The ‘I’ in the TTIP will create a global gold standard

NEWS Published

TRANSATLANTIC TRADE Sir, EU and US trade negotiators are meeting this week for the fourth round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As the name suggests, our partnership stands on two firm pillars: trade and investment, writes Mr Peter M Robinson, Mr Karsten Dybvad and Mr Urban Bäckström in Financial Times.

Urban Bäckström

Urban Bäckström, Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

Foto: JONAS EKSTRÖMER / SCANPIX

Our daily trade in goods and services amounts to €2bn. This will increase when we cut tariffs and red tape as part of the deal.

Transatlantic investments are equally important. EU and US companies invest more on our mutual markets than anywhere else in the world, and their investments support 6.8m jobs. An integral part of the negotiations therefore focuses on how we can protect each other’s investments through an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) agreement.

This agreement has drawn heavy fire lately. Some critics claim that it will allow companies to sue governments over changes in regulation pertaining to health, environment, consumer protection etc.if these changes negatively affect the profits of companies. This is categorically not true. An ISDS agreement will only – and should only – give companies a right to challenge unlawful expropriation or instances where they are being treated in a discriminatory way compared to domestic companies.

Unlawful expropriation and discriminatory regulation are not problems in either the US or the EU. Should it occur, we both have well functioning independent legal systems, which can deal with this.

Critics therefore claim that we don’t need ISDS provisions in TTIP. We disagree. More than anything we need an ISDS agreement as part of TTIP. We are two major and equal economic partners, who share the same democratic and economic values. We have a unique possibility of making a modern ISDS agreement, which can balance the legitimate needs of governments to regulate public priorities with the legitimate needs of businesses to have reasonable and predictable protection of investments.

Such an agreement could become the template for future investment agreements with our other major trading partners in Asia, South America and Africa, where ISDS agreements are an essential safeguard for investors against arbitrary politics. This will benefit companies when they enter growth markets in the developing world. But it is even more beneficial for the developing world as they struggle to make their investment climates sufficiently competitive to attract foreign direct investments bringing capital, technology and jobs.

We need a high-standard ISDS agreement in TTIP which can serve as a global “gold standard”. Let’s therefore keep the “I” in TTIP.

Peter M Robinson, CEO, United States Council for International Business
Karsten Dybvad, CEO, Confederation of Danish Industry
Urban Bäckström, Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

 

 

News

NEWS Published:

Connected consumers: risk or opportunity?

New technology and data-driven innovation create new business models and services that enable companies to help their customers by adjusting their products and become more relevant. At the same time, access to and analysis of data challenges the personal integrity and the view of how integrity should best be safeguarded.How shall development of new services and personalisation be balanced with demands of personal integrity? Do consumers have access to relevant information? And who is responsible for what? 
NEWS Published:

Business and politics hand in hand to solve environmental challenges

The world and humanity are facing some of our greatest challenges. More people are using more natural resources. Fish stocks are running the risk of extinction, freshwater resources are far from adequate, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing and biodiversity is becoming depleted. Never before has a creature been able to affect our planet to the extent humanity does today.All of this constitutes major challenges - but there is hope for our future. And many solutions can be found within the business community.
 
NEWS Published:

The recipe for a competitive EU

The success of the EU’s can be measured largely in the level of exchange in goods, services, people, and capital. The complete implementation of the Single Market is key. Much remains to be done in many areas, such as the free movement of services and labour, eliminating restrictive national processes, regulations and standards, and ensuring that common legislation is applied uniformly and consistently. As long as barriers to the four freedoms remain, European competitiveness will continue to be held back.
NEWS Published:

European Diversity is a strength

A central component of European cooperation is the diversity of ideas and solutions available to address the common problems of our time. Diversity serves the EU well and is vital for generating new approaches and innovation.
NEWS Published:

No Social Europe without jobs

High employment levels are a prerequisite for providing European citizens with strong social rights and good living standards. The only way to achieve this is through competitive companies and healthy economies in the EU Member States. These conditions are linked; improved living standards cannot be created without growth.
NEWS Published:

Climate and energy policy for sustainable growth

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and so demands a global commitment and comprehensive solutions. The EU plays an important role in driving global measures and ambitions under the Paris Agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
NEWS Published:

