The 2013 Mortimer Caplin Conference on the World Economy
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A Multilateral Perspective
Shortly after President Barack Obama won reelection to a second term, several European leaders, most notably Britain’s David Cameron and Germany’s Angela Merkel, encouraged the President to pursue a free-trade pact with Europe during his second term. Supporters of such an agreement received a boost on February 12, 2013, when President Obama, in his annual State of the Union Address, pledged to “launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.” Then on June 14, the European Commission approved the initiation of talks with the U.S.
The Miller Center hosted the 2013 Mortimer Caplin Conference on December 2 in Washington, DC.The conference was organized to provide key stakeholder groups—government officials, business and labor leaders, trade experts, and scholars—from the United States and European Union a forum for constructive dialogue on a transatlantic free trade agreement.
The event included panel sessions examining TTIP from historical and comparative perspectives, assessing its anticipated benefits to the U.S. economy, and analyzing the potential implications of the new trade bloc to the larger global economy. A Keynote Roundtable titled “Lessons from History” featured four former United States Trade Representatives—Clayton Yeutter, Mickey Kantor, Susan Schwab, and Ron Kirk— recounting their own experiences negotiating free trade agreements and the lessons learned.
Unlike in previous years, the 2013 Caplin Conference featured two separate gatherings: one in the United States and one in Europe. The conference had separate charges, although each examines similar subject matter. The Miller Center conference in the U.S. focused on questions from the American perspective; likewise, the European conference, convened by the University of Edinburgh’s Europa Institute, examined the TTIP from the EU perspective.
A joint report featuring conclusions and recommendations is now being developed to be disseminated to key target audiences.