Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program Andrea Montanino moderated a discussion on prosperity and growth with EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici last week as part of the Atlantic Council’s conference “Stronger With Allies: The Future of Europe After Brexit“. Missed the event? Watch the webcast of the conference here.
In Focus – EconoGraphics
Europe’s Fiscal Burden The Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program recently published an “EconoGraphic” on the EU’s fiscal burden. To view the full graphic, please click here.
The European Union’s (EU) Stability and Growth Pact requires Eurozone countries to annually lay out their fiscal plans for the following three years. The European Commission (EC) then compares the member states’ reports with its own projections and those produced by independent bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to evaluate whether the member states are on track to reach their Medium-Term Budgetary Objectives (MTOs). It is important to note that Eurozone countries’ macroeconomic forecasts usually diverge, sometimes significantly, from the reports produced by the EC and the IMF.
For more information on Europe’s fiscal burden please take a look at the most recent EuroGrowth Initiative publication “Europe Needs To Trim Its Excessive Fiscal Burden” by Anders Aslund, Resident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. In this issue brief, the author explains why excessive public spending is one of the most crucial structural challenges that Europe is facing today.
Speeches & Announcements
European Union and United States Fully Committed to TTIP Negotiations
“We have heard some skeptical voices about TTIP lately, but I want to emphasize that the United States remains fully engaged in these negotiations and is as committed as ever to their success. We remain ready to move forward on an agreement that is in our mutual economic interest. The rationale for TTIP remains strong. This agreement is vital to strengthening our transatlantic relationship in a time of significant geopolitical uncertainty and uneven economic growth internationally.” – US Chief TTIP Negotiator Dan Mullaney
“We came to New York with one objective – to make as much progress as possible in our trade talks with the US. The reasons to continue these talks are as strong as three years ago when we started negotiating this biggest bilateral trade agreement in the world.” – EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero
US and EU Chief TTIP Negotiators Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia-Bercero delivered remarks during the 15th round of TTIP Negotiations in New York City last week emphasizing the US’ commitment to continuing the negotiations to agree upon an ambitious transatlantic trade deal. The negotiations come at a time when there is a lot of skepticism regarding the deal in the public, but the chief negotiators’ remarks serve to assuage the public’s feelings of uncertainty. The two officials explain the many reasons to support TTIP – from an economic perspective, a geopolitical perspective, a company benefit perspective, as well as regulatory cooperation, and technological innovation perspectives. (USTR)
For more information as well as info on the press conference after the end of the round, give Politico’s Morning Trade a quick read.
New Target for TTIP, Not 2016
While trade negotiators in both the European Union and the United States have agreed that TTIP negotiations will not be finalized by 2016, both sides are adamant that an agreement is necessary. Last week, the chief trade negotiators from the European Union and the United States met in New York City for the 15th round of TTIP negotiations. During these meetings, the negotiators made significant progress on the agreement, most notably regarding the chapter on technical barriers to trade. (EurActiv)
TTIP Action Partners
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What About TTIP? Negotiating A Brexit
Last week during the Atlantic Council’s event, Stronger With Allies: The Future of Europe After Brexit, Atlantic Council’s Ashish Kumar Sen sat down with Ambassador of the European Union to the United States David O’Sullivan to discuss how the United Kingdom will negotiate a Brexit. Among other topics, Ambassador O’Sullivan discussed the United Kingdom’s role during TTIP negotiations with a looming Brexit, emphasizing that the United Kingdom remains a full participant in the European Union and the TTIP negotiations until Brexit occurs. (Atlantic Council)
A Surplus of Anxiety: TTIP and Germany
This paper by Christian Bluth for the Bertelsmann Foundation explores the key sources of TTIP opposition and skepticism, and how that skepticism shapes the political landscape in Germany. The paper argues that understanding the root of this opposition is critical for policymakers in Brussels, Washington, and Berlin. As the European Union’s largest, most populous member state, Germany has an influential voice in the European Union’s trade and foreign policies, and Berlin’s blessing is key to TTIP’s passage. (Bertelsmann Foundation)
The paper by Christian Bluth is part of bigger report called “Newpolitik”, which is a guidebook for anyone seeking insight on Germany’s important and changing role in the European Union and the world:
The report by the Bertelsmann Foundation is a comprehensive guide that explores the context in which German foreign and domestic policy is made. With a Brexit on the horizon, it is likely the report argues that it is likely that Germany will ultimately take the lead in an increasingly challenged union. Understanding its priorities will inform those in Washington, Brussels and beyond as to what they might expect from the European Union’s emerging leader in the months and years to come. (Bertelsmann Foundation)
TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis
Korea More Eager to Join TPP
South Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minster Joo Hyung-hwan met with chairman of the Japan Business Federation Sadayuki Sakakibara early this week to request Japan’s support in joining the TPP. According to this article, this is the first time the South Korean government has suggested the country will participate in the TPP. (Market Pulse)
New Report: TPP Good for US Agriculture
Following a roundtable discussion with dairy producers in Wisconsin this week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack shared details of a new report by the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, which shows continued growth of the US dairy sector is largely contingent on trade and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could create an additional $150 to $300 million in annual US dairy exports. Free trade agreements have contributed to the growth in US dairy exports and helped to address tariff and non-tariff barriers that disadvantage US products in overseas markets. (USDA)
Please take a look at the report in its entirety here.
The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action
Malmström Announces EU Trade Deal with Southern Africa
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström proudly announced a new trade agreement she signed along with the Trade Ministers of the six southern Africa countries that make up the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) – Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The agreement, known as the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), is an entirely new species of trade agreement because it directly supports the economic integration of a specific region. (EU Commission)
For more information on all trade deals involving the European Union, please check out the EU Commission’s trade webpage here.
How The Politics of Trade Changed So Fast
The United States has historically been a pro-trade nation, but this examination by the economic policy correspondent Jim Tankersley for The Washington Post explores how anti-trade sentiment has recently risen to the forefront. The article focuses on the lack of support within the United States for the TPP agreement – both US presidential candidates have publicly stated opposition to ratifying the deal, and while Democrats have grown more supportive of trade during the Obama Administration, Republicans who have historically supported free trade, have recently grown less supportive. (The Washington Post)
Who Benefits When Brussels Pays?
The Cologne Institute for Economic Research published this report outlining how the European Union spends a significant portion of their budget on supporting poorer member states and regions, agricultural, research, and educational policy as compared to the low national public spending of each member state. The report indicates that middle and eastern European countries profit the most from payments from the European Union in relation to national public expenditure. (Cologne Institute for Economic Research)
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
Delivering a Green Capital Markets Union – October 17 in Brussels, hosted by Bruegel – More Information
Has the Transpacific Replaced the Transatlantic? – October 17 in Leipzig (also available via livestream), hosted by the Institute for American Studies, the Leipzig University Library, and the US Consulate General Leipzig – More Information
What’s The Problem with TTIP?– October 18 in Geneva, hosted by the Graduate Institute Geneva – More Information
Trends of the 21st Century Global Economy and Implication for Europe – October 26 in Brussels, hosted by Brugel – More Information
Fall Fables & Fallacies: The Truth about Free Trade – October 27 in Washington, hosted by the Cato Institute – More Information
Please send us suggested news stories, opinion pieces, publications, and upcoming events that you would like us to highlight!