TTIP offers Europe and the United States strategic and geopolitical benefits. A deal can strengthen European and US economies; reassert Western leadership on global trade issues by setting new trade standards; increase Europe’s energy security; strengthen transatlantic cooperation despite America’s increasing interest in Asia; and enhance the West’s ability to use economic sanctions as a foreign policy instrument. But achieving these benefits will not be easy. The politics surrounding the talks have been complicated by Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the high levels of public suspicion in Europe towards a deal, particularly as elections approach in various EU member-states. There are geopolitical costs if TTIP collapses. To avoid this, governments should be realistic about what a deal can deliver; make TTIP open for others to join; consider removing ISDS from an agreement; see TPP and TTIP as complementary trade agreements; and engage in a public discussion about the strategic merits of TTIP.
Paper presented at the international seminar “Between Power and Rules: The Geopolitics of TTIP” organised by IAI and the Centre for European Reform (CER), Rome, 18 January 2016.
1. Transatlantic economic muscle
2. The soft power of trade
3. Increased energy security
4. A stronger, more effective transatlantic relationship
5. The risks of failure
6. Maximising the strategic mileage from TTIP