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US trade talks will generate a win-win boost

The EU can expect to benefit hugely if a comprehesive free trade agreement can be negotiated between the bloc and the USA, a leading champion of the talks said today.

The EU can expect to benefit hugely if a comprehesive free trade agreement can be negotiated between the bloc and the USA, a leading champion of the talks said today.

ECR MEP Robert Sturdy was speaking as the European parliament sitting in Strasbourg voted overwhelmingly to endorse a start to negotiations on what would be the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated.

Mr Sturdy, Conservative MEP for the East of England, is a key member of the parliament’s high-level work group on potential talks and a long-standing and determined advocate of the massive potential benefits of a deal.

For the UK alone, he says, national income could see an increase of of between £4-10 billion annually – an increase of up to 0.35 per cent in gross domestic product.

It would also help secure a more outward looking EU that seeks access to foreign markets and does resort to protectionism.

The sector to benefit most from an ambitious deal covering non-tariff barriers would be the car industry, which would see an increase in exports of between 1.7% and 7.3%.

“Another aspect of an agreement would see the EU and US striving to shape global rules and standards on trade. With almost 50 per cent of world GDP and a large percentage of world trade, this is crucial if we are to keep setting the rules in a future world with players such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and so on.”

However for all its value, the relationship still suffers from numerous obstacles to trade. The EU Commission estimates that a comprehensive deal with the US would benefit the EU to the tune of €120bn.

“The opportunity is immense, which why we have the most open approach possible to negotiations at this stage. No red lines, no restrictions, nothing off limits.

“We’re going into this with open eyes and open minds.”

For more information on the hearing being held on this issue on the 4th June, go to

http://ecrgroup.eu/?page_id=548&event=140

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