Lunch Discussion with Philip D. Murphy on TTIP

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe has become a polarizing topic, especially in European countries.  Inspired by the aspect of international understanding of such a treaty, Westerwelle Foundation invited representatives from politics, business and culture to a lunch discussion at the Foundation. Mr. Philip D. Murphy, Former US Ambassador to Berlin, attended the discussion as guest of honor.

Dr. Guido Westerwelle, Chairman of the Westerwelle Foundation, stressed in his introductory remarks the importance of a constructive dialogue on issues of TTIP and that this dialogue should not be perpetuated by emotions and vague fears alone, Dr. Westerwelle assessed that „the debate has been narrowed down to hormone-treated beef and chlorine-rinsed chicken.” It is a widespread misconception, he stated, that the US standards are generally lower than European standards. Instead of panic, the discussion should be based on an objective and fact-bound dialogue. “TTIP is too important for all of us”, Westerwelle emphasized. Philip D. Murphy, US Ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013, agreed with this statement. In his opinion, there are too many issues brought into the discussion, which have nothing to do with TTIP. For example, all concerns about secret services should not be part of the discussion about a trade agreement. Both issues are important for the transatlantic relations, but they need to be examined individually. Mr. Murphy without doubt spoke in favor of the agreement. “Especially small and medium-sized companies will profit from TTIP”, he predicted.

Amongst the notable guest were: Dieter Janacek, Member of the German Bundestag and Speaker for the Parliamentary Fraction of the Green Party, Karsten D. Voigt, Coordinator of the Federal Government for German-US-Cooperation, Rüdiger Lentz, Chairman of the Aspen Institute Germany, Heike MacKerron, Director of the German Marshall Fund in Berlin, Reinhold Robbe, President of ther German-Israeli-Society, as well as Béla Anda, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Bild.