Businesses are closely watching the negotiations of a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. Many are hopeful that the elimination of trade and investment barriers and harmonization of business regulations could lead to more opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
While negotiations have stalled in the past, leaders from both sides appear to be recommitted to forging a US-EU trade agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. In February, President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission chief, released a statement that "through these negotiations the US and the EU will have the opportunity not only to expand trade and investments across the Ocean, but also to contribute to the development of global rules that enhance the international trade system.”
The United States and the EU are each other’s largest trading partners, accounting for $5 trillion in business annually. Moreover, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the removal of all tariffs could add $180 billion to the gross domestic product of both sides over a five-year period.
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