TTIP&TRADE in Action – June 1, 2016

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Michael Froman participated in a seminar on TTIP with representatives of Swedish unions and firms in Stockholm earlier this week.

In Focus

Photo Source:  @EU_TTIP
Before the next TTIP negotiating round this summer, check out which industries are at which stage of talks.

Speeches & Announcements

G7 Leaders Summit in Ise-Shima
“Today, we have demonstrated our capacity to make tangible progress on a broad range of economic, security, and development policy issues, and we will demonstrate through our actions, a path forward in solving major issues to ensure peace, security and prosperity of the world.” – G7 Leaders

The G7 leaders met in Ise-Shima, Japan on May 26 and 27 to discuss global economic and political issues.The group affirmed their commitment to fighting protectionist trade policies and supporting trade liberalization through regional trade agreements such as TTIP and the TPP. They also pledged to increase global economic growth through mutually reinforcing fiscal, monetary, and structural policy. Other issues of importance included international financial institutions’ assistance in stemming the refugee crisis, universal health coverage, and stronger energy and physical infrastructure systems. (The White House)

Malmström: TTIP Passage Delay Does Not Mean Passage Death
Earlier this week, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stated in a TTIP conference in Stockholm that a TTIP passage delay does not mean that TTIP will not pass in future rounds of negotiation. US Trade Representative Michael Froman said that in the event that TTIP does not pass, there is currently no “plan B” in place. However, both trade counterparts stated that they would count on the close US-EU relationship to continue working on building closer trade ties. (POLITICO)


Juncker Requests TTIP Pledge
The European Commission announced Monday that its President, Jean-Claude Juncker, is requesting that all EU heads of state reiterate their support for TTIP when the European Council meets in late June. Since TTIP has come under fire from from American presidential candidates as well as some European leaders, President Juncker wants to ensure that “we are all rowing in the same direction.” (Reuters)    
European Union and United States Point Fingers on TTIP
The European Commission sent an email to the 28 EU ambassadors warning that TTIP will not pass before President Barack Obama leaves office unless the United States changes its negotiation tactics. The impetus for this email was a lengthy earlier email sent to the ambassadors by US Ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner, in which he criticized European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan for providing inaccurate information to the press. The European Commission in turn accused the United States for not giving due attention to geographical indications, wine and non-tariff barriers in the negotiation process. (POLITICO)

TTIP Action Partners

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Recent Analysis

European Union and US Try to Keep TTIP On Track 
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s request to the 28 EU heads of state to reaffirm support for TTIP, and his visit Tuesday to a group of embittered French mayors demonstrates his firm commitment to getting TTIP successfully passed. The case of the French shows the uneven support for TTIP across the EU: the British and Italian governments remain in favor of the trade agreement. Meanwhile, across the pond, the United States remains optimistic that TTIP has made good progress. (Financial Times)
TTIP Negotiators Asked to ‘Think Small First’
In a push to make TTIP work for SMEs, small and medium-sized business owners have asked for a carefully-crafted deal that would reflect their needs not only in a dedicated chapter, but across the full treaty. This article looks at how TTIP could create new opportunities especially for SMEs, given that trade barriers tend to disproportionately burden smaller firms, which have fewer resources to overcome them than larger firms. The article warns to keep in mind the “cost of non-TTIP”, as globalization won’t just go away. (Euractiv)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

Taiwan’s TPP Chance?
The Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center hosted an event last Thursday to discuss Taiwan’s prospects of joining the TPP. All three members of the panel were confident that TPP would pass. However, one of the panelists cautioned that Taiwan’s lack of transparency in the regulatory process, uneven application of law, and its reluctance to lift restrictions on certain US products would hinder its prospects of joining the TPP. The panel provided seven steps for Taiwan to join the TPP, which included building support in the home economy, holding public hearings and comments sessions about TPP, and strengthening rapport with the United States and other TPP members. (Atlantic Council)
The Importance of TPP in the Digital Economy
Executive Director of The Asia Pacific Institute for the Digital Economy Dr. Jim Foster stated that the ratification and implementation of TPP in Asia requires the support of companies that benefit from a widespread digital economy, especially in Japan and the United States. Foster also encouraged the support of regional development banks like the Asian Development Bank in strengthening investments to close the “digital gap” across socioeconomic tiers. He pointed to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in fomenting dialogue on training citizens on skills needed for the age of Big Data and the Internet of Things. (The Diplomat)
The Roles of Japan and the United States in TPP 
Dr. Kazushi Shimizu of Kyushu University in Japan penned an essay on the importance of Japan and the United States in the TPP and in promoting East Asian economic integration. Japan and the United States both wield significant power in the TPP because their economies combined account for 80% of the GDP among the TPP member countries. Their influence will be vital to advancing TPP. (US Japan Research Institute)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Focal Points in EU Trade
EU Trade Insights editor Joanna Sopinska provides an overview in the latest Brussels Briefing on Trade of the European Union’s most pressing trade issues in the first half of June 2016, including the European Business Summit in Brussels, and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Ministerial Meeting, chaired by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Paris. (Vieuws)
TPP Supporters: Trade Deal Needed for American Leadership in Asia
As TPP’s future remains uncertain on the Hill, trade supporters are seeking to win over skeptics with the argument that TPP passage will show that the United States is a strong leader in the Asia Pacific region, and will set a precedent for future economic partnerships to ensure the long-term stability of the Pacific Rim. Robert Zoellick, the former World Bank president and US trade representative, warned that “if the US abandons TPP, our Asian allies and partners will perceive America as yielding to China, and they will accommodate accordingly.” (The Hill)
EU and Mexico Begin A New Round of Trade Talks
In line with the Trade for All strategy, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström met on Monday with the Secretary of Economy of Mexico Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal. This revitalization of trade and investment negotiations is designed to build upon the 1997 agreement between the two partners. The first round of negotiations is scheduled for mid-June in Brussels. (European Commission)

Upcoming Events

Transatlantic Food Safety Issues in Times of TTIP – June 6, hosted by German American Spaces online – More Information 
Meeting with Director-General for Trade Jean-Luc Demarty – June 7, hosted by the Office of the Director-General for Trade, in Brussels – More Information
TTIP Debate in Poland– June 9, hosted by the European Commission, in Wroclav, Poland – More Information
2016 WTO Public Forum – September 27-29, in Geneva – More Information
 Please send us suggested news stories, opinion pieces, publications, and upcoming events that you would like us to highlight! 
Email with your ideas and suggestions.

Image: Photo Source: @MikeFroman