Monday, May 20, 2013

Sharing the Wealth: An EU-US Free Trade Agreement

On April 18, the European Union Center participated in a videoconference panel discussion entitled "Sharing the Wealth: An EU-US Free Trade Agreement." Members of the panel included Ambassador (ret.) J.D. Bindenagel, Special Advisor to the President at DePaul University and UIUC alumnus; Martin Staniland, Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh; David Cleeton, Professor of Economics, Illinois State University and Illinois EU Center regional faculty affiliate.

In February President Obama announced the beginning of negotiations designed to produce a US-EU Free Trade Agreement. Mutual tariffs are already low and trade high; business and labor constituents seem supportive, and officials are eager to conclude this agreement ''on one tank of gas,'' i.e., quickly. But significant issues will be in play, including: opening markets for agriculture products, trade in services, and access to public contracts. Regulation and non-tariff barriers—including, for example, ''cultural exceptions'' favored by some European countries and American restrictions on European airlines—may constitute substantial obstacles. More broadly, supporters of more global approaches to trade fear the impact of such an exclusive bilateral deal on the emerging and less developed markets.

This videoconference is part of the "Conversations on Europe" series, which cover these and other related issues, with participants from several venues and input from university and community people. This event was held in collaboration with the American Council on Germany and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The videoconference may be viewed below or at University of Pittsburgh's University Center for International Studies' YouTube channel.

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