Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: An opportunity not to be missed

the proposed transatlantic partnership harm our social model, as is sometimes

It should straightaway be noted that the elimination of
tariffs between Europe and the United States cannot have such consequences. The
trade concerned – between countries of similar development levels – is closer
to that which binds together France and Germany than to that with low-cost
countries or countries practicing dumping.
addition, its mandate already excludes the broadcasting sector and article 8
indicates that the negotiation should ensure “a high level of protection of the
environment, workers and consumers, preserving the regulatory acquis of member States”.
in the United Kingdom, Germany and France find that the agreement will result
in 0.2 % to 0.5 % GDP growth to the horizon of a decade – more than €100
billion in annual revenue in Europe and more than 100,000 jobs in France only.


We can discuss estimates based on economic models but it
is difficult to hold that such an agreement between Europe – a zone just
emerging from recession (+0.3 % in the second quarter) – and the United States
– a country whose growth will exceed 2 % in 2013 – will not boost opportunities
for our businesses. For a cyclist who wants to accelerate without doping, there
is nothing better than to ride a tandem bicycle. And the United States will eventually
get a 0.5 GDP point increase over the Old Continent simply due to its
But let
us have a look at the content of the agreement. Its goal is not only to reduce
tariffs – e.g. on French products imported into the United States – but also to
simplify trade rules, in particular through a “convergence of standards”. Nowadays,
for example, selling a refrigerator in the United States or in Europe requires the
manufacturing of electrical cables of different lengths. Those who remember the
benefits of introducing standard phone chargers will appreciate.
generally, the agreement will offer European businesses easy access to a market
representing 40 % of world trade. European SMEs will be the main beneficiaries.
They will have access to the American market as easily as they access their
domestic market.
this context, the negotiation has to be addressed without naivety or paranoia. To
be sure, the United States will try to exclude certain points from the talks;
Europe will do the same. France already has clarified its position on the broadcasting


That is why those who raise the specter of
chlorine-decontaminated chicken, meat with hormones or the invasion of genetically
modified organisms have misread the letter of the mandate: preservation of the
EU acquis. They also forget that the final text will not be applied before a
vote by the European Parliament: nothing will be decided that is not
democratically validated.
At a time when France
suffers from rising unemployment and the gloomy outlook of low growth, it might
seem tempting to play the card of national social preference – that is to say
the refusal of the outside world and the search for scapegoats. National
economic preference, that is to say the refusal to trade, is a poor answer to
real questions. 

The transatlantic partnership project will not solve all our
problems, but it is a great opportunity to support our social model if the
agreement is associated with real safeguards. All these elements obviously need
debate. But it would be preferable that it be informed by facts rather than by
À propos

Dédié à l'analyse des questions économiques, sociales et environnementales de long terme, L'Observatoire du Long Terme se fixe pour objectif de donner davantage de visibilité à ces enjeux dans le débat public. Dans ce contexte, il donne la parole à des contributeurs variés, avec pour seul critère le caractère étayé des arguments présentés.

L'Observatoire est indépendant, ne reçoit aucune aide financière et repose sur le volontariat de ses contributeurs, de son bureau, présidé par Vincent Champain et Bruno Fuchs.

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