Talks between the European Union and the United States on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) took off this summer with many political and business leaders hailing the deal as a silver bullet against the difficult economic recovery affecting both sides of the Atlantic. The consolidation of trade relations between the two partners into a single transatlantic market has been sold to European and US citizens as a powerful vehicle for boosting economic growth, with some enthusiasts predicting an increase of up to 1% in GDP. EU and US officials are adamant that, by eliminating import tariffs and harmonising regulation across the Atlantic, trade between the two regions will increase and, as a result, millions of new jobs will be created.
A Brave New Transatlantic Partnership is a preliminary analysis of the socio-economic, environmental and geo-political implications of a transatlantic trade deal. It suggests that not only the faith in trade liberalisation and deregulation - which underlines the present negotiations - has been misplaced, but the economic benefits predicted have been misjudged (whilst the wider risks have been seriously downplayed or altogether ignored).
What emerges then is an understanding of TTIP as the political project of a transatlantic corporate and political elite which, on the unfounded promise of increased trade and job creation, will attempt to reverse social and environmental regulatory protections, redirect legal rights from citizens to corporations, and consolidate US and European global leadership in a changing world order.