TTIP&TRADE in Action – July 28, 2016

Today will be the last edition of our newsletter before we go on summer break until Washington DC and Brussels are back in session in September. A month without your favorite newsletter on all things TTIP and Trade? Don’t despair- follow us on @TTIPAction for your daily news fix. For all of you who want to brush up on what’s the latest state of TTIP negotiations before the next round in early fall, below are some suggestions.

See you back in September! Your TTIP & Trade in Action Team

Your Summer Reading List

The US and EU chief TTIP negotiators gave insightful press statements at the end of the last round of TTIP negotiations earlier this month. Read Dan Mullaney’s and Ignacio Garcia Bercero’s statements to find out more about what they discussed in the last round. 

If you would like to browse through the negotiating documents that the European Union has published, please click here.

For a “game plan” on how to get to the “TTIP finish line”, we recommend reading EU Trade Commissioner Malmström’s recent speech at the Atlantic Council. 

What are the negotiators doing to make the negotiations as transparent as possible? Read more on US transparency in trade negotiations and the European Commissions efforts on transparency as part of the “trade for all” agenda. 

The Atlantic Council recently published a report on “Ten Arguments for TTIP and the Concerns to Address” and an issue brief on the views of European Diplomats in DC on TTIP.


Speeches & Announcements 

Secretary Kerry Promotes TTIP in London

“TTIP is even more important, I believe, and President Obama believes, to Europe now…So we’re going to argue for it, we’re going to work for it, and we don’t believe that the current situation prevents us from being able to advance that agenda.”

In a joint press conference in London with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was important to “demythologize” TTIP because it doesn’t usurp people’s ability to have strict standards. He said passing TTIP was a surefire way of obtaining the benefits of globalization. Secretary Kerry will be visiting Austria and other European Union members this month to discuss the benefits of TTIP. (The State Department)

Merkel on TTIP Trade Deal 
“I regard this agreement as absolutely right, and important.” 

At a summer press conference earlier today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked about, among other things, TTIP. She underlined the importance of trade deal and stressed that it was in Europe’s interests to conclude it. (Reuters) Read her whole speech (in German) here

Commerce Secretary Pritzker Reiterates TTIP Top Priority
“The Obama administration is firmly committed to the completion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership this year, which remains the top priority in terms of engagement with Europe on trade.”

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker met with Britain’s new Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox during his first stateside visit. They emphasized the importance of the US-UK commercial and political relationship post-referendum, and discussed how the United Kingdom would pave a steady path forward to create minimal disruption to the global economy, businesses, and workers. (Commerce Department



Froman: Official UK-US Trade Deal Not Possible Right Now
In talks with British trade secretary Liam Fox, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman stated that until fundamental tenets regarding the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union have been settled, it is too early for the United States to enter into formal trade talks with the United Kingdom. However, Froman said that in the interim, the United States is prepared to hold discussions with Britain about how to best develop the trade relationship and the appropriate time to start negotiations, especially because the two nations are longtime important economic partners. (The Hill)

You can also read US Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of international affairs Myron Brilliant’s reasons for a UK-US trade deal.

Liam Fox: UK-EU Relations Should Be Resolved by 2020
Secretary Fox also suggested the United Kingdom would not trigger Article 50 until early 2017. He said Britain would prefer to strike a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union rather than a customs union, because that could restrict Britain’s ability to negotiate lower tariffs with other trading partners. (The Guardian)
USTR Creates Digital Trade Working Group
Ambassador Robert Holleyman and US Trade Representative experts will work in a “rapid response” team to address barriers to digital trade, promote policies supporting a free and open Internet and borderless commerce, and continue United States’ digital trade surplus. It will also coordinate the negotiation and implementation of digital trade provisions bilaterally and across on-going and completed negotiations including TTIP, TiSA, and the TPP. It will also strengthen ties with the WTO, APEC, G-20, and G-7 to support an expansion in digital trade and policies. (European American Chamber of Commerce in New York)

