TTIP&TRADE in Action – July 20, 2016

Photo Credit: Lieven Creemers 
Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Dan Mullaney, Chief EU and Chief US negotiators for TTIP, speak to stakeholders on July 13th during the 14th round of TTIP negotiations.

Event: Go for Growth- Europe! 

Do you want to take stock of the economic developments in Europe before the summer break? The Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative invites you to join our panelists on July 21! Register here. For those of you on the other side of the Atlantic, watch the webcast here

In Focus


The conference ‘EU Trade Agreements in Practice – Making Trade Work for You’, hosted by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Slovakia on September 22, is a direct response to the ‘Trade for All’ strategy launched last October. After an opening plenary session, four break-out sessions will offer participants the opportunity to discuss how their voices can be heard in the trade policymaking process. Learn more here and register here. 

Speeches & Announcements 

EU Chief Negotiator Delivers Concluding Remarks at TTIP Talks

“Everything we do will be fully transparent and will respect the independence of our regulators and of our respective domestic regulatory processes…We are both also very clear that nothing that we do could in any way reduce autonomy of our governments to regulate.”

The European Union’s Chief Negotiator for TTIP, Ignacio García Bercero, provided a state of play of TTIP negotiations following the conclusion of the 14th round of negotiations. TTIP will have up to 30 chapters, most of which are at various stages of EU-US consensus. There is now a chapter specifically dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SME), and a “very ambitious” chapter on trade and sustainable development, including on labor and the environment. In addition, offers now encapsulate 97 percent of all tariff lines. (European Commission

Kerry Disagrees with TTIP Skeptics
“We believe there is some mythology that has been attached to it [TTIP] and it’s our job to make sure that we adequately inform people about the ways in which the facts of the TTIP actually work for the people of Europe.” (US Department of State)

In a joint press conference with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in Brussels, US Secretary of State John Kerry maintained that TTIP is a “high priority” for the Obama Administration, and pledged to give clarifying speeches on how it will help Europeans. He also said that TTIP had become even more important in the wake of Brexit since it can act as a counterweight to potential negatives that may arise between the United Kingdom and the European Union. (Reuters

Commission Vice President Gives Keynote at Atlantic Council
“This should reduce compliance costs and improve implementation. We should continue working towards further regulatory cooperation as part of TTIP.”

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who manages the portfolio of Financial Stability, Financial Services, and the Capital Markets Union in addition to his original portfolio as vice president of the the Euro and Social Dialogue since July 16, gave his first speech in the United States in his new double capacity. He declared that the EU economy “has what it takes to cope with the downward pressure on growth the referendum has created,” and that European integration sentiment has risen in the wake of Brexit. He described the EU-US trade and investment relationship as “strong,” and provided an overview of new transatlantic and European financial regulation mechanisms. (European Commission)   



European Commission Continues Expanding TTIP Transparency
Following the conclusion of the latest round of TTIP talks, the European Commission published nine documents. This is in line with this year’s goal to have almost all proposals for chapters of TTIP on the table and consolidated by the end of summer break. The published proposals include the European Union’s position on regulatory cooperation in the sectors of cosmetics, medical devices, cars, chemicals, and textiles. In line with the push towards sustainable development, the Commission published a new article on climate protection, and separate chapters on energy and raw materials, market access for financial services, and on institutional cooperation within TTIP. (European Commission)
Kerry to Embark on EU Roadshow to Promote TTIP
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that concluding the TTIP agreement before the end of President Barack Obama’s term in office remains his country’s priority, and that he was going to tour EU countries to make this happen. Both Washington and the Commission want TTIP completed before Obama leaves office, but the governments of some EU member states are reluctant to fuel populists ahead of crucial elections. (Euractiv
Majority of Voters Support Free Trade
A recent poll conducted by NBC and The Wall Street Journal found that 55 percent of voters agree with the statement that free trade with foreign countries is good for America, because it opens up new markets and because the United States cannot avoid it in a global economy. 60 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents, and 51 percent of Republicans support this statement. This is notable given that both presidential candidates currently oppose current free trade deals. (NBC)

TTIP Action Partners

Would you like to hear how you can partner with the Atlantic Council and our trade work? Click here and learn more!