Better regulation creates competitiveness

Improving the quality of European legislation is crucial to strengthening businesses’ competitiveness. This involves optimizing the regulatory framework and ensuring it brings cost-effective results and contributing to more growing businesses and jobs.
NEWS Published:

Leadership in global free trade

European companies need access to markets and open relations with the rest of the world. The EU must use its position as the largest trading bloc in the world to push for free trade, openness and competition on equal terms.
NEWS Published:

The Digital Single Market – prerequisite for data-driven growth

A Digital Single Market is crucial for the EU to make use of ever faster technological developments and achieve economies of scale, as well as innovation and growth opportunities both in Europe and globally. Harmonisation of digital rules, not least relating to consumer rights and VAT systems, is necessary to build such a market.
NEWS Published:

A well-functioning Single Market – Economic engine of the EU

The original purpose of the Single Market was to create a more favourable environmentfor entrepreneurship, the movement of people, competitiveness and trade.Achieving this would stimulate economic growth and increase prosperity for Europeancitizens. This must remain the point of departure for future efforts to developthe Single Market.
NEWS Published:

Trump cannot kill climate hope

As the USA now plans to exit the Paris Climate agreement, the EU and Sweden can have the greatest impact by demonstrating that combining competitiveness and high levels of prosperity with continuing to reduce climate emissions is possible. The entrepreneurial sector will drive climate issues forward, more than policy makers. Technical innovation is advancing quickly in many fields, reducing costs for new technology. Even US President Donald Trump cannot change these facts despite his misguided passion for coal, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Head of Energy and Climate Policy at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
NEWS Published:

Do we need a more social Europe?

Is a “Social Europe” the right medicine to stop growing populism? Can new social rights and social legislation foster growth and jobs? Is the fight against social dumping in fact a pretext for protecting domestic workers? What is the role of the EU and the Member States?
NEWS Published:

Trust in the European Union at a crossroads – Europaperspektiv 2017

Swedish universities have since 1998 cooperated in national networks within political science, economics and law. The purpose is to enhance the interest and knowledge in the European Union. Each year a book is published to disseminate knowledge to a broader audience. The book is divided into three main areas, political science, economics and law and each year grasps a specific topic. The topic of the year is trust, which incorporates trust both between member states but also between citizens and institutions.
NEWS Published:

How the Nordics achieved an integrated electricity market – Lessons for Europe?

Last November, the European Commission presented its package "Clean Energy for All in Europe". Among the proposals currently being discussed in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament are the draft legislation on the electricity market design, security of supply and governance of the energy union.
NEWS Published:

Close the ecocycle – recycling is better than burning

INNOVATION Anders Olsson is CEO for recovery business, Cassandra Oil, in Västerås, Sweden. He thinks that misdirected regulatory frameworks skew the way society manages plastic waste.
NEWS Published:

Free data flows in focus for the entrepreneurial sector

Global free trade, technical development and free data flows are entirely essential to export dependent Sweden. We are in the midst of a transformation to a thoroughly digitalised society where the possibilities for innovation are great and integrity needs equally great. Companies cannot conduct their business across national borders without moving data, as well – whether small or large, and in every industry. How can Sweden and Europe establish data-driven policy where all interests – personal, business, and societal needs – are preserved in the long term?
NEWS Published:

Plenty of red tape waiting to be cut

BETTER REGULATION Cutting red tape has long been a dream of Swedish companies. But the current coalition government (Social Democrats and the Green Party) has put little effort into this issue. Strong measures are needed now, argues a second report from the project A Challenged Sweden.
NEWS Published:

Red tape clogs the Single Market

RED TAPE Design and Lighting business, Watt & Veke, struggles with the administrative burden of selling to the EU Single Market. Right now, they’re having trouble with administering producer responsibility obligations and recycling electrical products. “Things are not as open as we would like,” says CEO Johan Pehrson.
NEWS Published:

Business community has an important role in the future EU

EU The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and BusinessEurope remain active in working to impact the EU’s agenda for the future. “The way forward will build on its original ideas of openness, trade, and economic integration,” commented Jens Hedström in celebrating the Union’s 60th birthday.
NEWS Published:

Reaction to the UK’s decision to leave the EU

COMMENT “We regret that the UK Government has decided to take this step” says Director-General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Carola Lemne, “This is the beginning of a process entailing great risks for our companies and bringing few positive aspects with it”.