EU-U.S. trade talks promise both prizes and pitfalls

By Alan Wheatley – Forthcoming transatlantic trade talks might offer a fresh incentive for Europe to worry a bit less about protecting past economic gains and focus a bit more on securing sources of future prosperity.

The talks will be tough. Successive attempts to prise open markets over the past 15 years made some progress but ultimately failed. This time round, extensive consultations have convinced officials that an agreement can be forged at a lower political cost.

One reason is that agriculture, a constant thorn in the side of negotiators, is less of a bilateral bugbear than it was even two years ago thanks to changes in the global market for farm produce, said Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, a think tank in Brussels. more>


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