Recent Analysis

Realizing TTIP’s Strategic Potential
Chatham House’s latest research paper concludes that the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States will all benefit if the United Kingdom joins TTIP, so Britain should participate actively in European Union decisions regarding TTIP while it is still officially in the Union. It also states that the soft-power benefits from TTIP are potentially substantial and can be maximized if other strategically important countries, such as Turkey, are able to join. (Chatham House)
The Way Ahead for an International Investment Court
In her latest blog post, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström addressed the issue that no coherent and permanent international body exists for mediating investment disputes, like the WTO does for trade issues. Instead, disputes are brought to specialized arbitral tribunals created on a case-by-case basis, and fall under one of the over 3200 international investment agreements currently in force. Malmström pointed to the European Union proposal of establishing a tribunal of permanent judges, which can recommend disputes to an appeal tribunal, which will establish transparency and consistency through case law over time. (European Commission
Turning Brexit into Reality?
Fran Burwell, vice president of the European Union and Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council, discussed the possibility of the United Kingdom backing out of Brexit, stating that “there is a small percentage possibility of being able to walk this back.” If that were to occur, however, newly minted Prime Minister Theresa May could be the one capable of doing so because she has experience negotiating with the European Union. May is traditionally eurosceptic and yet campaigned for Remain, so she is one of the few in the Conservative Party who is respected by both Remain and Leave camps. (Atlantic Council)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

Bipartisan Governor Support for TPP
Four state governors – Republicans Terry Branstad of Iowa and Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Democrats John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia – announced their support for the TPP alongside US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Des Moines. Governor McAuliffe said that American companies cannot create more jobs without opening up additional markets through agreements like the TPP for their products. He also criticized the election cycle trade rhetoric as “so over the top” and predicted that,“once we get through the presidential election, more common sense will prevail.” (AP)
Interior Secretary Promotes TPP in Seattle
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was in Seattle for the Washington Council of International Trade (WCIT) 2016 Summer Luncheon to emphasize the importance of the TPP. As both a member of the Obama cabinet and a former Washington state business executive, Secretary Jewell is uniquely positioned to discuss how strong trade policies can protect not only American workers, but additionally, wildlife and the environment. The TPP includes the most comprehensive environmental commitments ever negotiated in a trade agreement. (Department of the Interior)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

EU Changes Anti-Dumping, Tariff Legislation
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced a new anti-dumping methodology that targets market distortions caused by state intervention in third countries. The new anti-dumping duties will be approximately the same as today’s. Malmström also called on member states to swiftly adopt the Commission’s 2013 proposal to modernize and strengthen the European Union’s trade defense instruments. (European Commission)
European Parliament Supports Trade Deal with Six African Countries
The European Parliament Trade Committee voted to recommend House-wide support of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with six member states of the South African Development Community (SADC). The deal offers immediate duty and quota-free access for products from Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and provides improved European Union market access for South Africa. It replaces previous interim unilateral agreements and establishes an arrangement compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. (European Parliament
EU and Indonesia Kick Off Bilateral Trade Agreement
European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Indonesian Minister of Trade Tom Lembong officially launched the negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the European Union and Indonesia, stating that “our trade relationship has enormous untapped potential.” The European Union and Indonesia represent 750 million consumers. The first round of negotiations will take place sometime this year. (European Commission

Upcoming Events

Fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) – July 17- 22, in Nairobi – More Information
Reinvigorating the transatlantic partnership to tackle evolving threats – July 20, in Washington – More Information
Go for Growth, Europe! – July 21, in Washington – More Information
Dispute Settlement Body at the WTO – July 21, in Geneva – More Information
Informal Council for Trade in Services at the WTO – July 26, in Geneva – More Information
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