ASU Insight: A new transatlantic trade deal - Good for America?

June 22, 2015


THE DEBATE: seated panel discussion Transatlantic trade deal discussion panel Download Full Image

The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University hosted the debate: “A New Transatlantic Trade Deal: Good for America?” at the Burke Theater at the Navy Memorial, in Washington, DC.

The debate centered on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, and whether such an agreement would be positive for American jobs, growth, labor standards and the environment.


Arguing in favor of an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP deal were Shaun Donnelly, Vice President of Investment and Financial Services at the United States Council for International Business (USCIB); and Jim Kolbe , former U.S. Congressman and Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund (GMF).

Arguing against an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP deal were Ted Bromund, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Thea Lee , Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO.

Jon Decker, White House Correspondent at Fox News Radio, moderated the debate.


Key points made in favor of TTIP:

  • Europe is already our largest trading partner, with $6.5 trillion going back and forth in trade a year. A free trade agreement with the EU would boost U.S. exports to three billion dollars annually and increase the purchasing power of American families through cutting costs by $900 per year.
  • TTIP is an opportunity for two big industrial democracies/economies to boost their competitiveness and set global rules through harmonizing regulations. Since EU and US standards are already high, these could, over time, also help set global norms for other countries such as China.
  • TTIP is a way to kick-start the broader multilateral trade agenda that has been stalled in the WTO. TTIP would represent a new template for modern trade agreements.

Key points made against TTIP:

  • The economic benefits of TTIP are oversold; in reality, TTIP will only have a marginal economic impact. The main reason for this is trade barriers across the Atlantic are already very low. Most of the predicted benefits come from regulatory convergence rather than tariff reduction.
  • Compared to previous trade agreements, TTIP is different in that its major impact is likely to be rules convergence rather than tariff reduction. While harmonizing rules could be useful for certain industries (such as pharmaceuticals and automobiles), for others it would only add new regulations, increasing costs for American manufacturers and consumers. Harmonization could also occur outside of TTIP and thus be more flexible down the road. To the extent that harmonization of regulations occurs through downward convergence, concerns were raised that TTIP could undermine essential consumer, labor and environmental protections.
  • The TTIP negotiations suffer from a lack of openness and transparency. The U.S. government in particular has failed to provide the public with adequate information about its own goals and negotiating position. Labor and environmental groups have argued that corporations have been too influential in setting the negotiating agenda


Thea Lee argued that the U.S. should drop the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) from the negotiation mandate because it is not necessary between two advanced economies such as the U.S. and the EU. The negotiators should also become more transparent and increase input from consumer, labor, and environmental groups on trade harmonization issues.

Ted Bromund made the point that free trade already exists across the North Atlantic area. Rather than pursuing an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP, negotiators should focus on eliminating all remaining tariffs and quotas and agree to mutually recognized standards only when they make sense – not across the board. Rather than rules convergence, regulators should focus on de-regulation.

Jim Kolbe said the most immediate action needed is for Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) so the President can proceed with concluding negotiations on TTIP.

Shaun Donnelly called for Congress to pass TPA and then for the Administration to negotiate an ambitious TTIP agreement that would include the ISDS clause because investment is a key component of transatlantic commerce.

Ken Fagan

Videographer, ASU Now


Squires named vice dean, to serve as interim dean of ASU engineering

June 22, 2015

Paul Johnson, dean of Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, has appointed Kyle Squires, director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, to the position of vice dean. The appointment took effect Monday. 

"Kyle has always shown an interest in and affinity for building successful integrative initiatives  like our cross-school robotics and manufacturing centers of excellence and ASU's Global Security Initiative,” said Johnson. “This makes Kyle an excellent choice for the new vice dean position." Kyle Squires, vice dean and interim dean Vice Dean Kyle Squires, director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, will become interim dean pending a national search for the dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Photo by: ASU Download Full Image

Squires also will move into the role of interim dean July 1, as Johnson leaves ASU to head the Colorado School of Mines. This will be followed by a national search for the new dean of ASU Fulton Schools of Engineering. 

“Dr. Squires’ blend of research expertise, investment in innovative approaches in teaching and training of students and leadership with the university make him an ideal candidate for interim dean,” said Mark Searle, interim university provost. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to advance ASU research and engineering education nationally and globally.”

Fulton schools’ undergraduate and graduate programs are ranked 23rd among public institutions and No. 14 for online engineering graduate programs by U. S. News & World Report. The engineering program has attracted more than 300 world-class faculty members and nearly 17,000 students, including the most veterans and service members and a record-setting 2,542 first-time freshman.  

As the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy (SEMTE) director, Squires led the school through a period of rapid faculty, enrollment and research growth, and has overseen degree and research programs in aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering and the professional science master’s program in solar energy engineering and commercialization. He has also served as interim co-director of ASU’s Security and Defense Systems Initiative prior to its reconceptualization as the Global Security Initiative

“Engineering has been on a steep growth path and I would like to continue that growth across the academic programs and our research enterprise, all the while continuing to seek new opportunities to innovate in our teaching and research,” said Squires. “As our enrollments have grown, so have measures of student retention and success - sustaining these achievements is key.” 

Squires’ expertise and interests encompass computational fluid dynamics, turbulence modeling for single- and multi-phase flows, high-performance computing, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and research. His modeling studies have spurred new understanding of particle-laden turbulence through simulations and have advanced the state-of-the-art in computational fluid dynamics for prediction of a wide variety of complex turbulent flows. 

Models developed by Squires and his colleagues have been used to study how to improve the aerodynamics of aircraft, ground vehicles and sports equipment, among other applications. 

Squires received his doctoral degree from Stanford University in mechanical engineering and came to ASU in 1997 from the University of Vermont. He has served in a wide range of leadership positions in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, including most recently as the director of SEMTE, and previously as the chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and associate chair of the department’s graduate program.  

He is a senior sustainability scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and an elected fellow to the American Physical Society. 

“Our faculty members continue to achieve impressive successes in research, from winning major centers to garnering numerous recognitions, especially among the cohort hired over the past few years,” said Squires. “I hope to help accelerate the schools’ accomplishments and as we advance, also cultivate new opportunities for our students, staff and faculty.”

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost