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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…