TTIP&TRADE in Action – October 5, 2016

The Atlantic Council is hosting EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, and a panel of esteemed experts featuring Mr. Carlos Costa, Governor of the Central Bank of Portugal; Mr. Bart Oosterveld, Managing Director of Moody’s Investor Service; and  Dr. Paul Sheard, Chief Economist of SP Global, tomorrow, October 6 as part of the Atlantic Council Stronger With Allies: The Future of Europe After Brexit conference. 

Find more info on the conference here. On the other side of the Atlantic but want to take part? Join us via twitter @AC_GBE and watch the webcast here

In Focus – World Economic Outlook

This week the IMF released their World Economic Outlook report presenting the IMF economists’ analyses of global economic developments, issues affecting advanced, emerging, and developing economics.
wea 2016
The IMF report indicates that global growth will slow
to 3.1 percent
in 2016 before recovering to 3.4 percent
in 2017
; persistent stagnation in advances economics
could further fuel anti-trade sentiment, stifling growth;
and countries need to rely on all on all policy levers –
monetary, fiscal and structural – to lift growth prospects. 

On trade, the IMF indicates that trade growth has slowed globally, compared to economic growth and trade’s strong historical performance. Specifically, the report shows that trade growth post-recession is half that of trade growth in the previous 30 years. The IMF attributes 75% of the global trade slowdown to overall weakness in economic activity. In order to stimulate trade, the IMF states that it will be crucial to address the weakness in economic activity, especially investment.

Speeches & Announcements 

To Froman: Address Key Issues, US Congress Will Support TTIP

“A strong and comprehensive TTIP is important for American businesses, consumers, farmers, and workers, and both sides of the Atlantic stand to benefit – both economically and strategically – from an ambitious TTIP agreement.”
On Monday, in advance of the 15th round of TTIP negotiations taking place this week in New York City, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance Orrin Hatch and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady sent US Trade Representative Michael Froman a letter in bicameral support of continuing efforts to negotiate an ambitious and comprehensive agreement with the European Union. (House Ways and Means Committee)
Secretary Kerry on the Importance of EU-US Unity
If done correctly, it [TTIP] can provide a powerful rebuttal to those who see trade agreements as the starter’s gun for an economic race to the bottom – and powerful support for those who believe in building on past accomplishments rather than trying to tear them down. Let me make it crystal clear: trade is not the problem.” 
Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a special address in Brussels on the future of transatlantic relations, an event hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the United States Mission to the European Union. In his speech, Secretary Kerry stresses the importance of unity and partnership between the United States and the European Union, highlighting trade as a key component of this partnership. (US Department of State)


Merkel Says European Union and United States Need to Continue TTIP Negotiations
Despite opposition in some European countries, notably from within Germany, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a meeting of the German BGA trade body today that the European Union and the United States should continue to negotiate TTIP as long as possible. Chancellor Merkel argues that a successful deal could “write a new chapter in the history of globalization.” (Reuters)
TTIP Negotiations To Continue, But Unlikely to Finish This Year
Earlier last week, EU Trade Ministers have come to a consensus that TTIP is unlikely to be finalized by the end of the year. Despite this realization, TTIP negotiations will continue. Trade negotiators from the European Union and the United States are meeting in New York City this week to continue TTIP negotiations, and representatives from the EU Member States have discussions planned for the end of October at the European Council. (ICTSD)
 Ulrich Grillo: Sigmar Gabriel is Wrong
President of BDI, the Federation of German Industries, Ulrich Grillo is adamant that trade is a European responsibility, and for this reason TTIP negotiations must continue with a sense of urgency. He hopes that a deal can be reached before President Obama leaves office in January. Additionally, Grillo does not believe that Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel’s assessment that TTIP negotiations are dead is accurate. -Original article in German- (Reuters)

