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TTIP: On Track but Off Message?

 

On the eve of the US-EU summit, stakeholders remain optimistic that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal can be reached, but they believe a less comprehensive agreement will result from more protracted talks, according to an Atlantic Council-Bertelsmann Foundation survey released yesterday.

The survey, a follow-up to a similar 2013 poll, gauges the attitudes of more than 300 individuals on both sides of the Atlantic nearly one year after formal TTIP negotiations began. TTIP will be on the agenda at the March 26 Brussels summit.

Despite transatlantic controversies such as the NSA scandal, 85 percent of stakeholders believe the US and EU will reach an agreement, compared to 88 percent one year ago. Such support, however, comes with caveats. Only 29 percent of respondents believe a broad, comprehensive agreement will be reached, while 57 percent expect a “moderate” accord, which would omit some of the most contentious issues.A quick deal is now also seen as less likely. A plurality of 29 percent believe an agreement will take effect in 2016.Stakeholders furthermore believe the US and EU public have not been sufficiently informed about TTIP.Sixty percent of European respondents believe their governments have not clearly explained an agreement’s advantages and disadvantages. Forty-six percent of US respondents believe Washington has not done enough to explain the impact of a TTIP on everyday Americans.

The survey, conducted via e-mail by the Atlantic Council and the Bertelsmann Foundation from February 25-March 7, 2014, included trade-policy experts and observers of transatlantic relations in government, business, academia, and the media.

The report analyzing the 2014 TTIP survey can be found here.

IN THIS CONTEXT:

De Gucht: TTIP has to be Ambitious

 At last weekend’s Brussels Forum, both EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht and US Trade Representative Michael Froman emphasized  the importance of reaching an ambitious deal on TTIP. Karel De Gucht’s message was that the status quo must be upended in favor of an ambitious agreement. Ambassador Froman reiterated that the goal of the TTIP was not too “homogenize” the two economies, but instead to eliminate existing barriers to trade and provide pathways to future regulatory coherence.

See video of the conversation here.