U.S. Trade Deal Improvements with Europe Unlikely Before New Administration

While it is believed that the chances of the Trans-Pacific Partnership passing through an increasingly partisan Congress or earning ratification in all of the other nations involved are remote, the potential free trade agreement update between the United States and European Union is even further from completion.

Obama Administration and EU leadership are deeply divided along many lines (e.g., agriculture, manufacturing, services, etc.) as they try to come to an agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). France is deeply opposed, and Germany is only slightly more comfortable with what is on the table. Meanwhile, the U.S. position on trade has been weakening with every month of the current campaign. These are nations that really need one another’s markets, but the trading patterns are sensitive because they essentially trade similar goods with one another.

The prospects of an agreement are dim and even if the pact was ironed out with trade officials between the two sides was ironed out quickly, infighting within the U.S. House and Senate almost guarantee nothing will be completed with Europe in the remaining nine months of the Obama term.

The stated goal of the TTIP was to lower already low trade barriers between two of the world’s largest trading partners to enable the easier flow of trillions of dollars worth of commerce.

- Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM economist and co-founder of Armada Corporate Intelligence

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