TTIP of the iceberg – what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership means for lawyers on both sides of the Pond
It has been billed as the largest free trade agreement in history, yet many trade lawyers are still in the dark when it comes to the details of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal. TTIP, which was announced last summer and is now being negotiated, will for the first time create a trade treaty between the US and the EU in its entirety. Designed to drive growth by removing trade barriers and tariffs, independent research cited by the European Commission suggests the annual benefits could be as much as €120bn (£99.9bn) to the EU economy, €90bn (£74.9bn) to the US and €100bn (£83.2bn) to the rest of the world. "Everybody is going to be affected by this, and it really will change the balance of political power," says Ross Denton, a UK-qualified partner in Baker & McKenzie's European competition and trade department. "In recent years the balance [of US trade] has been gradually shifting towards Asia, because they don't have the same heavy tariffs. But if you eliminate most tariffs between the EU and US, then this will have huge ramifications for business."
It is expected to contribute an extra €300bn a year to the global economy, and fundamentally shift the balance of geopolitical power. But what does the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal mean for the legal market on both sides of the Pond? Alex Newman speaks to the lawyers getting involved
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