Officials from the United States and European Union have agreed to launch
negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement.
Forming the talks from
recommendations from the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and
Growth, parties from both nations will try to hammer out a Transatlantic
Trade and Investment Partnership. It’s been reported that both sides
want an agreement in place by 2015.
According to the European Union, this agreement could add 0.5 percent to its annual economic output.
“The transatlantic economic relationship is already the world’s
largest, accounting for half of global economic output and nearly one
trillion dollars in goods and services trade, and supporting millions of
jobs on both sides of the Atlantic,” President Obama, European
Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President
José Manuel Barroso said in a joint statement. “We are committed to
making this relationship an even stronger driver of our prosperity.”
The agreement will harmonize product standards and trade rules,
aligning regulatory differences between the nations. Market access and
new levels of cooperation will also be discussed in addition to the
removal of tariffs. These tariffs are currently low, with the World
Trade Organization estimating they're an average of 5.2 percent for the European Union
and 3.5 percent for the United States, but the removal of such fees would
Talks are expected to start quickly once Congress and the European Council are officially notified of impending talks.
FedEx Chief Operating Officer Michael L. Ducker sees immense opportunity for trade and
investment between the European Union and United States, fueling more business by
providing greater access to markets.
“FedEx strongly supports the U.S.–EU joint announcement to pursue a
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. By widening the doors
of free trade across the Atlantic Ocean, we can provide greater
opportunities for economic growth and jobs here at home,” he said in a
statement. “Further, a U.S.-EU trade deal would cut burdensome
regulations and red tape that often slows and sometimes inhibits trade
with this close ally.”
Parties involved also see this framework expanding to other areas
around the world, saying an agreement could strengthen trade global
rules. - Jon Ross