Believing that Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is an opportunity to reaffirm and reinforce the strong economic, political, social and values it shares with Europe, the United States of America today unveiled benefits of TTIP for both US and Europe.
In his remarks in Washington DC, Under Secretary Robert D. Hormats says TTIP wil reinforce the shared values of freedom, democracy, pluralism and basic human rights that underpin US-EU relationship.
US indicates that US and EU will now benefit from the shaping of a great new trans-Atlantic endeavor of far-reaching significance from the jobs and investment that it will create and the strong new economic dimension it will add to the traditional strategic alliance.
Earlier in February this year, President Barack Obama announced the Administration’s intent to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union (EU).
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is envisioned as an ambitious initiative, but highly beneficial to US and EU countries in terms of increasing jobs and increasing investments.
Benefits of TTIP: Moving towards a more integrated transatlantic marketplace
According to Mr. Hormats, with the TTIP and all the enthusiasm it engendered from leaders on both sides, the US hopes to build on the important progress of the TEC in a larger and more systematic approach.
With the TTIP, the US aims to address entrenched obstacles to U.S.-EU trade liberalization concerns over agricultural market access, risk assessment, management of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical barriers to trade, among others.
In addition, Mr. Hormats says a significant portion of the benefit of a potential transatlantic agreement turns on the ability of the United States and the EU to pursue new and innovative approaches to non-tariff barriers, with the aim of moving toward a more integrated transatlantic marketplace.
“This larger and more systematic approach that we are undertaking now if it continues to be enthusiastically supported by leaders on both sides of the Atlantic – can make a big difference.” – Mr. Hormats
Another benefit: TTIP will strengthen US’ economic ties with Europe and the rest of the world
Mr. Hormats notes that pursuing the TTIP is not only to strengthen economic ties with Europe but also to strengthen economic ties with the rest of the world as well.
“This is an important dimension of these negotiations.” – Mr. Hormats
He says TTIP could contribute to rules and disciplines between the United States and the EU that if more broadly adopted – could be a catalyst for other trade liberalization initiatives.
In addition, it could help shape practices, and norms throughout the global economy, strengthening the rules-based trading system from which all economies benefit.
Why Obama Administration optismistic about TTIP?
According to Mr. Hormats, President Obama’s announcement in the State of the Union address of the intention of the United States to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, heralds a new era in the transatlantic relationship.
The US beleives TTIP if it works, it will be a challenge, but one worth undertaking.
TTIP has the potential to be an historic agreement on many levels, Mr. Hormats said.
US asserts that U.S.-European ties continue to need periodic strengthening – which is what US is seeking with TTIP.
It will create a strong new economic dimension that will add to our traditional strategic alliance.
“Its scope is considerable.” – Mr. Hormats
In addition, the TTIP seeks to create a more open market for 800 million consumers encompassing both sides of the Atlantic.
He also notes it will be very different from any trade agreement we have ever negotiated.
Aside from that, TTIp will seek to break new ground by addressing a multitude of heretofore unaddressed non-tariff barriers, setting the stage for convergence between the United States and the EU on key standards and regulations, and establishing high quality norms and practices that can spread to other markets.
“It is also an opportunity to reaffirm and reinforce the strong economic, political, social and values we share with Europe.” – Mr. Hormats
Mr. Hormats points out that much as NATO was the glue that tied the United States and Europe together during the Cold War, TTIP can reflect and promote shared transatlantic interests and values that will bind US ad EU together more closely in the coming decades of the 21st century.
Why spending the time and effort on major trade negotiations with Europe?
US asserts that there is no denying the economic importance of Asia. In this context, US believes that it is an enormous economic priority for the United States – as it is for Europe to coonect with Asia in economic terms.
US believes that both Europe and the United States will be in a stronger position to meet the competitive challenges of Asia if we have stronger economic ties with one another and if we agree on high common standards.
In addition, US says strengthened economic ties between the United States and the European Union and the benefits they produce for both of economies will enhance ability to build stronger relationships with emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere around the world.
“It will be relationships that support high quality norms and rules in the global economic system.” – Mr. Hormats
TTIP is a mammoth undertaking.
Mr. Hormats says for decades there has been skepticism among Americans as to whether trade agreements benefitted the United States and whether the United States has the competitive strength to benefit from them.
“That said, however, Americans should approach both the TTIP and TransPacific Partnership TPP-with a high degree of confidence.” – Mr. Hormats
First, the Obama Administration has demonstrated that it can negotiate agreements that reflect the interests of a full range of American stakeholders.
In 2012, the US has strengthened, and last year implemented, three major free trade agreements with Korea (KORUS), Columbia and Panama.
Second, the administration has paid great attention to ensuring that our trading partners adhere to their commitments they make in these agreements.
The State Department has made advocacy in behalf of U.S. business and creating a level playing field for our companies a top priority.
Third, the U.S. economy is growing steadily and creating private sector jobs here at home at a more rapid rate including, and importantly, in manufacturing where jobs are beginning to return to the United States.
Fourth, the oil and gas boom has had profoundly positive economic and competitive effects.
The gas boom improves uS trade balance, puts more money in the hands of Americans to spend at home, improves our manufacturing capabilities, creates new export prospects, and makes the United States a more attractive place to invest.
The TTIP builds on an established traditions of U.S.-EU cooperation
According to Mr. Hormats, in the post-Cold War 21st century world, US needs to ensure that current and future generations of Americans and Europeans recognize not only the important legacies theyshare, but also that at present and in the future our common economic benefits and security relationships are intertwined.
He says it is similarly important to ensure that this reinforces the values and principles that underpin our societies, our systems of government, and our view of the world we want to pass on to future generations.
It is important to recognize and reiterate to our publics that the United States and Europe share, in so many ways, a common future.
Too many on both sides of the Atlantic take this relationship for granted or think little about it, he said.
“In many ways, America is stronger if Europe is stronger, and vice versa.” – Mr. Hormats
US-EU mutual prosperity and security still depend heavily upon their relationship as do solutions to many global, political, security, environmental and developmental and other challenges.
Mr. Hormats stresses that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a bold vision based on the recognition of our many potential areas of shared opportunity.
However, reaching a ground-breaking and mutually beneficial agreement will not be easy.
And there will, of course, be bumps in the road, he pointed out.
But working together to realize these opportunities is well worth the effort, he added.
“It will benefit our own people and contribute to a better world for many others for many decades to come.” – Mr. Hormats
U.S. – Europe relationship tested by time
According to Mr. Hormats, the Cold War tied the U.S. and Europe together as strong partners and allies for several important decades of the 20th Century.
U.S. ties with Europe evolved significantly during the 20th century.
Mr. Hormats explains that after the Second World War, America’s leaders recognized that common future – not just Europe’s future depended on Europe’s economic recovery from the war, and of course that of Japan.
In 2013, however, we are facing an entirely different world. Though Cold War thankfully is over, work in strengthening U.S.-European relations is not.
Today, US offers an opportunity to draw on the same common values and same shared interests that forged the greatest alliance in human history that was NATO and that was to build a transatlantic relationship that meets the needs of a new century and serves as a beacon for the rest of the globe.
Mr. Hormats underscored that for coming generations of Americans and Europeans, the compelling argument for strong transatlantic ties must be future-oriented, based on jobs and economic growth, and on shared values of democracy, respect for diversity, freedom of speech and opinion, and on shared opportunity – not on containing some common enemy.
The European Union and the United States have held diplomatic relations since 1953 and the relationship is widely recognized as one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. EU and US are the biggest economic and military powers in the world as well.