TTIP&TRADE in Action – June 29, 2016

The Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative “talked TTIP” with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on June 29. (Left to right: Joe Schatz, Editor, Politico Pro Europe Brief; Cecilia Malmström, European Union Trade Commissioner; Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO; Laura J. Lane, President, Global Public Affairs, UPS)

A special thanks to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström for joining us today in Washington, DC for a stock taking of TTIP negotiations ahead of the 14th round of negotiations on July 11-15 in Brussels.

The Commissioner made clear that the outcome of the British referendum does not stall TTIP negotiations. In fact, she suggested that if at all, the British vote to “leave” the European Union only made TTIP all the more important. Coming from a meeting with US Trade Representative Mike Froman, she reassured the audience that both sides of the Atlantic are still committed to getting a deal done in 2016. However, she made clear that there will be no “TTIP light” and insisted that -once concluded- an ambitious TTIP will not only uphold high standards across the Atlantic but also eventually raise standards globally. For coverage of the event by US NEWS read further here

Did you miss the event? You can access the C-SPAN video here. Read her speech here

In Focus: Brexit

The United Kingdom’s Long Kiss Goodbye
 In light of the British referendum late last week, Atlantic Council’s Ashish Kumar Sen interviewed several Atlantic Council experts on the impact of the British vote to leave the European Union, the steps ahead, and what it ultimately means for both the United Kingdom and the European Union. Atlantic Council‘s Andrea Montanino, Director of the Global Business & Economics Program, calls for a “huge transformation of the EU“. (Atlantic Council)

What does Brexit mean for the US strategy for the global economic order? Watch a panel discussion on the implications of Brexit for the US economic strategy here

What the European Union Must Do Now
Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Anders Åslund delved into the crucial and swift steps the European Union must take to save itself from further turmoil. In order to re-establish a strong European Commission leader, Åslund called for the resignation of Jean-Claude Juncker. In order to deter other “-exits,” the European Commission should quickly lay out severe consequences for exiting the European Union, and should also raise the threshold needed to call referenda. It should also increase resources and coherent regulations for border control and defense spending. (Project Syndicate)
What’s Next for the United Kingdom?
Sarah Bedenbaugh, Associate Director of the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative, explained the process the United Kingdom must go through to officially leave the European Union. After “Leave” won 51.9 percent to “Remain” ’s 48.1 percent, British Prime Minister David Cameron will need to tell the European Council of their intention to leave, although the referendum is technically nonbinding. The negotiations have a time limit of two years, after which the United Kingdom will be shut out from the single market. Other European Union members are keen to be tough on the United Kingdom to prevent populist movements from sweeping similar referenda into their countries. (US News


Speeches & Announcements 

Malmström in Washington: “We need highly ambitious trade agreements”

“The UK will participate as one of the 28 Member States on who’s behalf we are negotiating the TTIP negotiations, until they are no longer a member. When it comes to TTIP, the rationale of TTIP remains as strong today as it was last Thursday.” 

In a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stressed that the rationale for TTIP remains strong, and that negotiations are moving forward with the ambition to conclude during the current US presidential administration. The recent United Kingdom vote on European Union membership has not affected the underpinning reasons for why trade across the Atlantic should be made easier. (European Commission) Read the Commssioner’s speech here.
Froman Reiterates Economic Importance of TTIP
“The importance of trade and investment is indisputable in our relationships with both the European Union and the United Kingdom. The economic and strategic rationale for TTIP remains strong.” 

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman reaffirmed that TTIP and trade relations with the European Union would continue. On the other hand, a UK-US trade agreement is likely years away at best. The United Kingdom first needs to figure out its own trade stance with the European Union before doing so with the United States. (Financial Times)


White House Says Obama Committed to EU Trade Deal after Brexit
President Barack Obama stays committed to TTIP after Brexit and work on that agreement is going to continue, the White House said on Monday.  White House spokesman Eric Schultz said “In terms of how the Brexit decision affects those negotiations, they’re working through that right now“. He underlined that if the United States have to start negotiating separately with the United Kingdom, it would start from a different vantage point, especially because the US administration has already been negotiating with the European Commission for years. (Reuters)
Brexit Makes Trade Agenda Even More Important
The loss of a European Union member very supportive of free trade means the future of trade agreements conducted by the European Union is at a critical juncture. Daniel Caspary, a spokesman of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, explained that “Brexit makes our trade agenda much more urgent” because Europe is already losing influence on the international economic scene to China and other Asian nations, so the timeline for completing trade agreements is even shorter and even more consequential. (POLITICO

