TTIP dialogue at Intereconomics annual conference

The Intereconomics Annual Conference on TTIP, held at CEPS on November 10th, was well attended and shed light on the ongoing transatlantic negotiations from various angles, including economic impact, the sectoral approach and consumer protection. There are in fact few areas that TTIP does not potentially touch upon. The papers on these numerous aspects, which sparked lively exchanges at the event, will be published in the next Intereconomics issue). Indeed, many lively discussions focused on the details and technicalities of the partnership’s provisions and naturally opposing views were not easily reconciled – particularly from the perspective of job creation and consumer protection issues. During the panel debate between Thea Lee (AFL–CIO), Hiddo Houben (European Commission), René van Sloten (Cefic), Jacques Pelkmans (CEPS) and the audience, for example, there was wide agreement that TTIP will not be the perfect deal, because no trade agreement ever is. On the other hand, however, the argument was advanced that there is scant alternative for engaging the main trading partners on the issues that will help shape global principles.