18 December 2014

  |  CBI Press Team

News

Transatlantic trade & investment partnership could contribute up to 120bn EUR a year

The CBI hosted talks in Brussels with European political leaders, including the British Prime Minister David Cameron, European business groups and international companies on the importance of securing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Transatlantic trade & investment partnership could contribute up to 120bn EUR a year

They were joined by Prime Ministers Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark, Stubb of Finland, Renzi of Italy, Straujuma of Latvia, Kopacz of Poland, and Rajoy of Spain.

As the European Council begins, the CBI, the UK’s leading business group, is urging European national governments to deliver an ambitious agreement that could create thousands of jobs across the Continent. It is doing so in conjunction with its sister business federations in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Latvia.

Speaking after the roundtable event in Brussels, John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

“Our message to the seven European leaders who attended our roundtable and to political leaders across the EU is that Europe’s business community is united in its belief that this deal is crucial to the future growth and prosperity of citizens across the EU. It could create thousands of new opportunities for our young people at a time when youth unemployment across the Continent remains startlingly high.

“A Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) could be worth up to 120 billion EUR to the EU every year - quite simply, it would be the biggest trade deal ever signed. As European politicians gather to drive through Commission President Juncker’s 315bn EUR investment package, they cannot ignore the significant contribution to jobs and growth that TTIP could also deliver.

“It would create an integrated market of over 800 million people, bringing more choices for consumers at cheaper prices. And with the UK already trading more and investing more with the US than any other country, there are real advantages to drive home particularly for smaller firms."

Dr Markus Kerber, Director-General Federation of German Industries, said:

“TTIP is a great opportunity to strengthen the European economy for the years to come. A TTIP that is guided by high standards will provide a sustainable stimulus for jobs and growth, and it will allow us to develop rules for global trade and investment.  We expect political leaders and negotiators to make significant progress in 2015 on the road to an ambitious agreement.”

Juergen Maier, Chief Executive Siemens plc, said:

“TTIP is vital to boost jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic. For high-value manufacturers TTIP is an opportunity through greater efficiency, more open competition and lower costs, to make EU member states, including the UK, more attractive locations for factories, close to R&D and to customers.”

Jonathan Duck, CEO of Amtico International, said:

“TTIP would be a real step forward for us. At present, we take products between our UK and US factories to sell into Europe and into the States, paying 5-6% duty. That’s just ridiculous when we compare the situation with Far East imports, some of which pay no duty at all.”

Read A New Era for Transatlantic Trade here

Publishing its new report on transatlantic trade, the CBI has identified five key reasons as to why successfully concluding this trade deal is so essential:

Big opportunities for small and mid-sized companies

Small and medium-sized firms stand to benefit the most from TTIP, given they often lack the time, budget and expertise to deal with trade roadblocks. A trade deal would help first-time exporters get their products to the US market at more competitive prices, and even non-exporters in the supply chain would benefit.

More choice and lower prices for consumers

Removal of tariff barriers means a bigger range of products in shops at cheaper prices. Tariffs do not just hurt companies and their employees – they also penalise the consumer. TTIP will put downward pressure on prices that consumers pay in the UK, and will also help British exporters to get a foothold in the US.

Less red tape and bureaucracy

TTIP will remove unnecessary and costly red tape, particularly where there are duplications. High safety standards would not be undermined, with the idea that smarter regulation on both sides will reduce bureaucracy and make trade cheaper and faster for all.

Bigger footprint for the UK’s world-leading service companies

By tackling longstanding barriers to entry in the US market, the UK’s thriving services sector is well-placed to make significant in-roads. From engineering consultants to specialist insurers, TTIP can support the next wave of exciting services companies wanting to export to the US.

Higher investment creating new jobs

TTIP can help keep the UK as the leading place for US investors by promoting the free transfer of capital, a level playing field for all companies and better protections for investors and their investments.