The European Institute's Roundtable on Trade and Investment examines the development of the transatlantic market by providing its members with information from leading public and private sector decision makers in the U.S. and Europe. The Roundtable assesses the progress of the Transatlantic Economic Council, as well as the ongoing Doha Round and other multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. This program will also focus on the reemergence of protectionist policies spurred by the global economic crisis, evolving antitrust cases and laws, non-tariff trade barriers such as investment controls and tax policies, and intellectual property rights. The Roundtable on Trade will also examine the implications of U.S. and EU trade relations with third countries and any advancements in agricultural policy between the U.S. and EU.

Recent Meetings:

On October 5, 2015, The Honorable Stefan Selig, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade offered his assessment of the current status the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. Rebuffing concerns that the talks had reached an impasse, Under Secretary Selig pointed out that the most complicated agreements are always marathons, not sprints, and that negotiators are currently tackling specifics in some of the toughest chapters, notably standards and regulations. Neither the US nor the EU, he added, can achieve long term economic growth, that  is both robust and sustainable, without optimizing the transatlantic trade partnership.  “TTIP is not ONLY an opportunity to reinforce the Trans-Atlantic relationship. It is an opportunity to reinforce the very principles that this relationship were built upon.”

Click here to read Under Secretary Selig's remarks.

On June 1, 2015, The European Institute welcomed Dr. Patrick Prendergast, President and Provost of the Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Dr. Prendergast detailed the goals and work of the EIT and its efforts to overcome the so-called European Innovation Paradox. He emphasized the importance of cooperation between education centers, research and industry as the key to future, sustainable  innovation. As examples, Dr. Prendergast cited the role of the Knowledge Innovation Centers (KICs) on climate, industry, energy, raw material and health and listed the two new KCIs on active aging and healthy living.  He also cited the successful public-private partnerships that Trinity College Dublin has had with creative industries and companies like Google, Twitter or Facebook and put a special focus on the idea of publicly funded innovations and R&D in the College’s new strategic plan. Finally, Dr. Prendergast underlined ongoing projects at Trinity, such as the establishment of the New Trinity Business School which will be co-located with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub; the “LaunchBox" project, a business incubator for undergraduates; and “FoodCloud”, a social enterprise spin-out.

Click here to read Dr. Prendergast's remarks.

On April 13, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Secretariat, held a discussion on the implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for EFTA states. Georges Baur, Assistant Secretary-General of EFTA, presented opening remarks on the history and trade relations of EFTA, followed by a panel of experts, moderated by Michael Smart, Vice President of the Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC. The Honorable Gunnar Gunderson, Member of the Norwegian Parliament (Strotinget), discussed the economic opportunity that TTIP has for EFTA and underlined the importance for EFTA to acquire an equal preferential treatment from both the U.S. and EU. The Honorable Thomas Aeschi, Member of the Swiss House of Representatives (Nationalrat), highlighted EFTA’s openness to trade, exemplified by its current 25 FTAs with 35 countries, and encouraged a docking mechanism into TTIP for EFTA, Mexico, and Canada. Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Founder of Summit Strategies International and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development program, outlined the premise of TTIP and the opportunity for the initiative to have an open architecture accessible to third countries. Lastly, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, discussed the obstacles of having TTIP as an open architecture for trade, underlining that most accession clauses in FTAs have never been acted upon.

On March 10, 2015, The European Institute held a meeting of the Roundtable on Triangular Relations on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and future prospects for the EEU. His Excellency Tigran Sargsyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States and former Prime Minister of Armenia presented opening remarks.  Vardan Aramyan, First Deputy Chief of Staff to Armenian President Sargsyan discussed the economic factors behind Armenia’s decision to join the EEU and Tatiana Valovaya, Minister for Integration Development & Macroeconomics at the Eurasian Economic Commission assessed the continuing evolution of the EEU, including Armenia’s accession. Klaus Botzet, Head of the Political, Development & Security Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States presented remarks on the European Neighborhood Policy and the future of EU-Armenian relations. In the final session, His Excellency Kadyr Toktogulov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United States; Pavel Shidlovsky, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus; Yerkin Akhinzhanov, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the Economic Office at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, discussed the prospects and challenges facing the EEU, including the Kyrgyz Republic’s accession later this year.


On February 3, 2015, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee for International Trade.  Mr. Lange called for a fresh start to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations and highlighted key areas of concern for the European Parliament, including increased transparency on the negotiations themselves, as well as such contentious issues as Investment State Dispute Settlement provisions. Chairman Lange also applauded recent moves by the European Commission to allow more transparency in the negotiation process, but expressed doubt that negotiations would conclude by the end of this year.  A more reasonable target deadline would be mid-2016, with the cumbersome ratification process carrying well into the next U.S. Administration's tenure.