Taken together, the EU and US economies account for 49 % of world GDP and a third of world trade. According to the organisation BusinessEurope, eliminating tariffs on US-EU trade in goods would create between 200 000 and 520 000 jobs. The working group of EU and US officials co-chaired by Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Ron Kirk, the US trade representative, is currently discussing the scope of future negotiations, following a mandate from Barack Obama and Herman Van Rompuy given at the most recent summit in November 2011. During a meeting with the UK prime minister David Cameron, President Obama said that teams have been instructed ‘to continue to explore ways to increase transatlantic trade and investment’.
According to the newspaper ‘European Voice’, in April 2012 President Barroso told a transatlantic business audience in Brussels that an EU‑US free trade deal could be ‘the best way forward’ and ‘could send a strong signal to the rest of the world.’
In the Commission’s opinion, what are the biggest non-tariff barriers to this potential trade deal?
What are the main differences as regards regulation that would have to be overcome for such a free trade agreement to function properly?