All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU-US Trade & Investment
Bulletin 8 – October 2014
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations
EU and US trade negotiators reported that steady technical progress was being made in the negotiations after their seventh round of formal talks in the US earlier this month. A planned formal political stock-take was reportedly postponed, but USTR Michael Froman and Commissioner Karel DeGucht met on October 14th in Rome, as part of an informal meeting of European Trade Ministers.
Negotiators are discussing proposed agreement texts on issues such as the regulatory framework, technical barriers to trade, standards and services. Specialized discussions focused on facilitating trade for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) including enabling them to participate in global supply chains.
Both lead negotiators were unequivocal that a transatlantic agreement will not limit governments’ ability to regulate in the interest of consumers, the environment, health and safety. “We have made an unequivocal and firm commitment: nothing will be done which could lower or endanger the protection of the environment, health, safety, consumers or any other public policy goals pursued by EU or US regulators.” The negotiators also underlined that harmonization or mutual recognition is not a goal with regard to chemical regulations. Garcia Bercero stressed that “our approach to services negotiations excludes any commitments on public services: governments remain free to decide at any time that certain services should be provided by the public sector.”
A link to a note on progress and the final press conference with both chief negotiators is here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1158
As during previous rounds, negotiators also met with more than 300 stakeholders, and negotiators continued to welcome input from interested parties.
The European Commission has published the sought after negotiating mandate approved by EU Member states in July 2013, http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1162
Negotiating positions in more than 12 areas have also been published, including in: Services, Public Procurement, Sanitary and Phytosanitary regulations, Raw materials and energy, Chemicals, Cosmetics, Motor vehicles, Pharmaceutical Products, and Textiles and Clothing. Here is the link to the EU resource page which contains links to these documents: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/resources/
The Commission’s Advisory Group on TTIP has two new members, one a representative from the health services sector and the other a representative from small and medium sized enterprises (which was first raised and argued for by APPG officers when they met the EU chief negotiator in March).
The introduction of an Investor-state-dispute-settlement (isds) mechanism in TTIP has been the subject of public debate in the UK and other Member States as well as the European Parliament. The European Commission launched a public on-line consultation on isds on the 27th of March and negotiations on isds in the investment chapter in the negotiations have subsequently been put on hold. The Commission is still in the process of reviewing the input received but has published a statistical overview of the responses received. http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2014/july/tradoc_152693.pdf
More than 140 000 online contributions were received. As can be seen the largest share of responses (35%) came from the UK.
In July the European Commission responded to the concern APPG members had raised on the NHS with the chief negotiator. Director Garcia Bercero’s letter to APPG Chair John Healey MP is here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2014/july/tradoc_152665.pdf
The Commission also published a document on “Protecting public services in TTIP and other EU Trade Agreements”. The document can be found here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1115
The portfolio of Trade Commissioner will be taken over by Commissioner elect Cecilia Malmström on November 3rd provided the European Parliament gives approval to the new Juncker Commission.
APPG Parliamentary open meetings
The APPG will host an information briefing on investor state dispute provisions (ISDS) on November 4th at 5.00 PM in Committee Room 12 in Westminster Palace. Panelists will include Jansen Calamita, Director of the Investment Forum at British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Director James Zhan from the Investment Division in UNCTAD, and Dr Lauge Poulsen, Oxford University.
The APPG will also hold a discussion meeting on the NHS and public services in the transatlantic trade negotiations on November 24th at 2.00 PM in Committee Room 15 in Westminster Palace featuring EU Chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero.
The APPG has ealier this year hosted open meetings to examine the potential impact on a number of sectors under negotiation: automotives, textiles and clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food and drink and agriculture. Panelists have included trade association executives as well as directors from business and trade unions. The consumer organization Which? has also participated on some of the panels. Notes from the meetings can be found on the APPG website at http://tradeinvest.babinc.org/eu-us-trade/all-party-parliamentary-group/
Government response to the House of Lords inquiry on TTIP published
The House Lords inquiry into TTIP was published on May 13th. A link to the report is here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/eu—foreign-affairs-defence-and-development-policy-sub-committee-c/news/ttip-report-published/ The Government response to the inquiry can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/329716/42014-Cm-8907-Transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership.pdf
A delegation of eight APPG officers and members visited Brussels on the 5th and 6th of March for meetings with European Parliamentarians, stakeholder groups and UK and Commission officials. A note on the main assessments from the briefings can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
APPG officers and members have recently met
- Chairman Dave Camp, Congressman Kevin Brady, Congressman Erik Paulsen, House Ways and Means Committee, US House of Representatives
- US Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Germany’s Ambassador Peter Ammon
- Chief US Negotiator on Investment Jay Motwane
- Deputy USTR Ambassador Miriam Sapiro
- EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero.
British American Business activities
BritishAmericanBusiness helps provide administrative support to the APPG’s work.
BAB is running a nation-wide series of road shows on TTIP to promote debate and awareness among SMEs and others beyond the established policy circles in London. Expert panels of speakers introduce discussions on the benefits and concerns with a proposed deal. The APPG officers and MP members contribute to panel discussions alongside business leaders, UKTI Advisors and trade specialists. Road-shows in 2014 have been held in:
On November 12th a road-show event will be held in Bristol.
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 relevant useful briefings, reports and events.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guto Bebb MP, Secretary of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment
Contact Siwan Puw email@example.com
Elisabeth Roderburg, Secretariat of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment
TTIP Adviser BritishAmericanBusiness ERoderburg@babinc.org