Froman and Cecilia Malmström

Last week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman traveled to Brussels to meet with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to discuss progress on TTIP negotiations and prepare for the next round of negotiations scheduled for early next year. The two sides are hoping to come to an agreement sometime next year and are now trying to accelerate the pace of negotiations. (Office of the US Trade Representative)


Social Democratic Party Congress in Berlin Supports Sigmar Gabiel’s pro-TTIP Stance

At a party congress of the German Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor of Germany has once again spoken out in favor of a comprehensive TTIP. His designee Ralf Stegner warned his colleagues that if TTIP was not concluded, countries like China or Bangladesh would set global work end environmental standards in the future. A solid majority of the party ultimately decided to back Gabriel’s pro TTIP stance. (Spiegel) – Original article in German

TTIP Action Partners

Rigoni di Asiago, a century old family-owned company from Italy, produces delicious, organically farmed and GMO free jams, honeys and chocolate spreads. A family business that, with time, has become an international brand, Rigoni di Asiago is inspired by traditional recipes and supported by continual research and innovation, to achieve the finest and tastiest products that are both good for the consumer and respect nature.

Marsilli is a global manufacturing solutions provider of coil/motor winding and assembly systems for the automotive, appliance, industrial, consumer, and RFID electronics industries.

Recent Analysis

Ambassador Froman Calls for Accelerated TTIP Negotiations

While in Europe last week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman repeatedly expressed the need for the United States and the European Union to pick up the pace of negotiations for a TTIP agreement. Garret Workman, former Associate Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, is quoted in the piece expressing the same sentiment back in November after the October round of negotiations in Miami. To complete an agreement before President Obama leaves office in 2017, negotiators will need to speed up the process and compromise on some of the significant remaining hurdles. (Politico)

TTIP Opponents Fueled by ‘anti-Western, anti-US’ Agenda, Claims Tory MP

Guto Bebb, a Tory M member of Parliament, addressed concerns in the United Kingdom about the alleged privatization of the NHS in TTIP and the alleged secrecy of negotiations, saying those claims were incorrect and not backed up by facts. He also mentioned that most of the concerns were more likely misguided fears about the United States, as he had received no complaints during the European Union’s negotiations of the free trade agreement with Canada that is considered very similar to TTIP in some respects. (Belfast Telegraph)

Video: How Trade Deals are Made in Europe

A video from the EU Trade team at the European Commission explains the process the Commission follows when negotiating trade agreements. It highlights the Commission’s efforts to provide access to negotiating documents and enhance transparency, as well as forums and meetings it holds to allow various stakeholders to provide input on agreements. (YouTube)

TPP News & Analysis

President Obama’s Trade Agenda and Congress

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that a vote on the TPP may need to wait until after the 2016 Presidential election, new questions have come up about whether the TPP will be able to make it through Congress. Supporters of the TPP are hoping to debate and vote on the agreement early in 2016. The Obama Administration pushed back against Senator McConnell’s comments, saying the deal is ready to be voted on earlier, and pointing out the support it has from business groups and others. (The Hill)

Analyzing the Benefits of TPP, TTIP, and Other Trade Agreements

Daniel Pearson, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute  examines the process followed by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to predict the expected economic changes from trade agreements. He points out that people often cherry-pick from these reports to support their own beliefs about agreements without looking at what the analysis says. The ITC’s analysis compares the effect on the US economy with and without an agreement for the most recent year with available data. He concludes that  credible analysis clearly indicates that making markets more open and competitive will lead to improved resource allocation, expanded international trade, greater economic growth, and higher consumer welfare (Cato Institute)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

EU-Canada Trade Negotiating Mandate Made Public

The European Council decided yesterday to declassify the negotiating mandate given to the European Commission in negotiations for the EU-Canada free trade agreement. The agreement was completed in September of 2014 and is now undergoing legal scrubbing. (The European Council)

Politico has a piece that looks into the renewed push to complete the agreement from new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ambassador Froman: We are at the End of the Line with Doha Round

Ambassador Michael Froman wrote an op-ed for the Financial Times assessing the state of the WTO in the lead up to the Nairobi meetings. Ambassador Froman argues that the Doha round and the WTO have faltered as regional and bilateral agreements have become more common. The Doha framework represents an older type of trade deal, and in order for the WTO to move forward it must drop the Doha round to engage on emerging trade issues and reinvigorate the multilateral trading system. (Financial Times)

Joint Statement from Commissioners Malmström and Hogan in lead up to Nairobi Talks

Ahead of WTO ministerial talks in Nairobi, EU Commissioners Malmström and Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan, released a statement calling for countries to come together on the small number of issues to be discussed at the talks. The Commissioners specifically called on other partner countries to agree to a balanced deal to cut agricultural export subsidies, as well as an agreement to help provide trade preferences and new rules-of-origin regulations to support trade from Least Developed Countries (LDCs). (European Commission)

For a good rundown of the schedule, issues, potential outcomes, and more from Nairobi, check out this piece form the World Economic Forum that delves into most of the pressing issues.

For more about what’s at stake in the negotiations, Politico’s Victora Guida wrote a piece on the significance of the talks for the WTO and its future.

Liberia Welcomed Into WTO

As part of the WTO talks in Nairobi, the WTO’s Ministerial Conference approved Liberia’s accession to the WTO. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström welcomed the decision, saying “This is a clear and tangible demonstration of our joint commitment to integrate the world’s least developed countries into the global trading system.” (Ein News)

Upcoming Events

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

The Precautionary Principle in TTIP: Trade Barrier or Essential for Consumer Protection? January 26, 2016, hosted by the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in Brussels – More Information 

Opportunities and Potential of TTIP – February 29, 2016; hosted by thre Bavarian Trade Union in Passau, Germany – More Information 

The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations is scheduled for early 2016. Want to refresh your memory on what has been discussed in the 11th round of negotiations? Read the detailed report here or the final day remarks here.