New Zealand announced this week that it will host the signing of the TPP in Auckland on Thursday, February 4. (New Zealand Government)


Make your tax-deductable donation to support TTIP&TRADEinAction


The Priorities of the Dutch Presidency in the Area of International Trade Policy

“The negotiations on the FTA between the EU and the US (TTIP) are a subject of public interest in the European Union. Given the European Council’s ambition of concluding the negotiations quickly, the Netherlands Presidency will work to move the process forward efficiently, while paying due regard to the public debate surrounding the agreement.”

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms. Lilliane Ploumen, presented the international trade priorities of the Dutch Council Presidency, highlighting the conclusion of ongoing free trade agreement negotiations in a transparent and efficient manner. The trade priorities are described within a larger report on the Council Presidency’s priorities. (European Parliament Committees)

Graphic of the Week

Auckland, New Zealand
Photo Credit: @EU_TTIP_Team

Speeches and Announcements

Remarks by Ambassador Froman at the University of Warsaw
“The broader US-EU relationship has blossomed as well, becoming the largest trade relationship in the world.  Nearly $2 billion in goods and 1$ billion worth of services are traded across the Atlantic every single day between the United States and Europe.  Those are some impressive statistics, but we can do better.” 
– Michael Froman, US Trade Representative

On Monday, January 25, US Trade Representative Michael Froman spoke at the University of Warsaw and talked about the benefits of TTIP to Poland specifically and for transatlantic trade as a whole.  He stressed that the idea of the agreement is not to lower standards, reduce regulations, nor to privatize public services but rather to expand upon an already deeply rooted trade relationship, and to raise the standards of the global economy.  (Office of the US Trade Representative)

Food and Agriculture Exports: Working Together for Results

“Food is in some ways the most local product imaginable.  What we eat is part of culture, history and identity.  At the same time, we have always had a curiosity for new products and tastes from abroad.  And that curiosity has been creating trade opportunities for centuries.” 
– Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade 

On January 26, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström spoke at a conference in Brussels in front of members of the farmers and agricultural organizations Copa Cogeca, about EU agricultural exports. She elaborated on the export barriers EU exports are currently still facing and emphasized that even though European agriculture exports are fairly strong, they can improve if member states are more collaborative, flexible, and creative. (European Commission)

You can read the full speech here.

TTIP: What Consumers Have to Gain

“New economic opportunities for European exporters mean more high quality export jobs. That’s also good news for consumers who need a livelihood before they can consume anything. Almost 5 million jobs in the EU are already supported by our exports to the US.”
Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade 

On January 26, Cecilia Malmström spoke at public forum organized by the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) in Brussels about the effects TTIP will have on European consumers. She reiterated that TTIP will not lower consumer, environmental, social nor labor standards but rather increase the variety of goods available, increase the number of export related jobs, and improve transnational cooperation. In addition, she emphasized that the Commission does not have “the monopoly on good ideas” and invites consumer representatives to more dialogue and cooperation.  (European Commission)

You can read the full speech here.

In the framework of the conference and in line with its transparency initiative, the Commission published atechnical paper for regulatory cooperation on generic medicines outlining the EU objectives in this part of the TTIP negotiations. To read more on the European Union’s position on pharmaceutical products, please click here


Germany to Open Reading Room for Consolidated Text of TTIP 

In response to an announcement by EU Trade Commissioner Malmström in December 2015 to open reading rooms for the consolidated negotiating texts of TTIP in all capitals of the EU member states, Germany will be opening a reading room for its national parliamentarians on February 1, 2016. The motion goes in line with the European Commission’s efforts to increase the transparency of trade deals; critics had formerly decried that national parliamentarians were not allowed to read the texts, despite the fact that the final TTIP texts will have to be ratified by the parliaments of each of the 28 EU member states.(The Federal Foreign Office of Germany)

Obama ‘Completely Committed’ to Conclude EU Trade Deal in 2016

At an event hosted by the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue earlier this week, Michael Punke, Deputy US Trade Representative assured the audience that the chances for the United States and the European Union to come to an agreement in TTIP negotiations soon have increased significantly over the past half year. He added “We are completely committed to completing negotiations in 2016, those are the directions we have from the president [Barack Obama].” (Politico EU)

UK Finance Minister Hopeful on Deal with European Union

Speaking on the final day of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,  Britian’s Economic and Finance Minister George Osborne expressed his belief that an agreement on a series of reforms to Britain’s EU membership is possible in February. An agreement on reforms in February would pave the way for a referendum on UK membership in the European Union in June.  (Arab News)

TTIP&TRADEinAction Partners

Rigoni di Asiago, a century old family-owned company from Italy, produces delicious, organically farmed and GMO free jams, honeys and chocolate spreads. A family business that, with time, has become an international brand, Rigoni di Asiago is inspired by traditional recipes and supported by continual research and innovation, to achieve the finest and tastiest products that are both good for the consumer and respect nature.

