TTIP 9th Round marked by American disappointment: Will some optimism save this trade agreement?

Press conference ahead of the ninth round of the EU/United States Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. In the photo pointing the finger there is Mr Daniel Rosario, EC's Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development; and Trade (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/04/2015).

Press conference ahead of the ninth round of the EU/United States Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. In the photo pointing the finger there is Mr Daniel Rosario, EC’s Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development; and Trade (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/04/2015).

The ninth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks between the United States and the European Union concluded last Friday in New York City. As said to reporters by EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero at the closing press conference, the delegations from the two sides discussed “all three pillars of the negotiations: market access, regulatory cooperation and rules”.

EU’s optimism

Mr. Bercero, who usually showcases optimism despite some growing scepticism, wrapped up the talks that began Monday 20th of April saying that “a significant step forward has been taken this week on energy and raw materials”. “Our teams have for the first time engaged extensively on all the elements that could be the subject of specific energy and raw materials provisions under this agreement,” Mr. Bercero explained to the reporters.

Progresses in Regulatory Cooperation

As also mentioned by Bercero, one of the key topic that were discussed during this “American” 9th round was the regulatory cooperation. “I would like to underline in particular the discussions that we have held this week on regulatory cooperation and rules”, he stressed; he also added that those were the areas where negotiators have been “specifically tasked to make as much progress as possible”, so as to prepare them for a “joint political review” after summer. The objective of regulatory cooperation is to basically align existing and future rules on both sides of the Atlantic in order to regulate requirements affecting trade or investments.

Importance of cooperation

Further, the chief EU negotiator, after having underlined the importance of the reinforcement of regulatory cooperation in areas of shared interest to bring significant benefits to “regulators, businesses and citizens across the Atlantic”, he then mentioned some the key areas that were covered during New York TTIP talks:  pharmaceutical, automotive and medical; topics where regulators have continued discussions to facilitate the approvals.

Dark clouds looming

As the Sting has recently reported, the gigantic trade agreement, which is believed to boost the EU economy by €120 billion and the US economy by €95 billion (respectively equal to 0.5% and 0.4% of GDP), is not going through one of its best moments, and Mr. Bercero’s optimism might not be enough to bring the passion back.

Indeed the latest TTIP-leak comes on the heels of protests against the mammoth trade deal ahead of the kick-off of the 9th round. Germany was a major protagonist, where thousands of people marched in Berlin, Munich and other German cities last Saturday in protest against the EU-US deal. Those protests come also in the wake of an alleged fall in support for Germany. A recent YouGov poll showed that 43 percent of Germans believe TTIP would be bad for the country, compared to 26 percent who see it as positive, as reported by Reuters.

Another TTIP-Leak case?

Discussions around regulatory cooperation too have been broadly anticipated by rumours during the entire previous week, as the European Commission’s latest proposal on that chapter first leaked to environmental international organisation Friends of the Earth and then published on Monday. The leaked document unchained critics and concerns from many organisations and groups, which have repeatedly proclaimed that according to many analysts the deal could put barriers in the way of all legislation.

Most prominent group affirm that the newest proposals by the Commission could be more harmful to public interest, because they might impose even more barriers to regulations, giving more power to groups of technocrats instead of legislators. “The Commission proposal […] creates a labyrinth of red tape for regulators […] that undermines their appetite to adopt legislation in the public interest,” said Paul de Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe in a press statement released yesterday.

The American disappointment

But the “regulatory cooperation case” and last week’s heavy protests in Germany and Austria are not the only hot knots for the gigantic trade agreements at the morrow of New York City talks. As many TTIP backers feared in the last months there might be some kind of discomfort arising in the United States for the lack of commitment the EU is showing, according to many US media and analysts.

The question could have become even more structured and deep-rooted. The Office of the United States Trade Representative has recently published a note to express “disappointment” towards the EU for one of its latest moves. The fact concerns one of TTIP’s most thorny questions, the policy around GMOs and genetically-engineered food, which is now under discussion in the Old Continent amid wild protests.

The European option

The EU has reportedly proposed through its negotiators and officers to amend legislation on genetically-engineered food and feed approval process to allow EU countries to “ignore science-based safety and environmental determinations” made by the European Union – as the American note says – and “opt out” of imports of GM food and feed. Something many businessmen in starts and stripes didn’t really like.

Harsh words

“We are very disappointed by today’s announcement of a regulatory proposal that appears hard to reconcile with the EU’s international obligations”, United States Trade Representative Michael Forman declared in the official note. “Moreover, dividing the EU into 28 separate markets for the circulation of certain products seems at odds with the EU’s goal of deepening the internal market”.

The note then concludes with some clear-cut words. “At a time when the U.S. and the EU are working to create further opportunities for growth and jobs through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, proposing this kind of trade restrictive action is not constructive”.

The proposal changes “nothing”

The question is worrisome, and it seems that Bercero knows it all. Actually he opened his speech at the press conference that wrapped up the 9th round mentioning the happening. “Let me start with a few clarifying words about the new Commission proposal on the authorisation of GMO’s for food and feed”, he said, before arguing that the proposal changes “nothing” about the role of the Commission in authorising GMOs for food and feed.

“The proposal gives the possibility for Member States to opt out for legitimate reasons unrelated to risks to human and animal health or the environment. The proposal is consistent with our international obligations”, he underlined, even though I’m not hundred percent sure this – together with some optimism – resulted to be convincing enough for American investors.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

Eurozone examines the prospect of issuing debt paper jointly

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: List of Recent Climate Funding Announcements

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Dangerous Trumpism in the Middle East with an anti-European edge

Who threatens the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians?

Beyond self-regulation: dealing with Europe’s consumption problem

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Commission: Gifts of €6 billion and free trainees to ‘help’ poor employers

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Italian voters put again the European Peoples in the Brussels picture

Hostages to a rampant banking system

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

The European Parliament floating over the South China Sea

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

Extra mild ECB tapering of QE and zero interest rates keep euro low

Greece’s Tsipras: Risking country and Eurozone or securing an extra argument for creditors?

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Lagarde: Keep feeding the banks cut down wages and food subsidies

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

“For my children Italy will be an innovation lab and not a museum”; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

How dearly will Germany pay for the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal

Medical students: The need for emigration

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

Eurozone guarantees all banks with…taxpayers’ money

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

ECB’s new money bonanza handed out to help the real economy or create new bubbles?

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s