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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:54 PM

US-EU Free Trade Pact: Trading Foes Considering Largest Free Trade Deal In The World

After years of battling each other on trade issues, U.S. and European officials are contemplating a dramatic change in direction: joining together in what could be the world's largest free trade pact in an attempt to boost their struggling economies.

Discussions are in the most preliminary of stages and there would be significant obstacles to overcome, including sharp differences on agriculture, food safety and climate change legislation. Still, top EU and U.S. officials have said they want to see it happen. And America's main labor group, often the biggest opponent of U.S. trade pacts, says it wouldn't stand in the way.

Labor unions have opposed previous U.S. free trade deals with developing countries, arguing that American workers would be at a competitive disadvantage because inferior environmental and labor standards in those countries allow for lower wages. But the giant U.S. labor umbrella organization, the AFL-CIO, says it wouldn't have those concerns in a deal with the EU, arguing that European social welfare and environmental standards exceed those in the U.S.

Negotiators would face a host of tricky issues that have previously led to trans-Atlantic trade spats. The two sides currently are fighting over the EU's carbon trading scheme that could penalize airlines not meeting EU standards. There are also substantial disagreements over intellectual property enforcement and food safety issues. More broadly, agricultural issues, including EU restrictions on the use of genetically modified foods and pesticides, are likely to challenge negotiators.


The negotiations between the US and EU should be interesting. Frankly I hope the EU prevails on most subjects, particularly carbon trading and environmental issues, food safety, gmo foods and pesticides, labor rights and financial market taxes and regulations.

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Reply US-EU Free Trade Pact: Trading Foes Considering Largest Free Trade Deal In The World (Original post)
pampango Dec 2012 OP
FarCenter Dec 2012 #1
pampango Dec 2012 #2
OrwellwasRight Feb 2013 #3

Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:33 PM

1. Won't work -- Central and Eastern Europe have to deal with East Asia and the Middle East


The US doesn't have the resources to buy off Europe in the long run. Central and Eastern Europe have to reach accommodation with each other and with East Asia and the Middle East.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:24 PM

2. We all have to deal with East Asia and the Middle East.

And Western Europe has to deal with Eastern and Central Europe. And the US and Canada have to deal the Central and South America.

We all have to recognize and deal with the rest of the globe. Ignoring those who don't look or talk like us does not make them go away.

Europe has a bigger population and larger economy than the US. We do not have to buy them off - whatever that means.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:22 PM

3. The HuffPo article misrepresents the AFL-CIO.

Here is the complete paragraph from which the quote was stolen from:

The AFL-CIO believes that increasing trade ties with the EU could be beneficial for both American and European workers but as with all trade agreements, the rules matter. Generally speaking, both regions have advanced economies, high national incomes and well-developed legal and regulatory regimes designed to protect the environment and defend workers’ rights. And in many respects, the European nations’ social programs to protect families and the environment exceed those of U.S. laws and regulations—and any U.S.-EU agreement must not be used as a tool to deregulate or drive down these higher standards. If that is the goal, working families of both regions will pay the price.

Interesting how people like to misrepresent.


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