Largest Trade Agreement in History Needs Approval From 27 European Countries and the U.S. Congress. What Could Go Wrong?

Credit: vsaid, flickrCredit: vsaid, flickrLast night, Obama announced that talks will soon begin on a “comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.” According to the BBC, the trade agreement will be the biggest trade deal in history.

As with most significant changes that the E.U. tries to implement the trade agreement will almost certainly divide northern European countries from their southern neighbors. As an article from Reuters points out, the countries hardest hit by the euro-crisis are ironically the ones that will probably be the most skeptical of a trade agreement with the U.S., while the generally more market-sympathetic countries of northern Europe will be more likely to support such an agreement.

It is worth remembering that the E.U. has a patchy history when it comes to organizing trade agreements, as the Reuters piece goes on to explain:

Brussels is negotiating possible free-trade agreements with more than 80 countries, with some successes, such as a recent deal set to be struck with Singapore, but some talks, such as with India, showing no signs of ending.

Talks that began with Canada in 2009 have also failed to settle differences over agricultural exports, intellectual property and public procurement, despite two high-level efforts to break the deadlock.

The deal will require a lot of negotiation, and there are still major obstacles that must be overcome before an agreement is reached.  The E.U. Commission will need approval from the E.U.’s member states for the agreement to go ahead. Getting 27 European countries to agree to anything is no small task, let alone the largest trade agreement in history. In addition, the U.S. Congress will also have to approve the deal.

How bad could a trade agreement look after 27 European countries and the U.S. Congress have got their hands on it? 

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  • R C Dean||

    We're running out of time to get ourself chained to Europe before it goes down for the third time. Hurry, boys! Fast track authority, now!

  • ||

    "The United States shall apply no limitations, restrictions, quotas, or tariffs on any trade from the European Union."

    Done and done. The government can thank me later.

  • 34lbs||

    What about labour?

  • ||

    What, you think I work for free?

    Very well:

    "The United States shall allow any individual with a EU passport unlimited entry, residence, and labor in the United States, provided he or she is not a provable threat to public safety or health."

    As my fee for writing these trade and migration agreements, I will accept 1% of what the US and EU expected to pay in salaries and expenses during the proposed negotiations.

  • brlfq||

    Talks will soon begin.

    Arghh!

    According to the BBC...

    Whew.

  • brlfq||

    It's quiet. Too quiet.
    Countdown to PM Links...
    Contributors furiously pasting links and commentary into temp documents...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm assuming it would have sucked anyway.

  • Oso Politico||

    Trade negotiator - sounds like a guaranteed lifetime job - where do I apply?

  • ||

    Canada already has the NAFTA with the US and Mexico; why are there bilateral agreements being prepared with the EU? NAFTA countries ought to negotiate with the EU as a(n already existing) trading block so the EU can't play them against each other.

  • 34lbs||

    'cus fuck you that's why.

  • 34lbs||

    How about this, instead of pursuing trade agreements with certain countries and blocks, muddying up the waters with backroom deals and shit. Why not just remove all trade restrictions whatsoever, problem solved. No need for agreements and shit, just stop with the quotas, the tarrifs, the subsidies, etc.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But it sounded good.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I see. Its a trade agreement, not trade liberalization.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Why do private companies need a trade agreement between governments to exchange goods and services?

    Mercantilism just won't fucking die.

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