TTIP Action Partners

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Recent Analysis

Malmström Is Making the Case for Trade
Cecile Ducourtieux of Le Monde provides a clever analysis of how TTIP negotiations have changed since EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström took responsibility of the trade portfolio. Commissioner Malmström has provided increased transparency, more inclusion of the public’s opinion, and played a more active role in progressing negotiations than her predecessor. (Le Monde)
A Reform Agenda for Post- Brexit Europe
Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program Andrea Montanino, co-authors with Lilac Peterson and Alvaro Morales Salto-Weis, makes the case for further European integration following Brexit. In the analysis, the authors argue that the European Union can increase integration by completing the Digital Single Market and the Capital Markets Union, by concluding the TTIP, pursuing a larger European budget, and introducing Eurobonds. (World Financial Review)
 What Has Caused the Negative Opinion of TTIP?
In this in-depth examination written for Foreign Affairs, Senior Research Fellow at Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security Tyson Barker unwinds the reasons behind the often negative perception of TTIP. Barker’s analysis attributes the negative perception of TTIP to upcoming elections and political gains for candidates in the elections. A case in point is the upcoming elections in Germany where German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel stands to gain by differentiating between CETA and TTIP, coming out in favor of the former and against the conclusion of the latter. (Foreign Affairs)
 Elections Delaying TTIP Negotiations in the United States and the European Union
As TTIP negotiations continue this week in New York City, Jennifer Rankin from The Guardian provides an objective perspective on how the elections in the United States and Germany will cause delays in TTIP ratification. The elections on both sides of the Atlantic create a strong sense of urgency for the current TTIP negotiations to progress as much as possible before President Obama leaves office in January 2017. (The Guardian)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

Secretary Kerry Insists on Passing TPP
Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Congress to adopt TPP, arguing that rejection would badly damage US credibility and national security. Secretary Kerry insists that TPP will “reinforce [the United States’] status as a world leader,” while rejection of TPP would embolden rivals like China and North Korea as well as cast doubt among US allies in the region over American resolve. (US News & World Report)
No Alternative to TPP
Those in the Obama Administration who support TPP, such as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman and US Trade Representative Michael Froman, understand that TPP will face challenges, but believe the importance of the deal with regards to the US role as a leader in the region make it essential to pass. Ambassador Froman contends that negotiators have created “benefits that enormously exceed their costs” in the TPP deal. (Roll Call)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Theresa May Just Set a Deadline for Brexit
Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would trigger the process to leave the European Union by the end of March 2017, offering the first glimpse of a timetable for a divorce that will redefine Britain’s ties with the European Union, its biggest trading partner. The Prime Minister May has been under pressure to offer more details on her plan for departure, beyond an often-repeated catchphrase that “Brexit means Brexit.” (Fortune)
EU Loosens Trade Quote on Ukraine
The European Union has expanded the amount of produce Ukraine can export duty-free to the bloc as part of their free trade deal, but delayed disbursing a second tranche of aid pending further policy steps by Kiev. Brussels will not hand over financial assistance until Ukraine takes steps to reform their trade policies to be more in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization, such as lifting a ban on exporting Ukraine’s wood that is intended to protect Ukrainian furniture makers. (Reuters)

Check out this blog post to read EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström’s thoughts on her trip to Kiev. 

How Preferential Trade Agreements Affect the US Economy
This report from the Congressional Budget Office examines the economic literature on trade and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA). Based on the findings, the report concludes that economic theory and historical evidence suggest that the diffuse and long-term benefits of international trade have outweighed the concentrated short-term costs. (Congressional Budget Office)
 Two Steps to Improve Public Opinion on Trade
Robert Litan, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writing for the Wall Street Journal outlines a few ways that the US government can rehabilitate the negative opinion of free trade agreements. First, Litan indicates that the United States needs to increase confidence that foreign countries are abiding by the rules under existing trade agreements. Additionally, the United States should develop a comprehensive livelihood insurance programs for all displaced workers, regardless of the reason for displacement, as well as provide loans to working adults to earn educational degrees and certificates. (Wall Street Journal)

Upcoming Events

Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning China’s Compliance With WTO Commitments – October 5 in Washington, hosted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative – More Information
Stronger With Allies: The Future of Europe After Brexit  – October 6 in Washington, hosted by Atlantic Council – More Information
15th Round Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations (conference call open to the press) – October 7 in NYC (via conference line), hosted by the US & EU Trade Negotiators – More Information

Financial Times/Bruegel European Forum: Where Now for the UK and the EU After the Vote for Brexit?  – October 10 in Brussels, hosted by Bruegel and Financial Times – More Information
The Illiberal Turn?: Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe – October 13 in Washington, hosted by the Atlantic Council – More Information
Europe After Brexit: A Conversation with the Ambassadors of Germany, France, Slovakia, and the European Union – October 17 in Washington, Institute of International Economic Law) – More Information
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