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Reply #20


Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:31 AM

20. For U.S.-E.U. deal, Europe will have its own negotiating to do

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/for-us-eu-deal-europe-will-have-internal-negotiating-to-do/2013/03/18/52e77fa6-8d88-11e2-b63f-f53fb9f2fcb4_story.html


LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS - U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande. The U.S. and Europe are engaged in historic talks about a sweeping trade pact. But the real challenge may be getting the member nations of the European Union to line up with each other, since all have vastly different needs from global trade.

U.S. trade talks with Europe seem, on the surface, like a slam-dunk. The world’s richest nations will sit across a bargaining table stacked with potential compromises on regulatory and other issues that may represent tens of billions of dollars in extra sales and jobs.

But there’s a big potential hitch: The European Union is far from a unified negotiator, and the competing economic and political interests of its 27 member nations may outweigh the difficulties of reaching a deal with the United States.

Europe’s struggle in recent years to contain a financial and sovereign debt crisis laid bare the region’s unfinished debate about local power vs. central authority. The issue has enraged Greeks who feel beset by German-enforced austerity and led the United Kingdom to threaten to leave the union altogether.

Now those same countries will be asked to compromise on sensitive trade and regulatory matters in a way that may be good for the region as a whole, and good for the transatlantic economy, but politically tough at a local level. With Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who holds the E.U.'s rotating presidency, due in Washington on Tuesday for meetings with President Obama, the prospect of a major trade deal poses tough questions.

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