Trading across the Pond

A few weeks ago, my fellow blogger Noah Zerbe at Global Food Politics told us that transatlantic free trade was being negotiated. ‘The United States and the European Union [were then] negotiating a new free trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TFTA), sometimes also referred to as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).’

These negotiations started after months of speculation. I’ve been wondering how the TTIP will affect the land and sea. How will it affect ecosystems? How will it affect farmers, growers, hunters and fishers? How will it affect all of us, living here, relying on the land and sea?

The story continues. The Fat Lady isn’t singing yet about the TTIP but she’s writing songs. The European Commission (EC) tells us where we’re at about the TTIP. ‘This agreement, the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated, could result in millions of euros of savings to companies and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. It is expected that every year an average European household would gain an extra €545 and our economy would be boosted by around 0.5% of GDP, once the deal was fully implemented.’

We’re watching you, politicians. What will you do for our land and sea? The EC says, ‘The second round of negotiations will take place in October 2013, in Brussels.’

About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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2 Responses to Trading across the Pond

  1. Finn Holding says:

    I’m sruggling with my limited understanding of economics and politics here, but if it’s ‘free’ trade, why does it need to be negotiated? ‘Negotiation’ implies horse trading and ultimately regulation which, ispo facto, is not ‘free’. Or am I just being a bit slow on the uptake? 😉

    • argylesock says:

      You and me both! We’re scientists, not economists. But to your particular question here, I think the answer is that the TTIP is about agreeing to throw out some of the regulations. The socialist in me fears that, because a free market can be a sink-or-swim market.

      I hope to get around to understanding this better, esp how Free Trade can fit with Fair Trade. If it can fit. Also how Free Trade can work, or not work, if those in power listen to farmers/growers/fishers who (she says, bravely) may not always be very well educated.

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