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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.