Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman
The Berlin Office was pleased to host an off-the-record roundtable discussion with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman on February 11, 2016; GMF Deputy Director Sudha David-Wilp moderated the roundtable. Ambassador Froman gave an overview of the state-of-play regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) ahead of the 12th round of TTIP discussions at the end of this month and described the projection of planned negotiations for the remainder of the year. He also shared his views on the recent signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The event was attended by a select group of trade association representatives, think-tank experts, and government officials who actively participated in the lively debate on the progress, remaining challenges, and political implications of the trade deal. Recurrent topics that were discussed included public procurement, regulatory cooperation, services liberalization, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), and rules of origin. Differences in the political will on either side of the Atlantic were also touched upon, as well as the implications of the U.S. elections for the trade deal negotiations. Finally, the geo-political dimensions of both TPP and TTIP were addressed, particularly in regards to China.
The lively and rich debate covered a large spectrum of issues, giving the participants a general impression of the current state of negotiations as well as detailed examples of technical difficulties. It thus well illustrated the variety of perspectives and the complexity of issues which TTIP presents to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic.