The EU and the US have set – almost unnoticed, among the multitude of more urgent and more serious matters as the EU sovereign debt crisis, the Cyprus bail-out and the competitiveness weakness that EU suffers from, at the moment – to launch negotiations for a new partnership. This partnership will help ail some of the two partners’ economic problems by opening up the markets and boosting trade but could, also have an impact on other matters of a political, economic or cultural nature.
Impact on the economy
All studies made on the subject of concluding a free trade agreement between the US and the EU point to important benefits in economic terms: as financial gains, in terms of GDP increase, as increase in trade and consequently in terms of competitiveness, as gains in terms of job creation. Few others also point out to important benefits in terms of political gains.
A boost in economic competitiveness in order to maintain significance in economic sense – and perhaps to stop the trend of decreasing economic growth by comparison to emerging economies – is a must for both the EU and the US.
The prospect of a comprehensive free trade agreement across the Atlantic has gained significant momentum. The EU and the US have launched the project of building up a comprehensive free trade zone among the two regions which, together, account for roughly half of global trade, with important potential gains for growth and jobs on both sides.
In bilateral terms, studies point to important economic gains in both the EU and the US. But what impact would an ambitious and comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement have on the global economy? Could a renewed and revigorated transatlantic partnership provide momentum for further global trade liberalization and the setting up of a new post-Doha agenda? And finally could we see, in the future, a re-balanced shift of power in the opposite direction – from Asia, back to the Western economic space? Certainly, the EU-US trade liberalization agenda should be seen also in conjunction to the ongoing negotiations to conclude a free trade agreement between EU and Canada.