Emotions Instead of Facts- Public Opinion on TTIP and CETA in the Digital Age
The 15th round of TTIP negotiations just concluded in New York with advances made in a range of negotiating areas and on the technical level, with the negotiators pledging to make as much progress as possible before President Obama leaves office in January 2017. Despite the progress, commitment, and positive messages from the negotiators, most of what you hear and read in the media is anti TTIP – the impact of which can be seen with hundreds of people protesting in France, Poland, and Spain in the past few days.
In an interview with the German foundation “Freiheit” (Freedom), senior economist Matthias Bauer of the Brussels think tank European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) analyzes the origin and workings of the “TTIP protest industry” and explores how to turn the currently polarized and emotionally charged debate into a more factual conversation. He concludes that the political educators and policy makers have to realize that nowadays, opinions are formed and influenced on the internet via social media which is relevant for both the ongoing TTIP campaign and for all future trade deals.
In a similar vein, Brussels correspondent for the German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine” Hendrik Kafsack published a critical opinion piece titled “The EU and CETA- a totally distorted public debate”. Because of the distorted picture that the European public is painting of trade deals, people do not realize that even before revisions were made to CETA, the deal should have been regarded as a new standard setter and role model for future trade deals. The author warns that if CETA fails because of a misinformed public debate, the European Union will pass on an opportunity to constructively shape globalization.
“We also need high-standard trade agreements like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It’s simply not possible to withdraw and pull up the drawbridge. Protectionism only makes our economies weaker”.”
In an interview with the Italian journal La Repubblica ahead of the State Dinner with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, President Barack Obama discusses European growth prospects and his support for TTIP. President Obama believes that austerity measures have contributed to slower growth in Europe and lauds Prime Minister Renzi for for his vision and ambitious reforms. He explains that while the politics around trade are currently difficult on both sides of the Atlantic, it is necessary to continue TTIP negotiations because the prosperity of the global economy depends on transatlantic trade, as protectionism makes our economies weaker. -Original article in Italian- (La Repubblica) Find the English version here.
Malmström: TTIP Is Good For Business “TTIP also has the potential to support our values agenda, notably by uniting the approaches of the world’s largest economies on key questions like how to support sustainable development in trade agreements.”
Late last week, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström gave a speech at the meeting of the Board ofEurocommerce in Brussels. Her speech focused on three dimensions: trade negotiations, trade defense, and responsible supply chains. She appealed to the participants to support of the conclusion of ambitious trade agreements; to strive for reasonable and effective compromises between competing interests on trade defense; and to be champions of responsible supply chains. (European Commission)
Commission Urges Member States to Support Proposals Against Unfair Trade
“Trade policy is one of the biggest assets of the EU to provide jobs, growth, and investment. Our prosperity and welfare depend on trade. Free trade must be fair, and only fair trade can be free.” – Jyrki Katainen
The Commission today called upon Member States to support its efforts to provide the European Union with updated, strengthened and more robust trade defense instruments. Despite the fact that the European Commission has been using the available trade defense instruments toolbox to its full extent, these have proven insufficient to deal with the huge over capacities that result in dumped exports on the EU market. (European Commission)
TTIP Will Unlock Full Potential of Transatlantic Relationship
“In terms of our ties with the United States, there is no room for complacency. Together, we constitute the most valuable economic corridor in the world, but things will not remain this way unless we unlock the full potential of our relationship.”
EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan explains how, and why, the next twelve months will be decisive for the European Union and how the union will rise to the occasion, in this review for the Council of American Ambassadors. Regarding trade, Ambassador O’Sullivan emphasizes the importance of putting transatlantic trade relations on a new and more competitive footing, while also contributing to developing new global trade rules that embody our values. (Council for American Ambassadors)
TTIP Negotiators Conclude Fifteenth Round, Pledge to Push Forward
Earlier this month, the trade negotiators from the European Union and the United States met for the 15th round of TTIP negotiations in New York City. While the timeline for TTIP negotiations is unclear, the negotiators stated that these negotiations saw significant advances, specifically with regard to animal and plant health and food safety. The next round of negotiations is not yet scheduled, but a meeting of the EU Trade Ministers on November 11 will provide insight into how the European Union plans to proceed with TTIP. (ICTSD)
Brexit First, UK- US Trade Deal Later
Amid the continuing TTIP negotiations, the topic of Brexit is causing a bit of uncertainty on how the United Kingdom will factor into the trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. While speaking at the Graduate Institute Geneva earlier this week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman informed the audience that US-UK trade talks are not possible until Brexit is clarified. (Reuters)
Malmström Talks TTIP in Hungary
Last Friday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited the Hungarian National Assembly to discuss the various free trade agreements which the European Union is in the midst of discussing, with a special focus on CETA and TTIP. The Hungarian National Assembly adopted on 11 October 2016 a resolution empowering the Government of Hungary to sign the CETA agreement on 27 October 2016. (IPEX)
TTIP Action Partners
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Opinion: Globalization Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word
In this opinion piece for the Washington Post, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, believes globalization has become a “dirty word,” and explores ways to change this perception. According to Holtz-Eakin, there are five ways to improve public opinion of globalization: explain the truth about globalization – the good and the bad, stop protectionist policies that lead to deterioration, improve the macro environment, address after effects of globalization, and broaden the discussion of globalization. (Washington Post)
Impact of TTIP on Turkish SMEs
This policy paper by TÜRKONFED (Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation), explores the potential impact of the TTIP on the small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Turkey. The authors make the case for designing TTIP in a way that would allow third countries such as non-EU European economies, namely Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Turkey to join TTIP. According to the authors, this move would not only enhance the direct and indirect economic benefits of the deal, including positive spillover effects, but also the soft power benefits of TTIP (türkonfed)
If you want to read more about how TTIP will likely affect SMEs, check out this article by the Hurriyet Daily News.
TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis
Froman: TPP Crucial for US Global Leadership
US Trade Representative Michael Froman writes this opinion piece for the Boston Herald contending that TPP would ensure US leadership in making the global economy work for all Americans. Failing to pass TPP, Ambassador Froman asserts, would undermine US leadership and cede the role of establishing rules for global trade to China. (Boston Herald)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed Monday that the TPP is essential for Japan’s growth and regional stability. Prime Minister Abe also insists that closer economic ties among countries that share basic values, such as freedom and democracy, would lead to stability in the region. (Japan News)
Check out this article from The Wall Street Journal for further analysis of Japan’s position on TPP and what it means for the 11 other nations included in the trade deal.
The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action
Representative Froman on the Successes of the WTO
On Monday, US Trade Representative Michael Froman delivered a speech to the Graduate Institute Geneva addressing key development at the WTO over the course of the Obama Administration. Representative Froman’s speech focused on the importance of the WTO to the United States, and highlighted key accomplishments achieved by the WTO members over the past few years. (USTR)
Ambassadors to the US Explain the Impact of Brexit on EU
Former Atlantic Council C. Boyden Gray Fellow and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Chris Brummer hosted the European, Slovak, German, and French ambassadors to the United States at Georgetown University’s Institute of International Economic Law to discuss the impact of the United Kingdom’s vote in favor of leaving the European Union, including talks about the mechanics and potential outcomes of the post-Brexit negotiations. Watch the full recorded discussion on C-Span. Read a short debrief of the event here.
Malmström Hopes CETA Will Be Signed Next Week
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström provided the preliminary remarks regarding CETA to the EU ministers for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Luxembourg on Tuesday. The meeting in Luxembourg called on the EU ministers to adopt several decisions relating to CETA, namely on the conclusion, signature and provisional application of the agreement. (TV News Room) Ahead of the meeting in Luxembourg, Germany’s top court rejected a case against CETA, allowing Germany the ability to sign the trade deal. (EurActiv)
Canadian Prime Minister also wants CETA to pass in the European Union, and he has gone so far as to say that CETA will test the European Union’s usefulness. (CBC)
European Economic Policy Forum Game Over: The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis– October 20 in Cambridge Massachusetts, hosted by Harvard – More Information
Value-Added Tax Challenges for Cross-Border Commerce and SMEs – October 25 in Brussels, hosted by Bruegel – More Information
Trends of the 21st Century Global Economy and Implication for Europe – October 26 in Brussels, hosted by Brugel – More Information
The Brookings Debate: Have Free Trade Deals Been a Net Positive for Working Americans? – October 26 in Washington, hosted by the Brookings Institution – More Information
Fall Fables & Fallacies: The Truth about Free Trade – October 27 in Washington, hosted by the Cato Institute – More Information
SAIS: Europe After Merkel – an EES Distinguished Lecture with Dr. Ashoka Mody of Princeton University– November 1 in Washington, hosted by the European and Eurasian Studies Program – More Information
Financing Growth in Europe – How Markets Can Help the European Project – November 3 in Philadelphia, hosted by the Atlantic Council and the University of Philadelphia – More Information
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