Critics of a potential free trade agreement between the United States and European Union worry that such an agreement could lead to increased exportation of liquified natural gas from the U.S. Credit: Bigstock
WASHINGTON, Jun 19 2013 (IPS) – Controversy is building following the announcement that negotiations will soon begin on a free trade agreement between the United States and European Union, with critics warning that any such agreement could negatively affect a host of regulatory concerns.
On Monday, during the Group of Eight (G8) summit held in Northern Ireland, the United States, European Commission and European Council jointly announced that negotiations will begin on Jul. 8 in Washington for what British Prime Minister David Cameron called “the biggest bilateral trade deal in history”.
Proponents characterise the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), also known as the Trans-Atlantic Free Agreement (TAFTA), as a way to improve the struggling economies of the United States and European Union.
“The whole point,” Cameron stated on Monday, “is to fire up our economies and drive growth and prosperity around the world – to do things that make a real difference to people’s lives. And there is no more powerful way to achieve that than by boosting trade.”
He asserted that the deal could “add as much as a 100 billion pounds to the EU economy, 80 billion pounds to the U.S. economy, and as much as 85 billion pounds to the rest of the world”.
Nevertheless, there is significant opposition to the proposed deal.
“The claims that this deal will somehow be an economic cure-all and generate significant growth are simply not supported by any reliable evidence,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen‘s Global Trade Watch, a public interest watchdog group based in Washington, said Tuesday. …..(read more).
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