What do you see as the impact of a U.S.-European trade deal? Do you think it would be successful in countering China’s rising economic power?

Governor Bill Richardson (Ambassador to the United Nations, 1997-1998)

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The TTIP talks offer us the chance to strengthen relations with our allies and boost both our respective economies. On the face of it, this FTA should be a ‘quick win’ – an obvious legacy project for the Obama administration. Unlike some previous prospective partners, Europe has robust labor and environmental laws, and there are many areas of negotiation that should be relatively straightforward.

Negotiators will focus on removing duties and improving regulatory convergence, and many on ‘our side’ believe we stand to gain in areas where negotiations will be tougher. Greater convergence on data flows could certainly boost Silicon Valley, but we should also not forget that European demands for better access to U.S. procurement markets could hurt American companies.

China’s economic rise is a backdrop to the negotiations. Therefore expect to see a lot of talk about ‘standards’ as a differentiator for both the U.S. and Europe. This theme will be used to demonstrate shared values that both sides hope will give them a competitive advantage, at the same time as sending a signal to emerging countries to improve labor, environmental and trade practices.

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