Special Interests and Governments Will Screw Up EU-US Trade Deal

Credit: President of the European Council/flickrCredit: President of the European Council/flickrBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the beginning of formal negotiations for an E.U.-U.S. trade agreement, which he said could result in “the biggest bilateral trade deal in history” and which the Associated Press reports aims to, “.. promote economic growth by eliminating the import tariffs and changing regulations that keep goods made on one side of the Atlantic from being sold on the other.”

From the BBC:

Mr Cameron said the deal could be worth £100bn to the EU economy, £80bn to the US and £85bn to the rest of the world.

He said the pact could create two million jobs, and lead to more choice and lower prices in shops.

"This is a once-in-a-generation prize and we are determined to seize it," said Mr Cameron.

European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso. who will lead the negotiations with President Obama, said that integrating the EU and US economies would not be easy but "we will find convincing answers to legitimate concerns".

"We'll find solutions to thorny issues, we'll keep our eyes on the prize and we will succeed," he said.

Talks almost didn’t happen thanks to the French, who threatened to veto if the French film and TV industry wasn’t excluded from the negotiations.

As the talks develop we should expect to see more of these sort of exemptions as well as special deals with other industries. It shouldn’t be surprising when European farmers, American manufacturers, and others complain about the potential deal.

Any trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union will require ratification from the E.U. member states and the U.S. Congress. Just how beneficial a trade deal that has been ratified by over two dozen governments and includes considerations for specials interests will be to Europeans and Americans remains to be seen. I can’t say I’m optimistic.

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  • ||

    Any trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union will require ratification from the E.U. member states and the U.S. Congress. Just how beneficial a trade deal that has been ratified by over two dozen governments and includes considerations for specials interests will be to Europeans and Americans remains to be seen. I can’t say I’m optimistic.

    They just want to wet their beaks.

  • ||

    I was disappointed by the excerpt from Obama I heard on NPR this morning:

    Trade is critical but it is not alone a silver bullet; it has to be part of a comprehensive strategy that we pursue on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Actually, no. Allowing people to exchange goods and services on their own terms is called freedom: there's nothing that needs to be comprehensive about it.

  • Rhywun||

    "Comprehensive strategy" is a dog-whistle for union types and other cronies. It translates roughly as "I got your back".

  • Aresen||

    If you didn't like the NAFTA bridge over the US between Canada and Mexico, you are really going to hate the one between Europe and China.

    ;P

  • ||

    Will I finally be able get jamon here? Oh wait, I can already do that. Watch them fuck that up.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How about haggis?

  • ||

    What? Is that some mick food?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, it's Scottish, well, I suppose food is the closest word. But it's illegal to import it, like unpasteurized cheese.

  • Brandybuck||

    There are ways to get it, there are ways. Not ways that any True Scotsman(tm) would approve, but there are ways.

    p.s. I remember a Frugal Gourmet episode on haggis, where Jeff Smith apologized saying that it was illegal to make true haggis in the US.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Alton Brown told me how to make one.

  • Almanian!||

    Ackroyd's Bakery, Five Mile Road, Redford, MI, USA. Best haggis anywhere. Better than Scotland. And their meat pies are to die for.

    The shortbread is epic, too.

    Fuck, now I want some....:(

  • Pro Libertate||

    Let's get some and ship it to Episiarch as a surprise.

  • SweatingGin||

    Wait, ackroyd's has haggis?

    Do they not have it in the cases? Never saw it there.

    I get their meat pies and sausage rolls regularly.

  • ||

    I'm not interested in mick & limey food, ProL.

  • Almanian!||

    But...but....blood pudding and boiled, flavorless sausage and scurvy! Come ON man - it's so....classy!

  • ||

    Let's be fair, here; in Australia they have boiled, flavorless bacon.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's truly the shit, isn't it?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Do we have to adopt the Euro, then?

  • Almanian!||

    Why should we have to adopt their orphans?

    OH! You mean....never mind...

