New European Union Ambassador David O’Sullivan Presents His Credentials
“TTIP is a once in a generation opportunity to strengthen the greatest economic corridor in the world and give a significant boost to global trade.”
At the beginning of this week, Ambassador David O’Sullivan presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony, formally assuming the role of EU Ambassador to the United States. O’Sullivan is the second diplomat to represent the EU in the United States since the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. (Delegation of the European Union to the United States)
Read more about Ambassador O’Sullivan’s presentation of credentials in the Irish Times.
Shortly after his trip to the White House, O’ Sullivan held his first public speech as Ambassador at an event entitled “Enhancing TTIP: Reducing Regulatory Barriers”, organized by the Regulatory Studies Center of George Washington University, supported in part by the Atlantic Council. Ambassador O’Sullivan talked about the strategic logic of trade and the need for transatlantic regulatory cooperation, calling completing TTIP “a challenge but not an insurmountable one.” Alluding to his representative role in TTIP negotiations, he described himself as a “grandfather of TTIP, who gets to enjoy the process without the trouble of actually negotiating.”
For more information on Ambassador O’Sullivan, please click here. Make sure to follow Ambassador O’Sullivan on Twitter @EUAmbUS.
You can also read more about the entire Enhancing TTIP event on our Twitter feed @TTIPAction
Speeches and Official Announcements
Commission on Transparency
“TTIP is an immensely important agreement, with huge potential to create jobs and growth and to set standards. Yet, even though the TTIP talks are the most transparent and open the Commission has ever conducted, there are still a lot of doubts around what is being negotiated.” (Cecilia Malmström)
Yesterday, the European Commission published a statement of how it plans to make TTIP negotiations more transparent. Essentially, two main steps are proposed: First, to extend access to TTIP texts to all Members of the European Parliament, and second, to publish texts setting out the EU’s specific negotiating proposals across all issues online and in public. These suggestions are planned to be adopted at next week’s Commission meeting. (European Commission)
Watch the video of the announcement press conference with European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans here.
The announcement on steps towards more transparency in TTIP resonated very positively in the public. Read responses by MEP Marietje Schaake and the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.
Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the Wilson Center: ‘The Strategic Case for Trade’
“TTIP would not only break down run-of-the-mill barriers like tariffs and traditional non-tariff barriers, but also work to try and bring two well-regulated markets closer together to bridge divergences between two high-wage, well-regulated markets. That will allows us, not only to trade more with each other, but to work with each other to raise the bar around the world. TTIP will allow us to be standard-setters, rather than standard-takers.”
Yesterday, Ambassador Michael Froman spoke at the Wilson Center in Washington DC about the “strategic case for trade,” highlighting that trade deals like TPP and TTIP are not of purely economic but also of strategic importance. In that respect, Ambassador Froman sees TPP as “a concrete manifestation of our rebalancing strategy toward Asia” at a time of flux in that region. Furthermore, with the developments in Russia and the crisis in Ukraine, TTIP “reminds the world that our transatlantic partnership is second-to-none.”
Read the speech in its entirety here or watch the video of his remarks.
After his visit at the Wilson Center, Ambassador Froman made remarks at the US Council for International Business Annual International Leadership Award Dinner, where he talked about the need for new momentum for the WTO through a new vision and stronger leadership. In addition, he talked about the economic implications and importance of both TPP and TTIP, stating that “these trade agreements, on top of all those benefits make the United States the production platform of choice, the place where businesses want to locate, to make things to serve this market, but also to export all over the world.” In this light he stressed the importance of both bipartisan and public support for the trade deals and calls upon all who understand the economic and strategic benefits of trade to promote them to the public.
Paul Ryan to Chair Ways & Means Committee
“We have a lot of work to do to get our economy back on track, and the Ways and Means Committee will be at the forefront of reform.”
On November 18, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was selected by members of the House Republican Steering Committee to serve as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee in the new Congress. Read his full statement about his appointment here.
