TRADE in ACTION|Building a transatlantic marketplace

August 5, 2014
A Twenty-First-Century Trade Agreement: Who Could Benefit? This new Atlantic Council infographic provides a shorthand guide to the prospective benefits on offer from an ambitious TPP agreement. It shows what is at stake for the US and its partners alongside a comprehensive timeline with the most important dates and next steps for the agreement. (Atlantic Council)

Speeches and Official Announcements

An Interview with the President The Economist conducted a wide-ranging interview with President Obama regarding issues ranging from the ongoing US-Africa Leaders' Summit, to emerging markets, and US foreign and economic policy. President Obama discusses the role of the US in development in Africa, the role of free trade in growing the US economy, and China’s role in the international system, among other important topics. (The Economist)

Press Conference by the President President Obama recently hosted a press conference about the economy, underlining that over 200,000 jobs were created last month in the US. He also urged Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, emphasizing that if Congress fails to do so, many companies will face steep job and export losses. (White House)

Camp, Nunes Statements on Failure to Adopt Trade Facilitation Agreement Congressmen Dave Camp and Devin Nunes remarked that India’s decision to reject implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement cast doubt on the country’s credibility as a reliable and trustworthy trading partner. Furthermore, this latest setback casts doubt on the WTO’s future ability to push multilateral trade liberalization. (US House Ways and Means Committee)

Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Protocol Failure Ambassador Froman emphasized that the December meetings in Bali resulted in a deal that proponents hoped would breathe new life into the WTO. However, a number of countries have removed themselves from the Bali agreement. Froman also said that the US remains committed to implementing the agreement, along with as many willing partners as it can find. (USTR)

The Facts about Government Procurement and TPP: TPP Promotes Buying American across the Globe The US’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reflects its commitment to creating opportunity for Americans by opening the global market to American goods. There are a lot of myths surrounding the TPP negotiations, and USTR aims to provide a clearer picture of the negotiations as they stand, especially relating to public procurement. USTR also emphasized that nothing in TPP would prevent federal, state, or local governments from continuing to buy American goods or services for their procurement projects. (USTR)

News

Germany Seeks to Limit Investor Protection to Save Trade Deal Germany is pressing for changes to be made to the investor protections provisions in the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement that the EU has essentially concluded with Canada. This has important implications for TTIP since CETA is widely seen as a template agreement which will inform and shape TTIP. Germany has recently made it clear that it will want changes made to the investor protection chapter to ensure that its environmental and data protection laws are outside the realm of any CETA ISDS provisions, or else they could reject the deal outright. This bears watching in the weeks to come ahead of the EU-Canada summit in late September. (Financial Times)

Germany turns down CETA - for now According to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany refuses to accept the trade agreement with Canada as it currently stands. German officials are worried about the provisions concerning the protection of Canadian investors. Germany fears that if it agreed on the high level of investor protection requested by Canada, it would have to grant the same provisions to the US in TTIP. (Die Zeit) -- Original article in German

UK Banks Step up Opposition to new EU Financial Services Tsar Many British banks have hardened their stance against the creation of an EU financial services chief, as the implementation of this could harm the European market and negatively affect British interests. Critics have argued that the creation of the post will shift the focus of financial services oversight from a single market to the Eurozone, with uncertain consequences for Britain and other non-Euro member-states. (Financial Times)

Japan, Chile to discuss Cooperation in Energy, TPP Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet will meet in Santiago on Thursday to discuss cooperation on energy security and discuss how to further progress on TPP. The visit is part of a five-nation trip by Prime Minister Abe to strengthen Japan's ties with Latin America. (Global Post)

Juncker: I ‘Fought like a Lion’ to Keep Greece in the Euro Jean-Claude Juncker, the president-elect of the European Commission, has suggested that Greece is unlikely to be given an outright forgiveness of its debt payments, while he also praised Greece's efforts to remain within the Eurozone. Juncker has argued that he personally fought to keep the country in the common currency while he was head of the Eurogroup throughout the crisis. (European Voice)

Recent Analysis

US Should End Energy Protectionism: Obama Must Include Energy in TTIP This excellent Financial Times op-ed strongly calls on the US to include an energy chapter in TTIP for both economic and geostrategic reasons. As the authors make clear, an agreement as ambitious as TTIP should not fall short of energy provisions, especially in the light of the current situation with Russia and Ukraine. There are also powerful economic arguments to loosen American energy export restrictions, which it terms "energy protectionism," harming US and foreign consumers alike. (Financial Times)

Digital Trade: Data Protectionism Shawn Donnan, the Financial Times trade editor, has an excellent piece outlining the challenges of negotiating an agreement on digital trade--which is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern economy. The lack of credible trade regulations surrounding the issue, as well as debates on privacy and limits on data flow are hindering progress on coherent international rulemaking. TPP and TTIP negotiations have touched on these issues, contemplating the ideas of privacy across borders. The US has consistently pushed for stronger intellectual property protections, and ensuring the free flow of data is a natural next step. (Financial Times)

Myth and Reality-The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership The July Issue of the German Chamber of Commerce magazine addresses the recent German public misperceptions surrounding TTIP, such as the perceived secrecy of the negotiations, a feared loss of national sovereignty, and worries that consumer standards could be lowered. The German Chamber advises German and US industries not to wait until other countries take the lead on trade policy. German companies should engage in an open and frank debate about what is actually at stake, and the prospective benefits for German consumers. As the author put it, "after all, TTIP is not all about chlorine chicken." (IHK Düsseldorf) – Original article in German Find the link to the whole magazine with several interesting articles on TTIP, in German, here.

Europe’s Trade Strategy at a TTIP-ing Point The article by Amy Studdart of CSIS highlights the different rationales of the US and EU policymakers with regards to their positions in TTIP negotiations. In addition, she looks at how the changes in European politics due to the recent elections could negatively affect the negotiations. There are reasonable concerns that Europe might be turning away from ambitious international trade liberalization, which would certainly not help its own growth prospects. (CSIS)

International Trade Partnerships: Deal or No Deal? Oxford Analytica has an excellent graphic on the two huge plurilateral deals currently in negotiations, both TPP and TTIP. Though these trade deals offer huge opportunities, the sheer size of these negotiations might also be hindering their chances for success at the moment. (Oxford Analytica)

Upcoming Events

Seventh Round of TTIP Negotiations - expected to take place in September in Washington; a political stock-taking between Ambassador Froman and Commissioner De Gucht will accompany the talks

EU Policy Agenda for Social Enterprise: What next? - September 3 in Brussels; hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee - More Information

Jobs and Economic Growth for Atlanta: How TTIP Will Help - September 10 in Atlanta, GA; hosted by the Trans-Atlantic Business Council - More Information

Launch of new Atlantic Council Publication on TTIP's Benefits for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - October 9 – More Information forthcoming

AmCham EU’s 31st Annual Competition Policy Conference – October 14 in Brussels – More Information

Annual Transatlantic Digital Economy Conference - October 16 in Brussels; hosted by AmCham EU – More Information forthcoming

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