What We’re Reading: February 20

TTIP Action aggregates the latest news and best analysis from across the United States and European Union on the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Speeches & Official Announcements

Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht speaks at Atlantic Council Headquarters following talks with Froman – February, 18 2014.
On Wednesday European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht issued a public address at the Atlantic Council headquarters on Tuesday, following his meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman. De Gucht said that he and Froman agreed that talks were on track, but that the hard negotiating lies ahead. (See speech transcript, recorded webcast version here and press statement.)

US Trade Representative Michael Froman makes a public statement following meetings with EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht – February 18, 2014.
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman gave his reflecting remarks on Tuesday in a statement to the press following two days of talks with European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht. (See full remarks here.)

US Trade Representative Froman Welcomes New Move to Streamline Trade for American Workers and Businesses – February 19, 2014.
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman came out in full support of Presdient Obama’s new executive order, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses, saying that it would significantly reduce the red tape that exporting and importing firms face. (See remarks here)


Enforcer of Obama’s Trade Agenda Seeks Consensus
Democratic Senator and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Ron Wyden of Oregon has come out in favor of President Obama’s ambitious pro-trade agenda, stating that as many as a sixth of jobs in Oregon are dependent on exports. (Financial Times)

Fed Pushes on with New Rules for Overseas Banks
On Tuesday, smaller foreign-owned banks were granted an extension to comply with Federal Reserve (Fed) capital requirements and annual stress tests from July 2015 to a year out in 2016. On the other hand, the Fed’s extension will not be granted to foreign banks owning consolidated US assets of at least $50 billion. (Financial Times)

Recent Analysis

Pressing on to a Transatlantic Trade Pact
Ken Clarke, british commentator for the Wall Street Journal argues that the UK and the rest of the EU should not stumble over the investment-state dispute mechanism clause. He points out that EU member states are well aware of the investor-state relationship, having concluded such agreements in over 1,400 bilateral trade deals. (Wall Street Journal)

TTIP: No Lowering of Standards, Officials Say
One of the criticisms of the current TTIP negotiations is that transparency has been lacking. As a response to the criticism, the European Union recently set up the TTIP Advisory group, which gives business associations and consumer protection more of a voice. However, advocacy groups argue that transparency will be judged on the extent that they have full access to negotiated trade documents. (Intellectual Property Watch)

Come on, TTIP
The Economist argues that the economic benefits of TTIP are clear to most trade experts, and that Obama should prioritize the prospective trade deal on his jobs and growth agenda, especially since it would also provide momentum for other cross-regional trade treaties such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (The Economist)

North America’s New Trade Deals: From NAFTA to TPP and TTIP
Kinga Brudzińska and Maya Rostowska, in their policy brief, argue that excluding the other North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) members Mexico and Canada out of the TTIP talks could undermine NAFTA. (PISM Bulletin)

Upcoming Events

A More Populist, But Less Popular European Parliament After The 2014 Elections? – February 25. (More Information)

Before and After TTIP, hosted by the University of Miami – Miami, FL – February 28. (More information)

Transatlantic Ties for a New Generation: Why They Are Important and What We Need to Do About Them: A Statesman’s Forum with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs at Brookings – February 28 (More information)

The Future Of Transatlantic Trade: Building An Integrated Marketplace: TTIP And Beyond – April 10. (More information)