Transatlantic trade negotiations constitute a very complex dossier requiring high-level political decisions on a multitude of diverse and extremely technical matters which are likely to impact every industry and affect investors’ incentives.
Differently from any previous trade agreement, the principal aim of TTIP is not only to dismantle border restrictions such as tariffs and quotas. Rather, it seeks regulatory convergence. Harmonization and mutual recognition of regulations and standards can lead to a substantial cut in red tape and consequently it can have a significant impact on production costs. Continue reading
Trade policy and especially the fear that trade negotiations between the EU and the United States could undermine European standards on food safety was one of the most contentious issues discussed during the recent European elections campaign.
To understand the saliency of this issue, it is important to recall that the EU is currently negotiating both a multilateral trade agreement in the WTO as well as preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with several of its trading partners, especially one with the United States.
Most scholars agree that international trade is characterized by a form of agricultural exceptionalism: there is a gap between the diminishing economic importance of agriculture and the persistent stalemate over agricultural subsidies in multilateral negotiations. Indeed, despite the entry into force of the 1994 Agreement on Agriculture developed countries still apply high tariffs on agricultural imports (45% on average).