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Shifting Patterns of Trade: TTIP and the South Atlantic

25 September 2014 9:00 am
25 September 2014 11:00 am

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On June 17, 2013, the United States and the European Union formally announced the start of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The ambitious and comprehensive deal seeks to eliminate remaining existing tariffs between the EU and the United States, but also to eliminate non-tariff barriers, and work towards common or mutually recognized standards and regulations. While the original goal of completing the agreement by the end of 2014 is unlikely, late 2015-early 2016 seem to be more realistic timeframes for its completion and beginning of implementation. But TTIP should not only be considered as a purely bilateral instrument. It seeks indeed to set the global standard for future trade and investment relations. The very prospect of TTIP is therefore raising a number of interrogations outside the United States and Europe; it resonates far beyond the transatlantic economic relationship. Countries in the South Atlantic, in particular, are left wondering what the deal would mean for them, and what the direct implications of a greater integration of the North Atlantic economy could be on their own prospect for economic prosperity.

If it succeeds, how will TTIP affect the political economy of trade relations in the Atlantic? What will be its impact on existing and future economic relations with other global partners, especially in the South Atlantic? How have non-party states reacted to the TTIP negotiations? What is the political and economic impact of TTIP on ongoing bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations such as the Economic Partnership Agreements with African, Caribbean, and Pacific regions; the EU-Mercosur negotiations; and in the framework of the WTO? More broadly, what are the implications of mega-regional trade deals for the multilateral trading system?


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