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Research Report


José Manuel Barroso
Stuart E. Eizenstat
Andrea Montanino
Earl Anthony Wayne
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2016
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 29
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)
    José Manuel Barroso and Stuart E. Eizenstat

    The United States and the European Union (EU) are negotiating a new kind of trade and investment agreement in a complicated setting. The world is looking for ways to increase economic growth and prosperity in an epoch of slow recovery from the 2009 recession, while many on both sides of the Atlantic are questioning the value of trade agreements, European and American civil society elements are mobilized to protect environmental and public health standards from potential encroachment and to counter what is seen as undue influence by big business in trade negotiations. Yet, as Earl Anthony Wayne and Andrea Montanino...

  2. (pp. 3-4)

    Trade has always been a key tool for advancing civilizations and improving living standards. For the ancient kingdoms of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and during the reign of Rome, trade brought innovation, discoveries, and prosperity for many centuries.

    Following Marco Polo’s trip to China, European trade attention shifted to the Far East. Europe and the Far East traded silk, spices, and technologies for the benefit of the development of human beings. From the sixteenth century until very recently, trade was also a transatlantic issue. Ships from Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands crossed the Atlantic and established a new era of...

  3. (pp. 5-13)

    Regulators around the world create rules to satisfy the different needs of their citizens and to protect their markets against behavior that can generate an overall loss of welfare. However, regulations can also increase the cost of doing business, create barriers for newcomers, and therefore raise consumer prices. So, rules and regulations need to strike the right balance between protecting citizens and overburdening businesses. Regulations cannot be eliminated with a trade agreement, but they can be reduced as much as possible to enable newcomers to enter national markets, thereby increasing competition and reducing extra profits that might arise in uncompetitive...

  4. (pp. 14-19)

    There is no doubt that the TTIP negotiators have plenty of challenges to overcome. Just identifying potential landing zones for final agreement is daunting, given the various sectors that may be addressed. Agriculture, for example, has long been an acrimonious topic between the United States and the EU on a range of issues from subsidies and market access to human, animal, and plant health issues; geographic indicators; and, of course, genetically modified crops.14

    Plus, when you are talking about regulations and how much “precaution” to exert in certain areas, you cannot make trade-offs between areas as trade negotiators can do...

  5. (pp. 20-20)

    What if the critics and politics on either side of the Atlantic stymie the TTIP negotiations or result in greatly reduced ambition?

    First, both the United States and Europe would lose an opportunity to boost their economies. A range of commentators and experts warn that tepid or no growth could become an even longer-term trend on both sides of the Atlantic. Governments and economic actors are looking for ways to break out of this cycle. Monetary institutions seem to have few additional tools to deploy should economies again start to falter. Productivity has remained stubbornly low. Why would the EU...

  6. (pp. 21-21)

    TTIP holds the promise to boost the transatlantic economy and give new strength to the EU-US partnership. The vigor it can give to this partnership will resonate in the international trading system and with the two economies’ other economic partners. It can send a message to Europe that the US commitment to the relationship is much more than NATO’s, and it can remind the US public of the importance of the transatlantic economic relationship for US prosperity.

    These messages should be magnified as TTIP goes into effect and generates more economic growth and opportunities for job creation. Just agreeing to...