What We’re Reading: January 7

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).


US Treasury Chief To Urge Europeans To Boost Growth | AFP
US Treasury Secretary Lew travels this week to France, Germany and Portugal to encourage global economic growth policies. He is urging reforms at the EU-level, and suggests that countries with “fiscal space” such as Germany boost internal demand to encourage EU growth. Lew will also inquire about the EU’s future plans for the eurozone and coordinating its future fiscal policy.

Senate Approves Janet Yellen As Fed Chairwoman | Financial Times
Yesterday, in a 56-26 vote, the US Senate approved Janet Yellen to assume the role of the first female chief of the US central bank on February 1st. In 2014, the Fed plans to taper its controversial-but-effective asset-buying program and to continue reforming the US financial sector. Yellen hopes to end the so-called “Too Big to Fail Banks” by raising the levels of long-term debt banks must hold and strengthening capital requirements.

Recent Analysis

AG Support For TPP On Hold | National Hog Farmer
Seventeen agricultural groups wrote to US Trade Representative Michael Froman that they will oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it includes special treatment of Japan’s agricultural sector. Concerned with the precedent this would set, agricultural groups worry this special treatment will reduce the United States’ ability to liberalize the agricultural sector in TTIP and other future negotiations.

Don’t Waste This Free Trade Opportunity | US News and World Report
As Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) expired in 2007, Congress must reauthorize this mechanism to facilitate the US government’s ability to pass TTIP and TPP. TPA will not only prevent political gridlock but will also allow Congress to set clear negotiating goals and objectives. With only one of the last seventeen US free trade agreements signed without TPA, it is unlikely that today’s agreements will move forward successfully without reauthorization.

Crisis Management: Europe Eyes Anglo-Saxon Model with Envy | Spiegel
As the eurozone continues to experience high levels of unemployment and stagnation, the ECB could benefit from the lessons of recovering countries such as the UK. If the eurozone mirrored British policy, the ECB would purchase sovereign bonds to reduce interest rates. Given the wide range of economic conditions in the eurozone, however, rather than assisting the weaker countries, this policy would only shrink Germany’s already extremely low interest rates. Therefore the eurozone’s structure forces countries such as Spain and Greece to depend on harsh domestic austerity measures when addressing the crisis, or else risk destabilizing conditions in its stronger member-states.

Upcoming Events

The Wilson Center: Globalization and America’s Trade Agreements – January 8.
European Commission: Civil Society Dialogue – Update on TTIP Third Negotiating Round – January 14.
The 20th Anniversary of NAFTA and the Future of Free Trade – January 28. 
The European-American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Update – February 12. 
Stock Taking Exercise between EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht and USTR Michael Froman – early 2014

Employment Opportunities

Assistant Director, Transatlantic Relations Program, Atlantic Council