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Froman Promotes TTIP with the British

Dec 16, 2015
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman

This is an excerpt reprinted with permission from The Hagstrom Report, a news service providing original national and international agricultural news to its subscribers.

Trade Representative Michael Froman has twice in the last two weeks promoted the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership at British events.

The first was a December 3 reception at the National Archives, sponsored by the British Embassy to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Treaty on Navigation, Friendship, and Commerce between the United States and the United Kingdom.

The second was a speech Wednesday in London at Chatham House, the nongovernmental think tank famous for developing the rule that says guests attending a seminar may discuss the results of the seminar in the outside world, but may not discuss who attended or identify what a specific individual said.

In each case, Froman has said that completing TTIP should be easier than some earlier agreements.

At the Archives, he noted that one of the issues under discussion is the regulation of cheese names, which he said should be simpler than some of the basic issues the two countries have had to address in the past.

At Chatham House, he noted that the 1815 treaty “was one of the treaties that ended the War of 1812. Of course, we had to fight two wars – the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. We had to see the White House burn down as a part of achieving that treaty. But I hope future trade agreements aren’t quite as onerous as that as we move forward.”

“There’s been a fair amount of misinformation out there about TTIP,” Froman said at Chatham House.

“First, TTIP is about making common-sense upgrades to this very broad and deep economic relationship: eliminating tariffs, reducing non-tariff barriers, simplifying customs procedures, cutting red tape,” Froman continued. “That’s its main and primary focus. This is particularly important for small- and medium-sized businesses. Large businesses have the ability to navigate their way through red tape. They can hire legions of lawyers and consultants. But small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of both our economies, and yet very few of them actually export as a percentage. They really are the drivers of future job growth and job creation in our economies, and they find engaging in international trade to be bewildering.

“One of the main areas of focus for TTIP,” he said, “goes beyond the traditional FTA, and that is our effort to take two advanced, industrialized, well-regulated, high-wage economies, and see if we can bridge divergences in their regulatory regimes and their standard-setting procedures without lowering the overall level of protection of our environmental safety protection, or other regulations, and standards that people have come to expect of us.”

▪ Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman to the Chatham House

The Hagstrom Report covers Congressional hearings, markups and press conferences in Washington D.C., as well as national nutrition news and farm meetings throughout the United States. Subscribers to The Hagstrom Report receive a digital newsletter daily while Congress is in session and at other times as events require and news happens.

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