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

TTIP and the EU Member States

This week a World Trade Institute-led study commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union was released detailing the effects TTIP would have on the individual member states of the European Union. The report concludes that TTIP goes well beyond traditional free trade agreements and is likely to bring economic as well as social benefits to business, consumers, and citizens in all EU member states. The study especially focuses on the potential benefits of TTIP for SMEs, which currently lack the resources to overcome the costs and requirements to “go transatlantic”. The study is intended to help form informed opinions of TTIP and for policy makers to aim for a balanced, fair, and ambitious agreement. (AmCham EU)

European Union Pushing for TTIP Talks’ Completion, Hefty Trade Agenda in 2016

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development summarizes the European trade agenda for 2016, which they believe will be heavy with trade agreements.  In their view, the European Union will attempt to finalize TTIP negotiations with the United States, the EU-Canada trade pact, a trade agreement with Japan, and a bilateral investment deal with China, among other developments.  With regards to TTIP, the article quotes Cecilia Malmström, saying that “The EU is ready to finish this agreement under the Obama Administration.  We have the political and human resources to do that.  However, the US must also be prepared to commit if we are to get a result.” (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development)

TransPacific Partnership – News & Analysis

The Economic Effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – New Estimates

This week, the Peterson Institute for International Economics released a report updating their projections of the effects of the TPP initially made in 2012.  Using a comprehensive, quantitative model, the report concludes that the deal will meet its objectives of establishing new, market-oriented rules in the dynamic environment of international commerce, and that it will reduce trade barriers among member nations. Numerically, the findings reveal that both GDP and exports will grow significantly, and that delaying implementation even one year would potentially cause a $77 billion loss. (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Asia-Pacific Trade Deal Ratification Would Boost Boston’s Small Businesses

Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, writes for the Boston Business Journal about the potential benefits the TPP can provide to small businesses.  She states that “95% of the world’s consumers live outside of our country’s borders, but only one percent of American small businesses are selling to them… Opponents of the deal contend that increased global trade is a job-killer.  But for our small business sector – which creates two out of three new jobs in our country – the opposite is actually true.” (The Boston Business Journal)

Date Set for TPP Signing in New Zealand

The Government of New Zealand has officially sent out invitations to TPP ministers of the 12 participating nations to sign the historic deal.  New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said that the signing marks the end of the negotiating process.  The signing ceremony is to be held on February 4, in Auckland.  (The Australian)

Canada Officially Agrees to Sign TPP

The Government of Canada has agreed to sign the TPP deal next week in New Zealand. However, the Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said that signing the agreement is not an endorsement of the deal but rather serves to keep Canada’s options open. To her, “Signing is simply a technical step in the process, allowing the TPP text to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before any final decision is made.” Each of the 12 members of the deal  will follow the same process, and have up to two years to consider ratification. (Government of Canada)

The Bigger Picture – Trade in Action

How to Still Use the WTO to Spur Growth and Support Development

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström wrote an op-ed for Politico about how the WTO can still be an effective and valuable organization, despite many changes and developments since the Doha Round in 2001.  Malmström emphasized that certain areas of trade related issues are better addressed through the WTO than through bilateral, multilateral, or regional trade agreements, and that the WTO should expand it’s scope to areas such as e-commerce. (Politico)

A report about maximizing e-commerce opportunities under a WTO framework by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development was presented at the World Economic Forum and can be found here.

UN Report: 
Europe is the Driving Force Behind World Trade Growth 

This week the UN released a report saying that, despite a slowdown in the world economy in 2016, “The European Union is now the driving force behind world trade growth.”  The report cites productivity gains in Western Europe and an uptick in economic activity in Southeastern Europe, where nations are benefiting from falling oil prices as a source of growth. However, the economic performance of Austria, Finland, France, Italy has lagged behind the other EU member states and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) area experienced a deterioration in the terms of trade. (United Nations)

Statement on TiSA Minister Meeting

Ministers from the 23 nations participating in negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) met on the sidelines in Davos at the World Economic Forum last week to confirm their commitment to progressing towards a final agreement.  TiSA would build on the General Agreement on Trade in Services(GATS) from 1994, working towards increased market openness and harmonization of regulations. This statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative outlines how it can be beneficial to American service exporters.  (Office of the US Trade Representative)

Upcoming Events

The US-EU Economic RelationshipThe Future of TTIP:  February 3, 2016- Join the World Affairs Council, the Washington State Council on International Trade, and the British American Business Council – Pacific Northwest – in Seattle, Washington, to discuss the TTIP – More Information

Opportunities and Potential of TTIP
 – February 29, 2016; hosted by thre Bavarian Trade Union in Passau, Germany – More Information 
The Next Round of TTIP Negotiations is expected to take place the week of February 22, in Brussels. Want to refresh your memory on what has been discussed in the 11th round of negotiations? Read the detailed report here or the final day remarks here.