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

For Sake of Europe, TTIP Must Pass
Ulrich Grillo, president of the German industry association BDI, called for Germany to do everything in its power following the British referendum to get TTIP passed. He stated that pro free traders needed to do more to frame the trade debate, which is currently being dominated by populists and protectionists. He also said that Europe would benefit more from negotiating as a bloc rather than trying to go for bilateral trade deals, because the European Union has unity and strength in numbers. (Handelsblatt)
Shining a Light on Trade
Laura Dawson, Director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center, explained how she set out as a graduate student to prove free trade only benefited corporations, only to find significant evidence to the contrary. She suggests for pro free trade advocates to get back to the basics: free trade is an endorsement of better products, more choices, and lower prices; countries cannot be self-sufficient and need trade; and trade agreements like TTIP and the TPP provide crucial opportunities for small and medium enterprises. (UPS)
Bloomberg Editorial Board Calls for Better Trade Leadership
Bloomberg called for politicians to debunk the “economically specious and morally bankrupt” claim that free trade with low-wage countries is unfair. Expanding the scope of international competition will keep raising innovation and the standard of living.They also told leaders to direct their efforts towards providing effective safety nets, better vocational and retraining education, employment subsidies for low-wage workers, and fairer, simpler taxes. Not doing this and promoting protectionism would only guarantee further economic stagnation and lack of opportunity. (Bloomberg)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

Former China Ambassadors Say TPP Must Pass
Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Chairman of the Atlantic Council and Ambassador to China from 2009-11, and Governor Gary Locke, Ambassador to China from 2011-14, jointly penned an essay in which they stated that the TPP had to pass if the United States didn’t want to send a message of “weakness, retreat and unreliability” to Latin American and Asian allies. They also stated that trade has winners and losers, but that protectionism will not shelter those hurt by technological innovation and globalization. Instead, the correct solution is stronger support for vocational training and education vouchers, portable healthcare insurance, and wage insurance. (The National Interest)
Implications of the TPP for the World Trading System
The Peterson Institute for International Economics’ July policy brief on the TPP predicts that Congress will likely vote for the TPP so that it can enter into force during the first term of the next American president. Its passage can also spur the revival of multilateral trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO). It unifies many disparate trading rules created by regional trade agreements, but its potential for long term trade reform depends on the reactions of key “outsiders” like China, India, and Korea, in addition to Latin American countries. (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Top 5 Trade Priorities for the Slovak EU Presidency
The Slovak Presidency of the European Union will set its sights on the provisional application and signing of CETA at the EU-Canada summit on October 27. Regarding the Council on TTIP, it will facilitate the Informal Trade Council on September 22-23 in Bratislava and the European Council meeting on October 20-21 in Brussels. It will also lead multilateral negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) and on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). (Vieuws)
G20 Makes Economic Inclusiveness a Long Term Goal
“We underscore the role of open trade policies and a strong and secure global trading system in promoting inclusive global economic growth, and we will make further efforts to revitalise global trade and lift investment,” the G20 stated after its Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting from July 23-24. This is in line with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s statement that the Brexit outcome reinforced the need for policies that ensure growth benefits are enjoyed not just by business or investors but also working families and the middle class. (Reuters)
How to Address the EU’s Structural Barriers to Growth
In a public panel hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, with Stuart Eizenstat, former US ambassador to the European Union, former Hungarian prime minister Gordon Bajnai, member of the Council of Economic Advisers Jay Shambaugh, and chief economist for S&P Global’s Paul Sheard, the panelists discussed how to transcend political differences to create a more unified EU-wide fiscal policy to mitigate asymmetric shocks like Brexit, given that no apparatus exists to do so. (Atlantic Council)

Upcoming Events

Europe After the NATO Warsaw Summit: A Transatlantic Talk with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov – July 29, in Washington – More Information
Implications and Next Steps for the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework – July 29, in Washington – More Information
‘Brexit’ – What does it Mean for UK Employment Law? – August 3, in Brussels – More Information
Negotiating TTIP after Brexit – September 19, in London – More Information
 Please send us suggested news stories, opinion pieces, publications, and upcoming events that you would like us to highlight! 
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