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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.