I wrote a piece on the current politics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-US trade deal, with a colleague of mine from Hill+Knowlton’s Belgium office. It is mostly just a review.
During the last negotiation round in October 2015, negotiators lauded the ‘substantial progress’ that was made, especially on tariffs, and at the end of 2015, European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, and her US counterpart, Michael Froman, met in Brussels to emphasise their commitment to reaching an ambitious TTIP, and to intensify efforts this year. Most recently, Commissioner Malmström said that negotiators must be ‘approaching the endgame’ by the summer, with further negotiation rounds confirmed in April and July. The real question is if the parties will be able to close a deal by the end of this year.
On the American side, the 2016 elections and the process of trade deals probably pushes a possible vote into 2017. On the European side, 2016 and 2017 faces deep uncertainty due to the UK referendum on its membership of the EU and French and German elections (both taking place in 2017). The next European Parliament elections take place in 2019, as does the appointment of a new European Commission.