All-Party Parliamentary Group onEU-US Trade & Investment
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations
EU Trade Commissioner Karel DeGucht and US Trade Representative Michael Froman will meet in Washington, D.C. the 17th and 18th of February 2014 to take stock of progress in the negotiations and provide political guidance going forward. A common understanding of the ambition for the negotiations and a defined outline of the scope of the talks should then become more evident.
The treatment of investment protection in a TTIP Agreement, particularly inclusion of an investor-state-dispute-mechanism (ISDS), has given rise to public concern (see below for further references). In an unprecedented move, Trade Commissioner De Gucht announced on the 21st of January that the Commission would be submitting the draft text of the investment chapter in the negotiations for a three-month period of public consultation in March. The press release on the public consultation is here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1015
EU and US trade negotiators will be submitting offers on market access by the 10th of February. They will be meeting for a fourth round of formal negotiations in Brussels the week of March 10th. The EU press release on the 3rd Round of negotiations held in Washington, D.C. in December is here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/december/tradoc_152028.pdf
A EU-US Summit in Brussels between President Barack Obama and Presidents van Rompuy and Barosso is said to be on the agenda for the 26th of March, but has not been officially confirmed.
Commission launches Advisory Group of Experts
The European Commission has made a commitment to transparency in the negotiations and has in addition to regular consultations with stakeholders the European Commission launched a 14 person Advisory Group of experts for the TTIP negotiations. The group will include experts from consumers, environmental experts, workers and different business sectors. The group will advise the Chief Negotiator in the negotiations going forward. For a list of the members of the advisory group as well as its terms of reference see: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1019
Second Back-Bench Debate in HOC on the TTIP
The APPG is working to secure a second parliamentary back-bench debate on the Transatlantic trade and investment negotiations and expects it will be held in the course of the coming months.
UK area-by-area impact of TTIP
HMG has yet to publish an overview of local or regional area-by-area impact of the TTIP for the UK. The APPG has led arguments in Commons debate, at meetings and in writing for a study of the local and regional potential of TTIP. Rt Hon Ken Clarke MP, minister without portfolio, has written to the APPG and informed that HMG is studying approaches to an analysis which will assess the impact of the TTIP for local regions and jobs. The link to the letter which has also been supported by the RT Hon Hugo Swuire MP, Minister of State in FCO is here: http://tradeinvest.babinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ken-clarke-letter.pdf and here: http://tradeinvest.babinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/hugo-squire.pdf.
Ministers update APPG
The Government has undertaken to write to the APPG alongside the Commons EU Scrutiny Committee with regular updates on the negotiations. Lord Green, the Minister of Trade, has sent the first written update on the negotiations, which can be found here:
Issues of public concern
The introduction of an Investor-state-dispute-settlement mechanism in a TTIP is increasingly being questioned. The House of Commons Library has published a study which is available here: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06777/investorstate-dispute-settlement-isds-and-the-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-ttip
An independent study has also been commissioned and published by BIS which can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analytical-framework-for-assessment-costs-and-benefits-of-investment-protection-treaties.
APPG Parliamentary open meetings
The APPG will host a Meeting on the Automotive Sector in TTIP on Tuesday, February 4th 3.30-4.30 PM in Committee Room 16 in Westminster Palace with the following panelists:
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd, Chief Executive Mike Hawes
Unite Executive Officer Tony Woodley
Ford of Europe Executive Director Andrew McCall
The goal of the discussion is to focus on specific, local, and tangible evidence of potential benefits from the TTIP. Interested parties should contact Siwan Puw in Guto Bebb’s office firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm participation.
APPG visit to Brussels
A group of APPG members will visit Brussels March 5th and 6th to meet with European Parliamentarians, European stakeholders such as the consumer organization BEUC, ETUC the European Trade Union Congress and Business Europe in addition to EU officials. Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interest in attending.
APPG Parliamentary briefing meetings
The APPG organises a series of smaller private briefing meetings, potentially open to Group members who wish to attend – if you’d like to be informed or invited, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For instance in October, APPG officers met privately with Deputy USTR, Ambassador Miriam Sapiro to discuss progress in the negotiations and US assessments of the challenges going forward, and with the EU Chief Negotiator for the TTIP, Director Ignacio Garcia Bercero to discuss the EU perspective on progress and potential challenges in the negotiations.
British American Business activities
BritishAmericanBusiness is running a nation-wide series of road shows on TTIP to reach out to SMEs and beyond the traditional policy community in London. Expert panels of speakers introduce discussions on the benefits and effects of a proposed deal. Panelists include business leaders, UKTI Advisors and APPG officers. Road-shows in 2014 will be held in: Belfast 27th March; Cardiff and Glasgow in April, and Birmingham in May. For further information see: http://www.tradeinvest.babinc.org
The APPG produces a regular bulletin as an update on the APPG’s activities and as a source for useful briefings, reports and events related to TTIP.
EU Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/
UKTI Website: http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/item/516460.html
For further information please contact:
John Healey MP, Chair of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment
Contact James Hall email@example.com
Guto Bebb MP, Secretary of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment
Contact Siwan Puw firstname.lastname@example.org
Elisabeth Roderburg, Secretariat of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment
TTIP Adviser BritishAmericanBusiness Eroderburg@babinc.org
If you wish to join the APPG and receive the regular bulletins, please contact Siwan Puw in Guto Bebb’s office.