EU and US announce biggest trade deal in history

German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her shadow on an European Union (EU) flag. Credit: Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her shadow on an European Union (EU) flag.
Credit: Reuters

The European Union and the United States have announced plans to complete a historic free trade agreement worth over 450 billion euros that could drag both from economic slumps.

Professor Stephen Davies of the London-based free-market think-tank Institute of Economic Affairs explains the impact.

Metro: Where did this come from?

Davies: The EU and US have been talking about this for years but things have suddenly accelerated for two reasons. On the European side there’s a desperate need to find anything that will stimulate growth in the Eurozone and this is estimated to grow GDP by 0.5%. On the US side, President Obama has been re-elected and is less worried about a backlash from protectionists.

How will this affect consumers?

Free trade reduces cost to consumers. It leads to a more efficient allocation of production and resources that’s why you get estimates of growth. Another benefit will be easier and simpler access to products from the other side of the Atlantic.

What will be the points of difficulty?

Agriculture will see the most discussion and argument but is also the area with potential for biggest gains. Both EU and US have highly protectionist agriculture regulations and there will be push-back from European farmers against US competition. Another point that could cause trouble is intellectual property rights, which have tax implications and a lot of money riding on them.

Is EU the weaker power?

It’s in worse shape but no one has the upper hand. The point of erasing trade barriers is that everybody benefits by getting rid of special interest blocs.

Is this a statement against rising Asian powers?

I really hope not. If the motives is to create a North Atlantic bloc to protect against challenges from China, India, Brazil that would be bad because their rise means more people to sell goods to.  But I think this is about the domestic need for something to stimulate the economy.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.