TTIP & Trade in Action – May 18, 2016

President Obama Hosts Summit of Nordic Leaders at White House- This week President Obama hosted the the heads of state from the Nordic Countries to discuss global issues, trade, and areas of cooperation between the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. (The National Law Review)

In Focus

Photo Source: European Commission
Every May the European Union commemorates the speech made by the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in 1950 outlining his idea of an economically and politically integrated Europe.  On May 28, the European institutions will host a range of tours, conferences, debates, and various other activities in Brussels for people to learn about the history of the European Union. How much do you know about trade and the EU’s trade policy? Test your knowledge on trade issues and on TTIP with  two fun quizzes!

Speeches & Annoucements

Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Lofven Sweden after Multilateral Meeting with Nordic Leaders

“The U.S. and the Nordic countries share the belief that the best foundation for individual freedom are jobs, growth, and social investments.  To create jobs, we need free trade, sustainable investment that embraces innovation and new technology.” Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven  

This week the White House hosted the heads of state of the five Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland – to discuss global issues and areas where there are opportunities for increased cooperation, including the Syrian crisis, the Minsk agreement, and TTIP. (The White House)


Trade Council and Draft Report on TTIP

“The report does highlight the many opportunities TTIP presents for the EU. For example, it points out that a rise of 27 percent in EU exports to the US can be expected, along with raised wages for both higher and lower skilled workers.” – EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

On the 13th Cecilia Malmström convened with her counterparts from all the EU governments at the Foreign Affairs Council on Trade. The meeting focused on moving forward with the WTO, an exchange of market access offers with Mercosur, and the state of TTIP negotiations. Read her full blog entry here

Additionally, the independent consultant, Ecorys, published its draft interim sustainability impact assessment of TTIP.  The report is a major part of the European Union’s effort to involve civil society in the negotiation process – this interim publication gives the public an opportunity to scrutinize and comment on the report, all of which will be included in the final edition. Commissioner Malmström warns to keep in mind that it is only”a snapshot based on assumptions about a future TTIP deal. The economic analysis is based on modelling, with many assumptions and caveats.” (European Commission)



NEW POLL – 61 Percent of Europeans Endorse TTIP

This week, Dalia Research published a new poll indicating 61 percent of Europeans favor TTIP with only 13 percent are strongly opposed. Some of the nation by nation findings are somewhat surprising – Despite President Hollande’s negative comments on TTIP and Brexit fears, 57 and 61 percent of people in France and Britain, respectively, support the deal. (Politico)

US Chamber Criticizes Hollande 

US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue commented on French President Hollande’s recent criticism of the US position in TTIP negotiations, accusing him of shifting his rhetoric to appeal to the agricultural community for reelection purposes. Donohue also said the Chamber was not interested in a “light” version of the agreement and dismissed the idea that TTIP negotiations would be doomed to failure if they were not concluded under the Obama administration  (Politico)

TTIP Action Partners

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Recent Analysis

Big Picture Benefits of a Transatlantic Trade Deal

Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig wrote an op-ed for POLITICO this weekend urging opponents of TTIP to focus on the big picture to see the true benefits of the deal. According to Selig, there are three overarching benefits to the agreement that should be kept in mind. First, maximization of the transatlantic economic partnership cannot be overstated given emerging market growth.  Second, it will represent the continuation of the preeminent global economic model that has proven successful.  And third, TTIP would strengthen the transatlantic digital economy to bolster the partners’ capacities to compete and innovate. (POLITICO)

Chemicals in TTIP: A Framework for Better Regulatory Cooperation 

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) recently published an infographic highlighting the myths and facts about greater regulatory cooperation in TTIP regarding chemical regulations.  Despite the common belief that the agreement will harmonize chemical standards, the agreement will maintain existing standards in the United States and European Union, while improving the exchange of information, aligning labeling practices, and creating a framework for early cooperation to improve regulatory alignment in the future. (Euractiv)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

TPP: Likely Impact on the US Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report on the likely impact of the TPP o the US economy earlier this week. The ITC found that US exports will increase by $57.2 billion annually by 2032 if TPP is passed and that overall US annual real income will increase annually by $57.3 billion by 2032. US Trade representative Michael Froman released a statement following the release of the report, stating that ““The ITC report provides another strong argument for why TPP should be passed this year. It is part of a growing body of evidence that shows that TPP will benefit our economy at home and allow the U.S. to help set the rules of the road for trade in the Asia Pacific.”

Find the full ITC report here and USTR Michael Froman’s full statement here


The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Potential Regional and Global Impacts

In parallel to the US International Trade Commission’s TPP assessment, the European Parliament Research Service released an analysis of the TPP from the European perspective. With regards to the deal’s impact on the European Union, a variety of studies conclude that the deal will have a slightly negative impact on its GDP. However, it has been suggested that the trade agreements under negotiation or already completed by the EU in the region could balance or even exceed the influence of the TPP.  In addition, several studies mention the importance of the conclusion of TTIP, which could mitigate any adverse effects for of the TPP for Europe. (European Parliament)

Treasury’s Lew Confident TPP Passes This Year

Amid a row between the financial services industry and the US Treasury over a provision in the TPP that financial firms argue would give foreign governments the ability to require them to maintain data servers within their borders.Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the hurdle will not prevent the deal from being ratified this year. Lew said the disagreement is not a case of a “radical difference in objective, it’s just hard because it’s technically a complicated area.” The two groups are trying to balance US regulators access to real time information without requiring companies to maintain servers in the United States. (The Hill)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Tap the Potential of International Trade

Dean of the School of Management at California Lutheran University, Gerhard Apfelthaler writes for the Pacific Coast Business Times this week about the American export sector.  In gross terms the United States is second only to China in global exports, but when considering exports as a percent of GDP the United States is a “dwarf”. Apfelthaler argues that US exporters can grow their business and become more resilient to economic swings through greater access to international markets. TTIP will be important for US business expansion, as “closing borders to the world is a short-term measure that generates long-term problems.” (Pacific Coast Business Times)

European Parliament Gives China a Black Eye Over Trade Status

This week the European Parliament voted against Market Economy Status (MES) within the World Trade Organization for China by a wide margin. The decision puts pressure on the European commission to either oppose market economic status outright or include safeguards for specific industries. Although Beijing says China was guaranteed MES when it joined the WTO in 2001, continued dumping in the steel market is running into stiff opposition from both sides of the Atlantic. (The Guardian)

EU Referendum: Cameron, Corbyn and Johnson Hit Campaign Trail

Thought leaders began official “stay or leave” campaigns to  across the UK this week. Prime Minister David Cameron maintained his “stay” position, and warned citizens that leaving could cost households as much as £4,300.  Also campaigning to stay, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the problem is on Downing Street, not in Brussels. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson campaigned to leave the European Union. (The Guardian)

Upcoming Events

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Briefing – May 17, hosted by the Canberra Chamber and Australian Capital Territory Government, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in Canberra, Australia – More Information
World Economy, Bridging the Atlantic – TTIP – May 24, hosted by the Turkish Heritage Foundation in Washington DC-
Expert Discussion on the TTIP between the EU and USA – May 25, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Repulic of Latvia, in Riga – More Information
TTIP Sustainability Impact Assessment – Draft Interim Report – May 30, hosted by the European Commission in Brussels – More Information
Opportunities and Potential of TTIP – May 30, hosted by the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw), in Bad Staffelstein, Germany – More Information
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Image: Photo Source: WDIO