What We’re Reading: February 27

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).

2014 TTIP Stakeholder Survey

20140227 Pen 286On behalf of the Atlantic Council and the Bertelsmann Foundation, it is my pleasure to invite all readers of TTIP Action to take part in an important survey assessing progress in the negotiations, analyzing your expectations for the conclusion of an agreement, and ranking the difficulty and importance of several key potential sticking points to the overall deal. You may remember that we released an initial report analyzing stakeholder expectations in April 2013 (available here). A year later–in the aftermath of the NSA scandal, and following the political stock-taking exercise between Ambassador Froman and Commissioner De Gucht last week–we would like to review how opinions among interested parties from the public and private sector on both sides of the Atlantic have shifted. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential, and we would like to sincerely thank you for taking five minutes out of your day to participate in our survey which you can find here. Thank you very much to those of you who have already responded, your help is very greatly appreciated.


EU revises Growth Forecasts Up Slightly
European Union economists have revised their growth forecasts for the 18-country eurozone upwards. The eurozone economy is expected to grow 1.2% over 2014 and 1.8% in 2015, with Spain expected to make the highest gains. It seems as if the modest recovery in Europe may finally have taken a sustained hold. (Washington Post)

Merkel: EU needs Britain in Order to Reform
In a speech to the UK Parliament today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her commitment to working with the United Kingdom in reforming aspects of the European Union, which Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party has long argued for. However, she urged Conservative Party members that they should be realistic and not expect sweeping reforms soon. (EUObserver)

As Ukraine Crisis Rumbles, Georgian Premier Visits U.S.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with top US administration officials including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, DC on Wednesday. This move falls in line with the Premier’s policy of seeking economic integration with the West, arguing that its relationship with the EU and the US will not jeopardize its relationship with Russia. Mr. Garibashvili wants to conclude a free trade agreement with the EU by this August, as he emphasized in a recent speech at the Atlantic Council. (New York Times)

TTIP ‘challenged’ by Environmental Critics, EU Says
EurActiv reports that a position paper requested by the European Parliament’s Environmental Committee calls for engagement by civil society stakeholders calling for greater transparency of trade texts. The report insists that the European Parliament take its oversight role seriously to ensure that TTIP takes its primary goal of creating jobs and spurring economic growth across Europe, and making sure that social protections are not negotiated away. (EurActiv)

Recent Analysis

Time to Put Trade Above Politics
Fareed Zakaria argues eloquently for Time magazine that history is on President Obama’s side when one considers the effects of free trade agreements to peace and prosperity. TTIP and TPP combined will be the largest trade deals in history, and therefore the incentives for the president to invest significant political capital into securing the trade deals are readily apparent. (Time)

EU-US Trade Deal Will Be Good for UK, Says Government
During a debate in the British House of Commons on February 25th, MPs weighed the costs and benefits of TTIP. Some raised concerns about the potential impacts of a trade deal on employers and the environment, while others, including former leader of the Conservative Party Kenneth Clarke speaking on behalf of the government, lauded the economic boost that TTIP would reap for both sides of the Atlantic through higher wages and lower consumer costs. (BBC Democracy Live)

Upcoming Events

Symposium on New Approaches to International Regulatory Cooperation – February 27 in New York City (Register here and see event agenda here)

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 with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier – February 28 (More information)

Regionalism in a Globalized World: The E15 Initiative on Regional Trade Agreements – March 3 (More information)

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Stakeholder Event in Brussels – March 12 ( More information)

Round 4 of TTIP Negotiations in Brussels – March 10-14

President Obama travels to Brussels for a US-EU Summit – March 26