12th Round Kicks Off
Photo Credit: @EU_TTIP_team
US and EU Chief Negotiators Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia Bercero shake hands to kick off the 12th round of negotiations this week in Brussels.
The 12th round of TTIP negotiations is in full swing, with several stakeholder meetings taking place today. If you want to know more about the issues covered and the representatives who attended the meetings, please click here for an overview. The press and media briefings won’t be held until the conclusion of talks on Friday, February 26. The public can follow the briefing live via a Europe by Satellite feed at 12:00pm CET.

Find out more about this round of negotiations on the European Commission’s webpage.

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In Focus

Europe's Globalized Economy
Photo Credit: @EU_Commission
Europe truly is a globalized economy, as can be seen in this map showing that most of the world has/is negotiating to have a trade agreement with the European Union.

Speeches & Announcements 

TTIP and EU Trade: Listening, Learning, and Changing

What’s not at stake are our European and Austrian values – of transparent and accountable government or of high levels of regulation for people and the environment. And the people are the best guardians of those values. That’s why we have listened, learned and made changes already. And why we’ll continue to do so in the future… starting with our discussion today” – EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström 

This week Commissioner Malmström spoke at the Austrian Chamber of Labour in a public debate to an audience of business representatives, politicians, and Chancellor Mitterlehner.  She took the opportunity to address the concerns of Austrians about the negotiations and gave examples of how the EU’s approach to the negotiations has shifted in response, including on transparency, investment protection, and regulation to ensure that TTIP will in no way lower European standards. (European Commission)

The full text of the speech can be found here.



Brussels Briefing on Trade – All You Need to Know for the Rest of February

EU Trade Insights’ reporter Joanna Sopinska reviews the top trade issues for the second half of this month. Topping the list are the TTIP negotiations that started on February 22, which focus on services and public procurement; both sides will bring official ISDS texts to the table. Negotiators hope this round will be the first step towards consolidated texts on almost all items by the summer. Additionally, the European Parliament plenary session will discuss EU-Tunisia trade issues. (viEUws)

Once Again the United States is the Largest Market for German Electrical Exports

Since 2009 the trade relationship between the US and German electrical industries has been dynamic and, in 2015, the United States surpassed China as the largest market for German electrical exports. CEO ofZVEI Management, Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, believes that TTIP is a great opportunity that can spur additional growth.  ZVEI is the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association and represents more than 1,600 companies, most of which are SMEs. (Virtual-Strategy Magazine)

TTIP Action Partners

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Marsilli is a global manufacturing solutions provider of coil/motor winding and assembly systems for the automotive, appliance, industrial, consumer, and RFID electronics industries.


Recent Analysis

The Window for TTIP is Right Now

Atlantic Council’s Assistant Director of the Global Business & Economics program and Managing Editor of this newsletter, Marie Kasperek, argues that the time to conclude TTIP is right now. Given the uncertainty of the results of upcoming elections on both sides of the Atlantic, 2016 is the optimal time to take advantage of existing political will to make significant progress on the landmark trade deal, and to create a coherent strategy to inform the public of the opportunities of TTIP and dispel myths about the negotiations. (The Hill)

Our Objective is to Defend the European Union’s Social Model

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström refutes the allegations that TTIP will lower social norms and environmental standards. She explains that it is extremely hard to convince the public that in fact, the TTIP negotiators’ objective is to defend European standards, not lower them. Malmström reminds the audience that there are also numerous standards in the United States that are higher than in the European Union. – Original article in French (Le Figaro)

What Complicates Trade with the United States- and how TTIP could Change it

Carl Martin Welcker, Chief Executive of the German company Alfred H. Schütte Corp., emphasizes that exporting internationally is the key to success for his company. However, they still faces major difficulties when exporting to the United States – mostly because of technical barriers. He opines that even though rules and regulations are important for a product’s quality and standard, regulations and rules should be harmonized if it is a matter of unnecessarily diverging requirements. It is clear that TTIP cannot eradicate all technical barriers – however, it would be helpful if TTIP can create a framework for regulatory cooperation. – Original article in German (Euractiv

