Whether or not the TTIP produces an ambitious, comprehensive agreement will depend on numerous factors. Keeping negotiators focused on the task and governments continuously supportive of their efforts may be the most important requirement. Setting and achieving discrete goals with discrete deadlines—three smaller, successive agreements reached and implemented every two years by harvesting the lowest-hanging fruit first—offers a promising start.
The United States and the European Union are in the process of negotiating a
free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Lauge Poulsen writes on the potential inclusion of ‘investor-state arbitration’ provisions in the agreement, which would allow foreign investors to bring arbitration proceedings against a state if it believes the rights granted under TTIP have not been upheld. He argues that contrary to the recommendations contained in a UK House of Lords report released this week, there is little justification for including investor-state arbitration in the agreement as it would merely allow investors to bypass European and American courts.
The EU and the United States are currently in the process of negotiating a free
trade area, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Robert Basedowwrites on criticism over
the potential inclusion of ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ procedures in
TTIP, which some
commentators and academics have argued could undermine democracy on both sides
of the Atlantic. He argues that rather than being seen as a threat to democracy,
the TTIP negotiations
should instead be seen as an opportunity for reform, and that maintaining the
status quo could prove to be a greater threat to democracy and the rule of law
in the long-term.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, currently the subject of
intense negotiations between the EU and the US, is making big waves. In order to
ensure that the TTIP
benefits consumers on both sides of the Atlantic, those negotiating it must
recognize and avoid some key traps.
TTIP is years away at best. And, given the tough politics of trade in the US Congress, and pushback against US priorities in areas such as intellectual property protection, a shallow TPP that breaks little new ground looks more likely than not.
Most economists cheer the Trans-Atlantic
Trade and Investment Partnership that the EU is currently negotiating with the
US. This column argues it is a pity that it has emerged. It sees the exclusion
of China in particular as an existential threat to the world trading system. It
urges policymakers in the EU to focus instead on the world trading system or
even consider an agreement with China.