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The Diplomatic Dispatch

The British Ambassador to Sweden blogs on The Local

Posts Tagged ‘trade’

EU/US TRADE: A BIG PRIZE FOR EUROPE

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Peter Wolodarski wrote last week that the prospect of an EU/US trade deal was the best economic news in a long time.

I agree.  The launch of talks on what’s known in the jargon as TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is something really important and welcome.

TTIP should be a trade deal like no other, creating a transatlantic economic bloc covering almost half of the global GDP.  Through developing global standards and trade rules, TTIP will have positive impact around the world.

TTIP would be a record-breaking Free Trade Agreement, aiming at deep economic integration between the world’s two largest economies, creating a transatlantic marketplace that already accounts for about half of world GDP (47%) and one third of global trade.  Each day goods and services of almost € 2 billion are traded bilaterally; this could rise substantially.  As our PM said, this could be “the biggest bilateral trade deal in history…a deal that will have greater impact than all other trade deals on the table put together.”

The aim for TTIP goes beyond reducing tariffs (which are already low), and includes narrowing the gaps between EU and US regulatory systems.  Aligned regulation will drive business integration and create economies of scale.  It will create common standards, reducing the cost of compliance for businesses that trade in both markets and in third countries too.

The aim is also to develop 21st century trading rules, in areas such as intellectual property rights, transparency and trade facilitation, which would create a model for future global agreements.

TTIP is designed to strengthen the world trading system.  Britain, Sweden and the whole EU have been frustrated at the lack of a global trade deal in recent years.  We hope TTIP will create a positive example.

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EU and US – partners for prosperity

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

As Carl Bildt underlined in the Riksdag today, the US is Europe’s main international partner, on the security and prosperity agendas.

So the UK government welcomes, as Sweden does, President Obama’s call in his State of the Union Speech last night for what he called “a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” with the EU. Britain has been arguing hard for this, including in our role as G8 presidency.

David Cameron said today:

“It’s great that President Obama has set out his determination to agree a trade deal between the EU and the United States. We discussed this issue on Monday and we are both committed to launching negotiations this year. A deal will create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and make our countries more prosperous. Breaking down the remaining trade barriers and securing a comprehensive deal will require hard work and bold decisions on both sides. But I am determined to use my chairmanship of the G8 to help achieve this and to help European and American businesses succeed in the global race.”

Our Trade Minister, Lord Green added that this was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to liberalise trade fully between the world’s two largest trading blocs. An agreement could boost the European economy by more than £50bn – the biggest prize from any trade deal currently under way.”

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Trade, tax, transparency: the UK G8 agenda

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Next year Britain chairs the G8, the group of the world’s most developed Western economies. So what you might ask?

Some people ask: does the G8 still matter, when we have a G20, embracing also the emerging powers, including Brazil, India and China?

The UK’s answer is “Yes”. The G8 is a group of like-minded nations who share a belief in free enterprise as the best route to growth. And as the countries make up half of the world’s GDP, what we do can help solve vital global issues, stimulate economies and encourage prosperity all over the world.

The G8 Summit next year will be held in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, a tribute to the success in promoting security and prosperity in that long-troubled part of the UK.
It will be focused on three priorities. Advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency.

There is no greater stimulus for growth in the world economy than trade. As the G8, we have a collective responsibility to drive forward trade liberalisation.  The UK and Sweden are leading EU efforts to finalise a free trade agreement with Canada and to launch negotiations with Japan and America over the next year. We want G8 leaders to agree how we will accelerate progress across our ambitious trade agenda. An EU/US deal could provide an enormous boost to jobs and growth adding over £50 billion to the EU economy alone.

People rightly get angry when they work hard and pay their taxes, but see others not paying their fair share. So this G8 will seek to maintain the momentum on strengthening of international tax standards. We will look to go further on tax havens by improving tax information exchange. And we will work with developing countries to help them improve their ability to collect the tax that is due to them.

The UK is meeting our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on aid from 2013 – and we will be holding other countries to account for their promises too. We will also be leading the way in the battle against hunger with a special event on food and nutrition a few days before the main meeting, to follow up on this year’s Olympic Hunger Summit.

The UK wants to use this G8 to support what David Cameron calls the “golden thread” of conditions that enable open economies and open societies to drive prosperity and growth for all. These include the rule of law, the absence of conflict and corruption, and the presence of property rights and strong institutions.

Transparency and accountability are vital for this. Take the issue of mineral wealth. We need to make sure that, for developing countries, this is a blessing not a curse. So the UK is leading efforts in the EU to require oil, gas and mining companies to publish key financial information for each country and project they work on. And I want this G8 to drive greater transparency all around the globe so that revenues from oil, gas and mining can help developing countries to forge a path to sustainable growth, instead of fuelling conflict and corruption.

These defining advances in trade, tax and transparency could lay the foundations of long-term growth and prosperity for generations to come.

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11 July

Interview with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Cathy Russell (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"President Obama was elected in part because he’s uniquely in tune with the challenges of our time. He understands generational change. He can connect with diverse men and women, young and old, around shared values and a future we can all believe in. President Obama, his White House Team and Secretary of State John Kerry..." READ »

 

08 July

Lie of the land (Blogweiser) »

"Way up here in Northern Europe, beautiful places to swim are everywhere. When the sun is out, the water is a perfect blue, inviting you to jump in. The other day, a friend of mine did. He hopped in, got out, dried off, and then told me one of the most common lies you’ll hear..." READ »

 
 
 
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