The United States and the European Union are the two largest economies in the world with the largest global trading relationship, worth $636.8 billion in 2011. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address called for further increasing the economic relationship by negotiating a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the EU. A U.S.-EU Free Trade Agreement would further reduce barriers to trade and investment and provide an opportunity to develop international rules on a range of global challenges such as access to energy and climate change.
On February 27, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted a discussion on the challenges and benefits to a U.S.-EU Free Trade Agreement. Panelists included Simon Smits, vice minister for Foreign Economic Relations in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and András Simonyi, managing director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Koen Berden, senior partner at ECORYS, provided brief comments on the benefits of an EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Brookings Fellow Joshua Meltzer moderated the discussion.