The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - European Union Committee Contents


The EU Sub-Committee on External Affairs of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Tugendhat, is conducting an inquiry into The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Sub-Committee seeks evidence from anyone with an interest.

Written evidence is sought by 10 October 2013. Public hearings will be held from October 2013, and into the early part of 2014. The Committee aims to report to the House, with recommendations, in the first half of 2014. The report will receive responses from the Government and the European Commission, and is likely to be debated in the House.

In February 2013, the EU and US launched the TTIP. On 14 June, the Trade Council of the European Union agreed the negotiating mandate for the TTIP. In light of the objections of some Member States, the final draft reads that "audiovisual services will not be covered in this chapter". The first round of bilateral negotiations began on 8 July with the aim of concluding and ratifying the agreement within two years.

The EU and US already have a significant bilateral trade relationship. Trade in goods and services between the two economies amounts to nearly $1 trillion each year. Together, the EU and the US account for nearly half of world GDP and 30 per cent of world trade. Each day, goods and services worth $2.7 billion/€2.0 billion are traded bilaterally.

Studies have shown that the most ambitious and comprehensive agreement which eases behind the border impediments to trade and investment is likely to reap the highest benefit with estimates varying of an increase of 0.5 to 3.5 per cent of annual GDP to both parties. The UK Government have estimated that, in the long run, UK national income could rise by between £4 billion and £10 billion annually. Some commentators point out that estimates have not captured the long-term benefits of productivity growth as a consequence of trade and investment liberalisation. On the other hand, some warn of the adverse consequences of a deal, for instance on specific industries and sectors, or on third countries.

The House of Lords inquiry will aim to assess the minimal level of agreement necessary to make the negotiations worthwhile to the UK and will explore and evaluate the UK and EU's priorities in the negotiations.

The Sub-Committee seeks evidence on any aspect of this topic, and in particular on the following questions:


(1) What are likely to be the most challenging chapters of the TTIP and why? What is the minimum level of ambition necessary in each chapter? How can the ambition of each chapter be maximised?

(2) Is the time-frame of completing negotiations within two years realistic? If not, when is it realistic to expect a deal to be agreed, and what can be expected to be achieved in the next two years?

(3) How should the Commission most effectively conduct the negotiations in terms of ensuring appropriate transparency and communication, as well as full consultation with stakeholders, NGOs and EU Member States?

(4) How will TTIP negotiations be affected by relations with third countries, such as China, and also developing countries, including in relation to existing and pending bilateral trade agreements? How do you anticipate the TTIP interacting with the Trans Pacific Partnership and NAFTA, for example?

(5) What is the potential impact of TTIP on consumers, whether in the UK, EU or US?

Impact of the TTIP for the UK

(6) What aspects of the negotiations will be of the greatest significance to the UK, including its component parts?

(7) For UK consumers and business, where are the greatest gains to be made and where could they be disadvantaged? What are the most significant non-tariff barriers for British exporters and importers?

(8) What are the political and practical challenges within the UK to an agreement?

(9) How can the UK seek to maximise its influence at EU level as the TTIP negotiations progress?

(10) What might be the potentially adverse effects for the UK of a failure of the TTIP negotiations?

The European Union and other Member States

(11) How could the Commission seek to ensure that the interests of the Member States are represented, and that a satisfactory outcome with regard to Member States' interests is secured?

(12) What are likely to be the most significant potential gains and difficulties for other Member States? How do UK interests and those of the other Member States coincide or run counter to each other? What would you identify as areas of common European interest?

(13) From the EU perspective, what are likely to be the biggest political, institutional and practical challenges to a deal? How can they be overcome?

The United States

(14) From the US perspective, what are likely to be the biggest political, institutional and practical challenges to a deal? How can they be overcome?

(15) What would be a mutually beneficial solution for the EU and US? Is that the same as a mutually beneficial solution for the EU and UK?

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