AmCham Macedonia Summer 2013 (issue 38) - Page 30

ANALYSIS TTIP continued from page 12 • SPS Measures • Financial Services; and • Pharmaceuticals. A recent World Bank report also critical to note that once an agreement has been negotiated, it still must be ratified at the EU member state level as well as by both houses of the U.S. Congress. The outcome of this process is by no means guaranteed, given that it has as much to do with national politics in the run up to the vote as it does with the contents of the agreement in question. Already, the fallout from the exposure of the U.S. government’s “Prism” internet surveillance program has brought calls in Brussels to delay or cancel T-TIP negotiations. On July 4th, the European Parliament actually voted on whether to amend its resolution on Prism to include delaying T-TIP negotiations, though the legislative body does not have the power to influence such matters. The proposed amendment failed and instead the resolution, “Calls on the Commission to ensure that EU data protection standards, and the negotiations on the current EU data protection package, are not undermined as a result of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US.” Thus, the first chapter of the T-TIP story is just now being written. It promises to be a real page turner! The Long Road Ahead No one in Brussels or Washington, DC believes that the T-TIP negotiations will go quickly and without serious challenges. In fact, no major trade agreement has ever fit this description2. However, the number and economic weight of the involved countries in the T-TIP promises to create a particularly arduous process. In fact, even before official trade negotiations began, experts began referring to the many “red lines” that threatened to derail the entire process and postulated that many parallel negotiations would be advisable. Already, the fallout from the exposure of the U.S. government’s “Prism” internet surveillance program has brought calls in Brussels to delay or cancel T-TIP negotiations. A recent study sponsored by the Atlantic Council and Bertelsmann Foundation cited three possible T-TIP negotiation scenarios: “an ambitious but achievable agreement that leaves some contentious issues aside; a missed opportunity, a la Doha, after a long, contentious, and inconclusive negotiation; and a comprehensive agreement creating a true transatlantic market.” The same study ranked “potential sticking points” in the negotiations according to the degree of difficulty perceived to be involved in reaching an agreement and the degree of importance to the perceived success of the negotiations. 3 Those issues deemed most important and most difficult included: • GMOs and Agriculture • Regulatory Process Convergence • Data Protection/Privacy (precipitated in large part by the cloud computing trend) • Regulation of Manufactured Goods 2 The U.S. has already completed 17 rounds of negotiations on its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 11 countries over the past 2 years. 3 Barker, Tyson and Garrett Workman. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Ambitious but Achievable. ISBN: 978-1-61977-032-4. April 2013. Emerging Macedonia Summer 2013 Issue 38 30