New Rules of Engagement: Understanding TPP AND TTIP, With Valbona Zeneli

 

Since its founding in 1948, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its precursor have remained quite tightly targeted on the trade and investment zone. With its particular focus on tariff reduction and trade negotiations, it serves as the pre-eminent glorious knight battling on behalf of consumers.

However, all that began to change in the past two decades. Success attracted allies. The number of WTO members rose from 27 in 1948 to 162 today. Decisions of the WTO remain consensus based, which means that all votes have to be unanimous. Pervasive terror threats, encouraged politicians to focus on the high-intensity and visibility politics of national security and war, as opposed to the low-intensity politics of trade and investment. Progress was also slowed due to shifts in the center of trade gravity and challenges in current markets by rapidly growing new competitors. The global recession intensified the tendency to ignore international economic issues, as attention shifted to domestic job creation and the protection of domestic credit markets. In consequence liberalization has stepped outside of the WTO. The last two decades brought a do-it-yourself approach, defined by mega-regional agreements and preferential pluri-lateral trade negotiations, tailored for only a limited number of players.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are key to this development. TPP is a free trade agreement covering 12 countries from North and South America to the Pacific Rim, while TTIP represents a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. The TPP negotiations concluded in October 2015 after four years of intensive talks. Legislative ratification will be the next step. TTIP has been under negotiation since June 2013; hopes are for completion by the end of 2016, making use of the transition time for U.S. administrations and Congress.

The combined trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic space covered by these agreements encompasses 60 percent of the world economy, and 22 percent of its population, according to the International Monetary Fund.

But the economies differ in terms of per capita incomes and living standards. The TPP economies represent 27.3 percent of world GDP and 10.7 percent of the world’s population. The TTIP economies represent 33 percent of world GDP, with 11.2 percent of the population. However, there are also notable differences in the scope and goals of the agreements themselves. TPP is focused at opening markets and eliminating tariff barriers on trade and investment. TTIP mainly concentrates on tackling costly non-tariff barriers and strengthening Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules.

Trans-Atlantic average tariffs at 4 percent are much lower than the trans-Pacific ones. TTIP is much more about investments than free trade, with both parties extensively embedded in each other’s economies. Such relationship has produced more income, created more jobs and generated more wealth than trade alone.

TTIP is more ambitious in comparison to TPP. In addition to to the financial and economic benefits, TTIP will have a larger geostrategic impact, since it reinforces the strong ties that exist between Europe and the United States. TTIP is a natural Western partnership, with mature, well-developed and consolidated markets, and a strong mutual defense relationship based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Both components are missing in Asia. However, this might change with a tumultuous re-formation of the EU and perceived instability of the region.

Economic realities emphasize TTIP as well. The trans-Atlantic economies are the innovation powerhouses of the global economy, and a crucial element of future growth and balance. The United States and the EU are by far the two largest trading blocs in history. Given the size and scope of the trans-Atlantic economy, standards negotiated by the United States and the EU could become a leading benchmark for future global rules, and slow down the acceptance of competing standards.

TTIP and TPP are strategically interlinked with each other. Both agreements are important in terms of how the various partners, including the pivot of the United

States, jointly relate to newly rising powers, and whether the West still has the energy and dedication to set new standards for the international economic order. Both TTIP and TPP take on an increasing strategic importance in light of the continuously growing role of China, and other emerging markets in the global economy. A simplification of trade and investment relations via the two agreements would also push the WTO to expand its useful life.

TPP is also important for the EU. Higher growth rates in the trans-pacific region will help Europe through increased exports. TPP also reinforces the geopolitical reality of rebalancing Asia.

Achieving progress in the simplification of trade and investment relations is important to global prosperity. The approaches taken by TPP and TTIP may well indicate the future of trade negotiations – tightly focused talks between selected participants aiming for improvements in fields of comparative advantage within a clearly defined time frame.

Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) works at Georgetown University and is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the United States Department of Commerce. His key test is International Marketing, 10th ed. Cengage

 

Valbona Zeneli (valbona.zeneli@marshallcenter.org)  is a professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. The views presented are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent views and opinions of the Department of Defense or the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

No More Silos! (Part 5)

The New Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Andreas Pinkwart, former minister of science, technology, research and innovation, and now president of Handelshochschule Leipzig in Germany, said that if innovation and free trade are maintained, they will stimulate open borders. He sees negotiations on agriculture as a key impediment to progress in a transatlantic partnership but expects its success.

