The Carnegie Endowment’s David Livingston and the Lugar Center’s Neil Brown convened a meeting of Washington’s leading energy thinkers and members of the EU’s trade negotiation team for a discussion on the role of energy in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The dialogue offered an opportunity both for thematic experts to learn from negotiators, and for the negotiators to add more nuance to their understanding of the political climate surrounding TTIP in Washington, DC, as well as the impact that the recent finalization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have on the American approach to TTIP going forward.
- The EU representatives briefed participants on the current state of play, explaining that crucial headway has been made but that these developments cleared the way for significant negotiations to come.
- Participants raised questions of strategy and sequencing with respect to the content of bilateral energy trade issues and domestic political developments in both the United States and the EU.
- The negotiators described the potential for TTIP to serve as not just another—albeit large and consequential—trade agreement, but as also a new standard for rule-setting and international governance in an increasingly complex and multipolar world.
Though participants were hopeful that the resolution of trade negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership would facilitate progress on the TTIP talks, there is likely much more to be negotiated before the transatlantic deal is finalized, most notably in the area of standards, regulatory cohesion, and non-tariff barriers to trade. The discussion, a continuation of earlier dialogues with U.S. and EU trade negotiators, aimed to ensure that throughout this process, negotiators and the policy community contribute to a balanced, frank, and forward-thinking appraisal of the role that TTIP can play in transatlantic relations.