  • Brandybuck||

    This is why we need unilateral free trade. Bilateral free trade is just too hard to get past the administrative class.

  • cavalier973||

    Exactly. No treaties or signed agreements, just the government saying "Okay guys; we're going to get out of your way, now."

  • anon||

    Yeah right. They have to "help" us! Because we obviously don't know what's "good" for us!

  • some guy||

    No treaties or signed agreements, ...

    But then the other side might do something that's unfair like subsidize their tire industry or suppress the value of their currency. The only way to fight unfairness is with more unfairness.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Normally I'm all for free trade, but this:

    “.. promote economic growth by eliminating the import tariffs and changing regulations that keep goods made on one side of the Atlantic from being sold on the other.”

    ...makes me a little leery, as it can be interpreted in two ways:

    1) They're going to try to cut down on all the BS regulations that hinder free trade, or
    2) They're going to institute a flurry of new regulations so that both already-heavily regulated zones are weighed down the same.

    The high possibility of them meaning number 2 scares the shit out of me.

  • Almanian!||

    I do believe you're right. This smells like number two.

  • Libertymike||

    Looks and sounds that way, too.

  • anon||

    Since when has a politician been able to resist the ability to say "BUT JERBZ!" to his constituents, even though he's wrong?

  • ||

    Don't be paranoid. Of course they're not going to try and weigh them down the same. What they ARE going to do is create some more bureaucracy to PROMOTE free trade, because it can't happen properly without government oversight to prevent business collusion against true market forces. They'll only be PROTECTING free trade from anti-market forces, don't you see?

    THAT'S how they'll market more regulations.

  • anon||

    Fuck you.

    Only because you're exactly right, and that pisses me off.

  • Almanian!||

    You know they give beans for breakfast in Scotland, right? You ever have BEANS with a Scottish meat pie? It's a horrible thing.

    Now I'm talking to the bot....

  • Christina||

    Volkswagen AG has its goal set on becoming the #1 manufacturer in the world, and is building amazingly advanced factories in Mexico, NOT the US, precisely because of the absurd tariffs that exist in the EU and US.

    The (LEED certified) Passat factory in Chattanooga is a one-off, simply because the Passat is only sold in North America and China, and thus not subject to the tariffs.

  • Christina||

    The latest factory being built in Mexico is for the very popular Audi Q5.

    http://www.volkswagenag.com/co.....hiapa.html

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but why the fuck does there need to be a deal between governments in order to trade? Why can I not trade with whoever the fuck I want? I get import tariffs (to an extent), but why not set a flat tariff for ALL imports and let individuals trade with whomever they choose regulation-free?

  • Art Vandelay||

    How would you reward cronies and unions if you had a flat tariff for all imports?

  • anon||

    How could you possibly be SO RACIST!?

  • Agammamon||

    "Special Interests and Governments Will Screw Up EU-US Trade Deal"

    You missed the real problem here - its not that SI and gov will screw it up, its why is the government making a trade deal in the first place. If our respective governments just got out of the way then American and European businesses could work out a bajillion little trade deals that would be beneficial.

    Hell, to say the government is going to screw it up is to admit that there's even the possibility that that it won't let special interests and politicking override good business sense.

  • KPres||

    I get what you're saying, but a free trade agreement is supposed to be an agreement that says exactly that...."we agree to both get out of the way". Not sure how often it actually works that way, but that's the spirit of the thing.

  • Agammamon||

    "He said the pact could create two million jobs."

    Repeat after me - jobs are a COST, not a benefit - just like any other input (energy, raw materials, whatever).

    "This is a once-in-a-generation prize and we are determined to seize it," said Mr Cameron."

    This is not a once in a generation prize, its the sort of stuff that goes on every day out of your sight, and you sound like a twat for saying it is.

    ". . .said that integrating the EU and US economies would not be easy but "we will find convincing answers to legitimate concerns".

    Our economies are already integrated - that's how I got to own a british made bike and can order parts from overseas. Also how I don't even need to order those parts from overseas as there are shops HERE that carry the stuff.

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