Headline — 18 June 2013 — by Adele Ramos
The US and European Union seek “landmark trade deal”

The deal could add £85 billion to the rest of world’s economies; protestors, however, rallied against “ruthless capitalism”

Two of Belize’s most important trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the United States, today announced the launch of major trade negotiations at the start of the 2013 G8 Summit being held at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland from Monday, June 17, to Tuesday, June 18, even as protestors rallied against what they decry as ruthless capitalism.

According to official reports from the UK Government, the G8 2013 Summit began with an announcement to launch negotiations on what it describes as “a landmark trade deal” between the EU and the USA.

US President Barack Obama said at a press conference held to announce the talks that the US-EU trading relationship is the largest in the world, accounting for about a half of global GDP.

He announced that the US would host the first meeting to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (T-TIP) in Washington next month (the week of July 8).

Obama also said that he believes the US and the EU can forge an economic alliance as strong as they have in the areas of diplomacy and security – alliances which he said are the most powerful in history.

The two parties, said Obama, trade about a trillion dollars in goods and services and invest about 4 trillion dollars in each other’s economy, while supporting about 13 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The T-TIP, said Obama, will be a priority for him and his administration.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the EU-US deal “could add as much as £100 billion to the EU economy, £80 billion to the US economy, and as much as £85 billion to the rest of the world,” while providing “two million extra jobs, more choice and lower prices in our shops.”

A factsheet published by the US Government said that other objectives of the pact are to “eliminate all tariffs on trade” and to “tackle costly ‘behind the border’ non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods, including agricultural goods.”

“We’re talking about what could be the biggest bilateral trade deal in history, a deal that will have a greater impact than all the other trade deals on the table put together,” said Cameron.

Other officials present at the announcement of the T-TIP negotiations were the President of the European Council – Herman Van Rompuy, and President of the European Commission – José Manuel Barroso.

The UK and the US are joined on the G8 (Group of 8) by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

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