Brexit Could Spur TTIP On

C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, believes that European officials will be eager to conclude TTIP negotiations in order to punish the United Kingdom for leaving the European Union and gain an economic advantage over it. (The Hill)

TTIP Action Partners

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Recent Analysis

TTIP ‘The Elephant in the Room’: Kempe on Brexit
CNBC interviews Atlantic Council President and CEO, Frederick Kempe on the impact of Brexit on transatlantic trade. While it is not certain if the United Kingdom will actually leave the European Union (and when), Kempe predicts a long period of uncertainty that will last at least until October when a new Prime Minister is elected. With regards to TTIP, he cautions that for the United Kingdom to be out of the negotiations would be bad for the United Kingdom and the United States alike. (CNBC)
Shape, Steer, and Sustain: A US Strategy for the New Global Economic Order
To better deal with the new global economic environment, the United States requires a new strategy for the twenty-first century. That strategy should enable the country to shape, steer, and sustain a new global economic order. To build the twenty-first century global economic order, this Atlantic Council Strategy paper outlines six pillars that must form part of any coherent global economic strategy. One of these pillars is to “forge regional partnerships” like TTIP which is important not just for economic reasons, but also because they are critical to US regional foreign policy, and national security interests (Atlantic Council)
“Special Relationship” Prevails Over Brexit Fears
The United States probably will not move the United Kingdom to the “back of the queue” for a trade agreement after Brexit, since a weaker Britain will be less able to spend two percent of its GDP on defense and maintain its commitments to NATO and other Western defense initiatives, as Nicholas Burns, a former United States ambassador to NATO, told reporters after an Atlantic Council event on Monday. Former Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro believes that “a U.S.-UK agreement could create leverage to get TTIP done more quickly, and it’s an easier agreement to do.” (Reuters

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

Obama Speaks at North American Leaders’ Summit
“More trade and people to people ties can also help break down old divides.”

Earlier today, President Barack Obama was in Ottawa, Canada for the North American Leaders’ Summit. He spoke on issues ranging from free trade to climate change, laying out why both nations need the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  You can view the press conference here: (The White House)

Remarks by Froman at Bretton Woods
“There is something broader at issue in whether and when TPP moves forward:  it’s the rules-based system itself.”

At the Annual Meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee earlier this week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman talked about the economic as well as strategic importance of the passage of the TPP. He underlined that “The economic stakes of isolationism are clear, but so are the strategic stakes. Rejecting TPP would undermine U.S. leadership, not only in the Asia Pacific region, but around the world.” (Office of the United States Trade Representative)
More Effort on Helping Workers Needed to Pass TPP
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), a self-described strong supporter of the TPP, warned that the isolationist currents that led to Brexit also exist in America’s political climate. In order to protect the TPP’s chances of passage, Congress needs to increase spending to help displaced workers pivot into different job opportunities. Warner also suggested fortifying infrastructure, which will not only directly facilitate trade, but also put tens of thousands of people to work. (Time

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Mercosur and European Union Meetings
Mercosur and the European Union held a meeting on June 22 and 23 to take stock of current negotiations and prepare for the next round later this year. Parties answered questions regarding the offers exchanged last month on market access on goods, services, and establishment as well as government procurement. They also agreed on a roadmap for the October meeting of the Bi-regional Negotiations Committee in Brussels. (European Commission)

Upcoming Events

Brexit Sends Shockwaves: What Now? – June 29, in Washington – More Information
14th Annual Digital Economy Workshop by Trans Atlantic Business Council – June 29, in Washington –More Information
Should Free Traders Support the TPP? – June 30, in Washington – More Information
German Marshall Fund Panel at the Warsaw Summit Experts’ Forum – July 9, in Warsaw – More Information
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