However, barriers based on very deep political and cultural differences or that can be easily politicised on that basis remain difficult. Food security issues thus play such a sensitive role in public opinion that rational approaches to the reduction of traditional protectionist measures in the area of agricultural trade are always very risky domestically and can fail in the parliaments of both sides. Particularly serious, however, are very different ideas about the standards of data protection in the new Internet services. Although the difference in regulations is less than sometimes perceived, cultural discomfort on the European side at the business-like access to personal data is countered by an innovation-friendly and far less anxious attitude on the US side. Leading US politicians have made it clear that an innovation-friendly regulation that will help shape the future of the Internet is the main concern of the US, while EU leaders seek to anchor data protection standards, which are based on the high German standards, in the new EU basic regulation. Ultimately, T-TIP can only succeed if a truly resilient solution to this issue is found.
Very generally, the negotiations through to the agreement between the negotiators is only the first hurdle the agreement will face. It will then have to be ratified by the US Senate by a two-thirds majority, the European Parliament by a simple majority and by all 28 parliaments of the Member States of the EU-28, as it has been decided that this is a mixed agreement with the EU bearing the majority of the responsibility and the Member States partial responsibility.
It is generally felt that the negotiators on both sides will do everything they can to complete the agreement by autumn 2014. The political winds are currently favourable, and if headwinds should appear from unexpected directions, major projects may end up being shelved for some time. The fate of the WTO's "Doha Development Agenda" serves everyone as a warning.
Eoin Treacy's view The prospect of a free trade agreement between the USA and European Union can only be considered as a positive for the global economy. While it is a long way from completion, if it does go ahead, we can anticipate that corporations will find fresh synergies that will lead to value creation in stock markets.Back to top