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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.