News / Economy

US-EU Set to Pursue Trade Deal, Possibly World’s Biggest

US-EU Trade Deal Could Be World’s Biggesti
X
June 18, 2013 4:53 PM
At the G8 Summit in Britain, President Barack Obama and European leaders announced the start of an effort to reach what is being called the biggest trade deal in history. As VOA’s Al Pessin reports, officials are focusing on regional trade agreements because the long effort to reach a new global trade deal is stalled.
Al Pessin
At the G8 Summit in Britain, President Barack Obama and European leaders announced the start of an effort to reach what is being called the biggest trade deal in history. Officials are focusing on regional trade agreements because the long effort to reach a new global trade deal is stalled.

British Prime Minister David Cameron stood with U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders to make the announcement.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013.British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013.
x
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013.
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013.
"We are talking about what could be the biggest bilateral trade deal in history," Cameron noted. "A deal that will have a greater impact than all the other trade deals on the table put together."

It was one of Cameron’s key goals for the summit he hosted for leaders of eight of the world’s top industrialized countries.  But such regional trade deals are really not the leaders’ first choice, according to G8 expert Stephen Pickford of London’s Chatham House.

“I think everybody accepts that having a fully multi-lateral, universal trade deal is the best option.  But that seems to be unattainable at the moment.  And so I think people are focusing on what is the second best, which is to take forward trade liberalization between willing partners,” said Pickford.

But not all the partners are so ‘willing,’ even in this effort among close allies.  

At preliminary talks, the French Trade Minister nearly vetoed the plan.  

France was concerned about trade in movies and other entertainment products.  French officials want to protect their industries from the power of Hollywood and American Internet companies.

But aside from such concerns, most leaders see trade as a jobs creator and a stimulus to economic growth worldwide.  

“Most developed countries, and almost all of the G7, are still struggling to recover from the world economic and financial crisis.  They are for the most part still mired in quite slow growth," Pickford stated. "And there are the first signs of trade tensions starting to emerge again.”

The leaders are determined not to let such tensions hurt their economic recovery efforts.

“It is important that we get it right and that means resisting the temptation to downsize our ambitions or avoid tough issues just for the sake of getting a deal,” said Obama.

It will take months, maybe years, to reach an EU-U.S. free-trade accord, and disagreements on some issues may force the leaders to scale back their ambitions.  But President Obama promised to stay personally engaged in the issue, which he calls “critical” to the effort “to promote growth and jobs.”

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.