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October - December 2015

1. 11th round of TTIP talks brought progress in most areas of the negotiations

Source: European Commission DG Trade
Subject: 11th round of TTIP talks brought progress in most areas of the negotiations
Date published: October 23 2015

Today, the EU and US finished 11th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Negotiators discussed all three pillars of what could be the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history, meaning market access for EU and US companies, regulatory cooperation and trade rules. The goal of the agreement is to slash trade taxes and facilitate trade between the two blocks with an aim to boost economic growth, create more job opportunities and modernise rules governing global trade.

In concrete terms the EU and the US have made substantial progress on market access for EU and US companies in all three areas meaning: tariffs, services and public procurement. Second tariff offer was exchanged, so both sides now arrived at a comparable level of proposals in terms of tariff line coverage which would facilitate further talks. Both sides have also exchanged proposals on product-specific rules of origin and discussed public procurement with a view to exchange market access proposals on public procurement in February next year.

Both sides also intensified discussions on regulatory cooperation and rules areas. In terms of regulatory cooperation, the discussions are led by the regulators from the EU and the US. The Commission regulators met with a number of US regulatory agencies including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Communication Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Environment Protection Agency. These meetings also provided an opportunity to clarify main principles of regulatory cooperation:

·         Any cooperation is possible only if the level of protection for consumers stays the same or improves. This is not only true in TTIP, but for all other EU trade agreements, as announced in the new trade strategy by Commissioner Malmström.

·         Any form of regulatory cooperation will not change or affect the EU regulatory and democratic proces

·         In line with a new, more responsible trade strategy, the EU also tabled its proposal for sustainable development, including labour and the environment and also discussed rules for trade facilitation, competition, energy and raw materials and others. As usual, the negotiators listened to presentations of stakeholders and civil society representatives and debriefed them on the progress of the talks.

The European Commission, in line with its enhanced transparency policy will publish an extensive progress report from the 11th round at the beginning of November.

More info
Statement of the EU chief negotiator after the 11th round of talkshttp://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/153910.htm

URL: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1389

 

July - September 2015

1.  TTIP: An overview and chapter-by-chapter guide in plain English


Source: European Commission DG Trade
Subject: TTIP: An overview and chapter-by-chapter guide in plain English
Date published: July 16 2015 

Please follow the link to access a DG Trade booklet on TTIP: An overview and chapter-by-chapter guide in plain English.

URL: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/153635.htm

2. TTIP studies

 

Source: European Parliament
Subject: TTIP studies
Date published: July 28 2015

Please follow the link to access the study on TTIP: Opportunities and Challenges in the area of Technical Barriers to Trade, including Standards.

URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/542225/IPOL_STU%282015%29542225_EN.pdf

The study on TTIP: Challenges and Opportunities for the Consumer Protection can be accessed here.

URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2015/542222/IPOL_IDA%282015%29542222_EN.pdf

In addition, the study on TTIP: Opportunities and Challenges in the Area of Public Procurement can be accessed here.

URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2015/542226/IPOL_IDA%282015%29542226_EN.pdf

 

3. Information about latest TTIP round available

Subject: Information about the latest TTIP round available
Date published: July 31, 2015

The Commission today made public the report on the 10th round of negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which took place from 13-17 July 2015 in Brussels. The text is now available online. This publication is part of the Commission’s transparency initiative and in line with the commitment to publish more information about the negotiations, along with legal proposals, position papers and other material. Other new documents released today include a paper for cooperation on textiles, as well as the EU offer on services, investment and e-commerce tabled during the last round of negotiations, and a document on customs measures regarding intellectual property rights.

URL: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-15-5462_en.htm

 

4.  TTIP for the people


Source: Policy Network
Subject: TTIP for the people
Date published: March 27 2015

For all the talk about new trade patterns, it is still important to cultivate old links. The share of total UK exports going to the Brics may have increased from 2.6 per cent to 9.1 per cent over the last 15 years (ONS, 2013), yet exports to the EU (45 per cent) and the US (17 per cent) still represent the bulk of British trade. This says a lot about the European single market’s significance and the potential impact of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).      

TTIP negotiations have so far been met with considerable public suspicion, especially among left-leaning voters. Three issues have stood out in the media: the negotiations’ lack of transparency; the potential threat to the EU’s high social, environmental and food safety standards; and the risk of seeing the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism turn into a corporate weapon against national public services. 

The European commission has relentlessly tried to sooth these concerns. No one can deny transparency is a greater reality today. Numerous and credible assurances have been given about the protection of European norms and public services.  

Our contributors this week assess the claims surrounding the debate. Dennis Novy of the University of Warwick and the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance takes the optimistic view. He argues that TTIP provides Europeans with a unique opportunity to shape global standards, and that it would substantially boost consumers’ purchasing power in the long term.

By contrast, Ferdi De Ville of Ghent University and Gabriel Siles-Brügge of the University of Manchester and the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for European Politics write that TTIP’s windfalls are vastly overestimated. “Rather than setting new high global standards … TTIP is likely to put downward pressure on existing and future domestic rule-setting”.

What is certain is that more needs to be done to win hearts and minds. According to Eurobarometer, only a narrow majority of Europeans support TTIP, with much stronger support in northern and eastern Europe than in western continental countries. Concerns over the impact on jobs and wages are particularly high. As Alastair Reed from Policy Network suggests, it is time for European progressive politicians to throw their weight behind TTIP and ensure the agreement benefits consumers, creates jobs and delivers higher living standards. Compensatory measures for ‘TTIP losers’ need to be developed. Otherwise failure to achieve ratification after several years of talks might cause lasting damage to transatlantic relations.