*Note: this article is a hypothetical policy memo for a graduate school assignment and does not necessarily reflect my exact opinions on aspects of the TTIP negotiations.
Despite strong indications that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will be successfully concluded in the near future, the European Commission must take several steps to ensure the agreement’s ratification by European Union member states.
Increase public and media access to TTIP negotiation texts and draft proposals
Dismantle the existing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) framework and establish an investment court system that is equitable, democratically accountable, and publicly accessible
Establish a comprehensive food labeling system to protect regional agricultural traditions, identify GMO products, and facilitate consumer choice in European and American markets
For the past two years, citizens of EU member states have paid considerable attention to the ongoing TTIP negotiations. Multiple public consultations have demonstrated significant dissatisfaction surrounding the quality and impact of TTIP as it currently stands. This public opposition gives the European Commission renewed incentive to use the next round of negotiations as an opportunity to coordinate with our counterparts at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to make key revisions to the proposed text of the agreement in a manner that addresses the concerns of European civil society while also reconciling the economic interests of private individuals and enterprises in each sector.
BRUSSELS — American and European trade officials met with interest group representatives to discuss potential outcomes of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in a panel discussion at the European Parliament on Nov. 18.
WASHINGTON — The upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will provide a boost for small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) in the United States and Europe, according to business leaders and industry analysts in a panel discussion on Nov. 14.
The event, hosted by the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based international relations think tank, coincides with the release of a report examining the agreement’s effect on SMEs.
The report, written by Garrett Workman of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, identifies major export challenges for SMEs and proposes policy changes that would encourage American and European SMEs to begin exporting products or increase the volume of their existing exports.
BRUSSELS — Much of the recent debate over European Union trade negotiations, specifically regarding transatlantic trade agreements with Canada and the United States, has fixated on the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement, commonly known as ISDS.
Incoming Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said Sept. 29 that the ISDS chapter of TTIP negotiations is currently frozen, and will be revisited at a later date.
Outgoing Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht initially stripped ISDS from TTIP negotiations due to German resistance to the legal mechanism, but he insists that ISDS is a crucial investment protection tool that belongs in a finalized version of TTIP, according to Martina Ferracane, a policy analyst at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a think tank based in Brussels.
Members of the European Parliament, led by the Committee on International Trade, questioned Commissioner Cecilia Malmström (ALDE, Sweden) on her ability to serve as the EU’s 15th trade commissioner during a two-and-a-half hour hearing on Sept. 29.
Malmström, 46, currently holds the Commission’s Home Affairs portfolio, and is expected to begin her second term in the Commission on Nov. 1.