Launched in early 2013, negotiations are underway for the much-talked about Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), to integrate the world’s largest market, the EU, and the single largest economy, the United States.
While over €2 billion worth of trade already crosses the Atlantic everyday, a comprehensive trade agreement between these two long-time strategic partners will build upon the largely untapped potential and result in millions of euros saved for companies. This can then be reinvested in growth.
The TTIP aims improve the rules that govern trade by strengthening the rules-based trading and promoting greater transparency. As regulations become more compatible, the TTIP aims to create a consortium of nations that adhere to the highest standards.
The TTIP will not only eliminate transatlantic tariffs, but other regulatory obstacles as well. The plan is ambitious, but its potential benefits are enormous. The European Commission has predicted that the EU could gain up to €119 billion a year an extra €545 of disposable income per household.
For Belgium, an independent report has indicated that a comprehensive trade agreement could create over 4000 jobs and increase real per capita by 3.63%. Additionally, at EU level, the chemicals sector, and the transport and logistics sector stand to increase by 9% and 6% respectively. Given the country’s reputation as a logistics hub, and the fact that it is home to the world’s largest chemical cluster, second only to Houston, it is clear that the TTIP is a historic opportunity for Belgium.