Bourgeois: Time for European Union, United States to Speed UP TTIP Negotiations

Editor-in-Chief of EurActiv, Daniela Vincenti, interviews the Chair of AmChamEU’s “TTIP Taskforce”, Hendrik Bourgeois, who gives an in-depth analysis of the current state of affairs regarding TTIP negotiations.  After touching on specific issues where each side should be commended and where they can improve, Bourgeois suggests that TTIP should a be a living document that can accommodate further regulatory cooperation in the future, and that stakeholders must utilize the current political will to progress towards an endgame in the immediate future. (EurActiv)

Getting Europe and the United States to Say Yes

The Editorial Board of Bloomberg View underlines the importance of this week’s round of TTIP negotiations being fruitful.  The authors question the EU’s proposed International Court System (ICS) and deem it inferior to the existing ISDS. Therefore, the authors stress that this issue should be settled quickly so that other topics can be addressed and negotiations can move forward. Dragging out the talks would be detrimental as misinformed critics grow increasingly vocal. The benefits of the agreement are too great for either side to let this opportunity pass. (Bloomberg)

The TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

TPP Threatens Nobody’s Sovereignty

Greg Lindsay and Dr. Patrick Carvalho of the Centre for Independent Studies clarify and debunk the myths about the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism of the TPP (the ISDS is the same mechanism the United States is negotiating for in TTIP). The authors conclude, “in short, there is nothing to fear from investor-state arbitration and much to welcome it in our international commitments. As a proof that the system works, they put forward the first and only ISDS case against the Australian government (on tobacco packaging legislation) which has been recently dismissed.

Keep an eye out for the forthcoming research report from the same authors titled “Investor-State Arbitration: Debunking the Myths“. 


Obama “Cautiously Optimistic” on TPP Trade Deal

Speaking to the National Governors Association at the White House, President Obama said, “I am cautiously optimistic that we can still it get it done” referring to TPP ratification by Congress during his final year in office, and noted that the presidential campaigns have complicated trade politics. President Obama has garnered support for the agreement from Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan on the other side of the aisle, although they have voiced some concerns on the margins. (The Hill)

POLITICO’s Morning Trade Heavy on TPP

Today on Morning Trade – POLITICO’s daily sum of global trade news – author Victoria Guida connected the dots about the current conversation on the TPP. House Ways and Means Chairman Brady recognized the agreement’s economic benefits and feels that if the USTR can work through a few certain concerns, there will be support for it in the House. Additionally, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stated they can’t wait for another time and president to approve the deal in a letter to senators and released a report analyzing its benefits of the TPP. (POLITICO’s Morning Trade)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

Exit from European Union Would Hit Economy and Jobs

On Tuesday the leaders of nearly 200 British companies signed a joint letter about the economic benefits of EU membership and showed support for PM Cameron’s efforts to remain in the Union. The letter was published in the Times and said, “Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs.  We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk.” The letter comes a day after the pound suffered its biggest losses since 2008 over Brexit concerns. (Reuters)

The Trickle of US Oil Exports is Already Shifting Global Power

Joe Carroll and Harry Weber write for Bloomberg Business about the geopolitical and economic effect of US crude oil exports to Europe and Asia after Congress lifted the 40-year export ban. As Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to freeze output at near record levels, the first US exports are beginning to arrive in Europe. Russia, who uses energy exports to Europe as a political tool, is watching its economic and political power slip away as it loses revenue and leverage. Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister, Ali al Naimi, said the US crude exports will lead to “improved efficiency and flexibility of the global market.” (Bloomberg)

Upcoming Events

Britain, the EU and Global Trade – February 25, hosted by the Policy Network, with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malström and French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl, in London –More Information 
Beyond Safe Harbor: Bridging the Transatlantic Privacy Divide – February 26, hosted by Passcode from the Christian Science Monitor, with EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan, at K&L Gates in Washington, DC – More Information
Opportunities and Potential of TTIP – February 29, hosted by the Bavarian Trade Union in Passau, Germany – More Information 
Newsmaker with Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice President – March 1, hosted by the European American Chamber of Commerce New York, with EC VP for Jobs, Growth, Investment & Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, at SUNY Global Center in New York – More Information 
AmCham Insights – TTIP: Where Are We Heading? What is the Road to Success? – March 2, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in France in Paris – More Information
A Road Map for European Growth with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen – March 2, hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington DC- More Information  
Interdisciplinary Conference on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – March 14 and 15, hosted by the Centre for European Research at the University of Gothenburg, in Gothenburg, Sweden –More Information