Don’t Throw the TTIP Out With the Bathwater

There were a lot of expectations from the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. As a result of the TTIP, a great free trade zone between the European Union and the U.S could have become real.

Such a zone would have boosted economic growth in Europe and eliminated barriers, which have been constraining trade on both sides of the Atlantic for decades.

The reality turned out to be not as sweet as the promises. The negotiations have reached a blind spot, and there are no signs that this will change. The TTIP is raising a lot of emotion both in the U.S and the EU. There are some serious concerns that such a deal would lead to excessive privileges for great corporations at the expense of smaller companies, and would have a weakening effect on employers, consumers and national sovereignty. The time does not seem conducive for projects such as the TTIP, which was conceived before the crisis of 2008.

Not only could Donald Trump—someone who favors protectionism—win the presidential race in the U.S., but in Europe, the voices against free trade have also started rising. I guess that TTIP negotiators have already been touched by this fatalism. Although this pact is very far from its final form, it is likely to be thrown out with the bathwater. Is that a good solution?

The whole idea of the great free trade zone between the U.S. and the EU is too serious to be abandoned so hastily. Of course, the TTIP’s format, under discussion by negotiators, was arguably far from excellent, and there could be plenty of dangerous proposals. Wouldn’t it be better if the controversial issues were modified instead of throwing the whole deal away and blocking it? Creating the free trade zone would really boost disappointing economical growth on the old continent.

Maybe the chances of enacting the TTIP are very small, but it would be beneficial for a Europe submerged in economic crisis.

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