TTIP – The Comeback of the West?

Lisbeth Rhodes & Nicolai Bladt Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This paper discusses the ambitious and comprehensive trade and investment deal - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated between the EU and The U.S. This paper focuses on the different reasons for the parties to develop an extensive free trade agreement, and scrutinizes the fundamental interests and necessities for the parties as an alliance, but also independently. Out of their concurrent interests on the issue of retaining their global positions, the parties have by-passed the multilateral system, caused by both the challenges in the WTO-system and the power shift on account of newly emerged markets. The parties have simultaneously been badly affected by the financial crisis in 2008, in fact it has overall weakened them on various levels. Europe faces big challenges, which implies kick-starting the economy, adapting to emerging economies, and preserving influence in the global stage. The financial crisis has divided the continent economically speaking, towards a North-South and East-West division, which on the long run can endanger the survival of the community. The crisis has additionally fostered a high unemployment rate in Europe and there is for such a great need of boosting the economy. The U.S. faces challenges retaining its role as a hegemonic power and attempts to continue its dominating role in the world. As a result of the crisis the US government debt grew unexpectedly, and as a consequence hereof China holds a lot of its debt, making it a political issue for the U.S in terms of power. On account of this, the goals for both parties is to bring about a comprehensive free-trade agreement as Transatlantic trade and investments are key pillars to the economy, prosperity, and the global position of the EU and U.S. However, when analyzing the negotiations, it is clear that the parties encounter challenges in developing a joint set of rules to a possible FTA due to their distinct cultures, legislation, and positions. The paper illustrates the biggest obstacles the parties meet and it assesses the subjects and motives for why the parties encounter difficulties. One of the areas in which there appear to be complications is transparency related. The U.S tradition when negotiating involves a greater amount of secrecy in comparison to the Europeans. In order to comply with the criticism, the Commission has encountered, it has brought forward a more modern and democratic investment-to-state-dispute-settlement that the americans abruptly have rejected. Another area of difficulty is the question on whether the potential agreement is going to be based on 3 mutual recognition or harmonization, or on the precautionary principle or scientific. The parties have different standpoints and motives, including the financial sector and lobbyism, and encounter simultaneous critique from consumers and interest groups. The question is therefore how the the parties joint interest and motives, both economically and politically, can be of significance on the elaboration on TTIP when the parties quarrel on important issues.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2016
Number of pages132