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

European Parliament Elections: May 22 to May 25, 2014
From May 22 to May 25, European voters will take to the polls to elect the next European Parliament, selecting 751 MEPs to represent their interests for the next five years. These elections are being watched closely by stakeholders in TTIP, as anti-EU parties on the left and right of the political spectrum are expected to gain seats in the next Parliament. For more information, click here.

Joint Statement at the TPP Ministers Meeting in Singapore
At a meeting of the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for the 12 TPP negotiating countries, the ministers reviewed progress at recent engagements, including the US-Japan bilateral negotiations last month, as well as the results of the chief negotiators’ meeting last week in Vietnam. They also restated their commitment to be guided by their common interest in creating jobs and sustainable growth while negotiating the final agreement. For the full USTR press release click here.


Turnout Crucial for the Credibility of the European Union
The European Voice reports that analysts agree that a voter turnout for the European Parliament elections below the 2009 level of 43 percent across Europe would cause people to question the value of the Lisbon Treaty, which gave the Parliament more powers ostensibly to decrease the EU’s democratic deficit. A low turnout would also likely strengthen the showing of the parties on the extremes of the ideological spectrum. (European Voice)

Google Feels Political Wind Shift Against It In Europe
The Financial Times reports that Google is experiencing increasing political backlash across the European Union, including in core markets like France and Germany, over data protection rules and privacy requirements. Google is accusing political leaders in Europe of using data privacy rights rhetoric as a disguise for protectionist policies, while also struggling to come to terms with the recent European Court of Justice ruling on the “right to be forgotten.” (Financial Times)

Sarkozy Calls For EU Shake-Up To Fend Off Populist Threat
Ahead of the European Parliament elections, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for major reforms to the European Union in order to keep citizens engaged with the process. His vision is to pursue greater economic and political integration between the 18-member Eurozone, while also returning some competencies to the national level and rethinking the Schengen area until immigration policies have been aligned among members.

An analysis of his article is available in the Financial Times.
The full article, in French, is available here. (Le Point)

Fleur Pellerin: “We Should Have Done More Public Outreach on the Transatlantic Treaty”
In an interview with BMF TV, French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Fleur Pellerin acknowledged that her government had not done enough to encourage transparency and education on TTIP, though France is pushing hard for the publication of the negotiating mandate. She also used the opportunity to reassure French citizens that several red lines had been established, and that any agreement coming out of these negotiations that overstepped France’s or the European Union’s requirements would not make it through the French parliament.

For an overview of the discussion and full video of the interview with Ms. Pellerin in French, click here.

Recent Analysis

Five Myths about Imports
Laura Baughman, president of the Trade Partnership, spells out in her op-ed for Wall Street Journal why an increase in imports to the United States is actually a healthy sign for the US economy. According to Baughman, trade statistics show that even after job losses from imports are taken into account, more than sixteen million Americans owe their jobs to imports, ranging from the transportation and logistics industry to retail and the services industry. It’s important to remember that both exports and imports benefit the local economy of all countries. (Wall Street Journal)

US Free-Trade Drive Hit By White House Inertia
James Carafano writes for the World Review that the Obama Administration has a lot of work to do to achieve his global trade agenda. He argues that the Administration’s rhetoric on the value of trade for the US economy does not match up to the lackluster leadership that they have dedicated to maintaining momentum in current negotiations in TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Mr. Carafano also points out that the Administration also lacks a clear strategy on how to achieve regulatory cooperation with the European Union. (World Review)

An Anti-Capitalist European Parliament: The Real Threat to UK Business
Allie Renison writes for the UK-based paper City AM that increased regulatory oversight from the European Parliament has been bad for business in the UK and the rest of Europe due to the numerous regulations that have disproportionately affected small and medium-sized enterprises. She cites recent Open Europe projections that the number of Members of European Parliament dedicated to free market policies could fall by dozens of members in the upcoming elections as a wake-up call to voters in the UK and elsewhere. (City AM)

Dispute over TTIP: “We are the Universal Scapegoat” – De Gucht
Alexander Hagelüken and Silvia Liebrich writes for German-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is touring Germany this week to try win over skeptics on TTIP. Today, he is to testify before Germany’s Federal Council, and he faces significant hurdles in changing public opinion towards the negotiations in Europe’s largest economy. This despite Germany’s heavy reliance on trade and economic openness, both of which would ensure Germany would gain significantly from an ambitious TTIP. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Bridging Transatlantic Differences on Data and Privacy after Snowden
Cameron F. Kerry recently authored a Brookings Institute paper looking at the issues that divided the United States and Europe on data privacy, the things they have in common, the issues currently in play, and some ways the United States government can help to steer the transatlantic conversation in the right direction. For access to Mr. Kerry’s full paper click here.

The European Parliament’s New Role in Trade Policy: Turning Power into Impact
The Center for European Studies published a 12-page policy report on Wednesday examining how the European Parliament has played a much bigger role in trade policy since it gained more powers with the passage of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The next challenge is determining whether a strengthened Parliament will turn the European Union in a protectionist direction, and figuring out what the consequences of such a turn would be. (CEPS)

297,995 Reasons to Support Passing Modernized TPA
Trade Benefits America, a coalition on trade, published a press release yesterday about the benefits that passing a Trade Promotion Authority bill would have for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). More than 300,000 US companies are exporters and about 98 per cent of them are SMEs. Also, SMEs account for nearly a quarter of good and services purchased by large companies, which in turn export their finished products abroad. Expanding trade would have major positive implications for SMEs, but TPA must pass first. See the full SME fact sheet here.

Upcoming Events

Fifth Round of TTIP Negotiations – May 19-23, Washington, DC and Arlington, VA

Celebrate Europe Month / TTIP – May 22, Atlanta, GeorgiaMore information

European Union Election Results: Implications for the US – May 28, Washington, DC More information

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Facts and Opportunities for Business in Europe and Spain – June 2, Madrid (More information available in Spanish here)

The European Elections and the Future of Europe – June 3, Washington DC, Brookings InstituteMore information

Global Trade: A Trade System for the 21st Century – June 9-10, LondonMore information