TTIP: Trade Commissioner Malmström Warns Deal Shouldn’t Undermine National Government as ISDS Opposition Spreads
In response to fears that TTIP will lead to the privatization of public utilities and health services, Commissioner Malmström made clear that no EU trade agreement should stop member states from organizing its health or education system in a public debate in Brussels on Tuesday. She refused to preemptively decide upon the ultimate inclusion or exclusion of ISDS in TTIP. (International Business Times)
Commission Official: The EU is not Going to Change its Food Legislation Because of TTIP
In an interview with EurActiv Czech Republic’s publisher Jan Vitásek, the EU’s chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero talked about various myths and criticism surrounding the implication of TTIP. He made clear that the European Union will not change its food safety legislation in the framework of TTIP, which means that GMOs can be marketed in the EU unless they have been authorized. Similarly, beef from the United States would be sellable in Europe only if it is hormone free. Just like the situation today, in other words. (Euractiv)
8 Steps to Advance US-EU Free Trade Pact
The University of Virginia’s Miller Center recently released the report “TTIP: A Multilateral Perspective”, which recommends eight steps that will help leaders advance TTIP negotiations, ranging from issues like the elimination of tariffs and the inclusion of ISDS, to greater transparency of negotiations. The suggestions stem from political leaders, scholars, experts, and trade professionals who participated in the sixth annual Caplin Conference on the World Economy in both Washington, DC and Edinburgh, Scotland. (University of Virginia Miller Center)
Read the full report here.
Vladimir Putin Hates the TTIP
In this thought-provoking yet entertaining analysis, the author argues that the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin hates TTIP is a fairly instructive sign that pushing forward with it would be a good idea for the US and EU. By strengthening the transatlantic community both economically as well as geopolitically, TTIP would counter the current Russian strategy of driving a wedge between the two partners. The conclusion of TTIP would be a powerful signal to Putin that Europe and the United States are connected in values, politics, security, and trade, building a strong economic counterpart to the NATO security alliance. (Foreign Policy)
‘No Other Area Where There’s Greater Cooperation’
In this excellent interview, Politico Magazine’s senior writer Michael Grunwald met with Ambassador Michael Froman about the prospects of TPP, its benefits for both the American consumer and producer, and President Obama’s overall trade agenda. Ambassador Froman explains why he is convinced that Asian leaders, Congress and President Obama will work together to finalize the deal and how the TPP’s approach to trade is fundamentally different from previous agreements. (Politico)
TTIP is Yet to be Written, We Need to Seize the Pen
The British Labour Party’s European spokesperson on international trade Jude Kirton-Darling’s article is a call on her fellow politicians as well as the public to engage themselves in TTIP negotiations. She makes clear that the conclusion of TTIP can potentially bring a lot of benefits for both consumers as well as producers. MEPs should seize the opportunity to participate actively while TTIP negotiations are still ongoing, instead of criticizing the agreement before it’s even been concluded. (Euro Labour)
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the NHS – Separating Myth from Fact
In response to the spread of numerous myths surrounding the privatization of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) in TTIP, the European Office of the NHS decided to issue a comprehensive briefing on TTIP and its possible implications for NHS, separating the myths from facts. Both the EU negotiators as well as the UK government insist that TTIP will not affect the right of member states to run their own health systems, just as no previous EU agreement has had any impact on public services. (NHS Confederation)
Unbiased Safety Through Procedural Safeguards in TTIP
This interesting opinion piece argues that prospects for regulatory convergence in TTIP can be enhanced by incorporating existing US and EU procedures that ensure rigorous objective peer review of scientific assessments with potentially significant economic impacts, risk evaluation protocols, and open and transparent public participation and government accountability mechanisms. If these procedures are incorporated in the long-term structural changes of both regulatory systems, both consumers and producers will benefit from regulatory convergence in TTIP. (Atlantic Community)
Enhancing TTIP: Reducing Regulatory Barriers – November 19-20 in Washington DC; hosted by The George Washington University along with the Atlantic Council, US Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council, and American Cleaning Institute – More Information
What Next for US Trade Policy? – November 20 in Washington DC; hosted by the Heritage Foundation – More Information
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: SMEs Perspective – December 2 in Sofia, Bulgaria; hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria – More Information
TTIP 101: What’s In It For You? – December 5 in Washington DC; hosted by the British American Business Association – More Information
Invitation: What Can the United States and Europe Still Expect of One Another? December 12-14 in Loccum, Germany; hosted by the Atlantic Community – More Information