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WASHINGTON – The United States and the European Union are on the verge of establishing a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement, possibly by next month. Its approval would help maintain the West’s global preeminence as economic trends indicate a shift toward Asia, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
While it would greatly benefit both sides of the Atlantic, political obstacles could hinder an effort projected to increase trade and employment.
A study by the Munich-based Center for Economic Studies projected the agreement could add 181,000 jobs in Europe and increase per-capita income by more than 4.5 percent.
Germany would be one of the greatest beneficiaries, which would help alleviate some U.S. concerns over Europe as it sees increasingly poor economic conditions in France and Great Britain.
The U.S. may look to Germany for “strategic leadership” but, as former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer said, “Don’t expect that strategic leadership will come from Germany. This is not only a problem of the present coalition. It would not change even if the opposition took over,” referring to the ruling conservative coalition and its Social Democratic opposition.
Analysts say the country has displayed a lack of initiative in security matters since the end of World War II, as was recently evidenced when the United Nations Security Council voted on Western intervention in Libya and Germany abstained.
The analysts’ concern is that with Germany now taking the economic lead in Europe while maintaining a lack of initiative in foreign and security policy, strategic leadership won’t be forthcoming.
Nevertheless, implementation of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, would benefit most of the countries in the E.U., including Great Britain. However, benefits for France would remain limited due to its already low level of trade with the U.S.
The study revealed that countries adjoining the U.S. – Mexico and Canada – would see a decline in per-capita Gross Domestic Product, by as much as 9.5 percent.
Implementation of the TTIP also might have some adverse impact on other parts of the world, particularly in job losses and slower economic growth.
The study revealed that Germany would see a 10 percent drop in trade with the so-called BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. For the U.S., the drop could be as much as 30 percent.
The BRICS countries constitute the largest trading bloc in competition with the E.U.
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