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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) will be a bilateral trade and investment agreement between the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU). It aims to further integrate the transatlantic economic relationship between the U.S. and EU by removing trade barriers in a wide range of sectors. The U.S. and EU represent the world’s largest trade relationship, exchanging goods and services worth $USD 2.3 billion each day. Consequently, the TTIP may also influence global trade rules that contribute to other multilateral trade systems.
The U.S. and EU launched the TTIP negotiations in June 2013. While the exact timing of this agreement is not clear, the anticipated timeframe is approximately two to three years for completion.
GOVERNANCE AND DECISION-MAKING
Decisions on process and substance are made between the participating nations. The U.S. and EU have to reach agreement on all matters brought before the negotiation. The European Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU member states.
The U.S. and EU delegations issue updates and statements on the status of negotiations and hold consultations and meetings with external stakeholders. A primary channel of action is through direct outreach, education, and advocacy with the U.S., EU, and European member state governments.
HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF the TTIP ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
In August 2014, the U.S. declared fisheries subsidies as a key issue in its announcement of its objectives and goals for the TTIP negotiations. The TTIP will be a bilateral agreement with legally enforceable trade rules and disciplines that could extend to fisheries subsidies. Comparatively, the EU has taken an initial position that provisions in the “sustainable trade and development” chapter should not be binding.
The U.S. and EU are leading players in the international trade of fish and fish products. Together they account for approximately 16 percent of the global catch by weight and are regularly ranked in the top five importers and exporters worldwide. Uniting these two markets in a trade and investment agreement could have a huge impact on global fisheries both economically and environmentally.
Both the U.S. and EU engage in foreign fishing activity, although at considerably different levels. The operations of large-scale, distant water fleets are often highly subsidized. Such subsidies enable fishing endeavors that often would not be profitable.
What could THE TTIP produce/do on fisheries subsidies?
The trade negotiations between the U.S. and EU provide an opportunity to obtain an international agreement reducing subsidies. The TTIP could potentially address fisheries subsidies through commitments to freeze and reduce fisheries subsidies as well as propagate best practices for their fisheries sectors with an aim to curb harmful fisheries subsidies.
The benefits of bringing the U.S. and EU into agreement to reduce harmful fishing subsidies would address these practices in two of the world’s largest fleets, and also create a replicable foundation for subsidy reform, particularly for other large economies.
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20508
Tel: +1 (202) 395-7320 (Environment and Natural Resources)
Fax: +1 (202) 395-9517
Email: [email protected]
Directorate General for Trade
Information, Communication and Civil Society Unit - Trade A3
(Inside the EU) Tel: 00 800 6789 1011
(Outside the EU) Tel: +32 2 299 96 96
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