On 8 February, Reuters reported that the EU leaders will agree to push for a new Free Trade Agreement with US.
Major exporters to US, Germany and Britain gained the consensus by the rest of the Member States to reach new trade deal with US. Reuters reported, that the draft of the final summit statement reports that EU “will give its support for a comprehensive trade agreement with the US.”
Yesterday, the Irish Presidency announced that it will work towards the implementation of “a new generation comprehensive EU-US Free Trade and Investment agreement” which couldmaximise the potential of the transatlantic cooperation.
According to a 2011 study by the European Center for International Political Economy, gains from an enforced free trade agreement between the EU and the US could add up approximately €120 billion. In 2010, bilateral trade in goods alone was worth $546 billion.
On 28 November 2011, the EU established a High Level Working Group to identify policies and measures to increase EU-US trade and investment. The Group has issued an initial report and is expected to make recommendations early 2013. Today Reuters reported that the U.S.-EU draft proposal drawn up by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is almost complete, and the negotiations may start in months.
On 2 February, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, welcomed the possibility for a new Free Trade Agreement with EU but stressed that the two sides needs to resolve their differences in agricultural and other exports.
On 5 December De Gucht, welcomed the merger of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and the European American Business Council stressing that “Europe and the United States have many things in common but the most important of these right now is the need for growth…we need to make sure that we are using every option on the table to boost growth and a transatlantic free trade agreement would be one of the best options available.”