The TTIP, a newly inaugurated trade negotiation between the United States and the European Union may lead to further open export markets, expand the U.S. and E.U.’s investment partnership, address non-tariff barriers, and increase cooperation on issues including combatting discriminatory localization trade barriers and promoting SMEs’ global competitiveness.

The three key challenges that the partnership must address are climate problems, terrorism and economic imbalances. Also, the TTIP collaboration will serve well as a political and economic counterweight to China, even though the European Union and the U.S. combined are likely to soon have a lower GDP than China.

Speaking on behalf of the German government, Peter Fischer, head of economic affairs at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, suggested strong encouragement of a TTIP. Since the E.U. and the U.S. are the largest economies in the world, their collaboration could only strengthen world trade, in particular with a convergence of regulatory approaches. Results would be achieved within 18 to 24 months, he said.

Howard Fogt, a partner at Washington, D.C.-based law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who specializes in international trade regulation, took issue with such a time frame. He believes that the implementation of an agreement would be long, slow and expensive. Politically, he sees the leadership for a TTIP as emerging from the bottom, if major movements are to be achieved. He also stated repeatedly that culture matters and economics cannot be negotiated by itself, particularly when fundamental issues such as food are to be discussed. (For example, the acceptance or rejection of hormone-injected beef demonstrates national differences.)

This article is a part of a series written by Michael Czinkota and Charles Skuba who report on the March 2013 meeting on trade policy and international marketing, a collaboration between the American Marketing Association, Georgetown University and the U.S. International Trade Administration. View part 4 hereGuest writer Charles Skuba teaches international business and marketing at Georgetown University. He served in the George W. Bush Administration in trade policy positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

President Obama’s Plans for Free Trade

In his State of the Union address President Obama laid out the framework to his second-term. Regarding the still weak U.S. economy, the President announced his plan for  negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership. To encourage free enterprise, this partnership will grow between the United States and  the European Union. The goal will be to create  “millions of good-paying American jobs,” said the President .

 

While the President aims to pursue free trade in the chambers of Congress, Georgetown University prepares to host a conference with Andreas Pinkwart the former Vice Minister-President of North-Rhine Westphalia and president of  Leipzig’s Graduate School of Management. He will keynote a session on such a partnership, joined by Mr. Peter Fischer of the German Embassy.  This conference, sponsored by Georgetown University, the American Marketing Association and supported by the U.S. International Trade Administration will take place from March 13 to March 15.

 

For more information on the conference agenda and registration please click here.

Weekly News – APEC Ministerial Conference on September 5

APEC Ministerial Conference took place in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 5.

The conference discussed issues on global value chains, food security, Doha Development Agenda, multilateral co-operation, and trade and development innovation. It also reached tariffs deal on an extended list of environmental goods.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), established in 1989, is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity by promoting free trade and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC focuses on three key areas:

  • Trade and Investment Liberalization
  • Business Facilitation
  • Economic and Technical Cooperation

The APEC Ministerial Conference sets the stage for the 2012 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Vladivostok on September 8-9.

For more information: http://www.apec.org/

Values and Freedom: Part 1

In a global setting, freedom, can take on many dimensions. Privileges and obligations that are near and dear to some may well be cheap and easily disposed of by others. The views of one society may differ from views held in other regions of the world. Such differences then account for misunderstandings, surprises, and long-term conflicts.

There are two value dimensions at work here, both them highly relevant to global marketing. One may be defined as the freedom and values of a market economy. To make them work, governmental, managerial, and corporate virtue, vision, and veracity are required. Unless the world can believe in the messages and behaviors of institutions and their leaders, it will be difficult to forge a global commitment between those doing the marketing and the ones being marketed too. It is therefor of vital interest to the proponents of freedom and international marketing to ensure that corruption, bribery, lack of transparency, and poor governance are exposed for their negative effects in any settings or society. The main remedy will be the collaboration of the global policy community to agree on what constitutes transgressions combined with swift punishment of the culprits involved.

 

This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.

Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 236-237.

Click HERE to acquire the full book.