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
Local

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…