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Will the largest agreement in the World be achieved?

Swedish lawyer Jan E. Frydman analyzes the background for the on-going negotiations between the EU and the United States to create a transatlantic partnership on trade and investment (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or “T-TIP”), focusing on the challenge of regulatory convergence.

The purpose of the T-TIP is to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the two economies. The idea is by no means new. Already back in 1995, both sides started an effort towards a kind of free trade agreement between the EU and the United States (the New Transatlantic Marketplace, or “NTM”). The reason was as obvious then as it is now: more trade leads to more growth and more jobs, which of course both politicians and the business community on both sides of the Atlantic wished for. A dialogue between political leaders and the business community – the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (”TABD”) – also started to identify the most important barriers to trade and investment and present annual recommendations to the European Commission and the United States Government. Removing unnecessary barriers sounded obvious, but unfortunately it was – and is – not so simple. More…