The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would provide a modest boost to the U.S. and EU economies while raising both consumer prices and disposable household incomes, according to a draft report released last week by the European Commission.
The Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (TSIA) by independent consultant Ecorys is a “scenario analysis” designed to support the TTIP trade negotiations by studying how various trade and trade-related provisions under discussion could potentially affect economic, social and environmental issues in the EU and the United States.
Ecorys predicts that the EU and U.S. economies, which make up almost half of global GDP, would increase by 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively, by 2030 under an “ambitious” version of the TTIP. “Given the size of the economies in absolute terms this is a considerable gain and a gain that accrues each year,” it says.
Consumer prices would rise by an average of about 0.3% in Europe and see no increase in the U.S., but the EU increase would be offset by a 0.4% boost to disposable household income, while that income in the U.S. would rise 0.3%, the report forecasts.
In terms of the trade deal’s impact on jobs, the TSIA predicts that in some sectors in the EU, employment is expected to go up (e.g. leather products, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, and insurance), while others will see employment declines (e.g. electrical machinery, non-ferrous metals and iron & steel products). For the U.S., employment gains are expected in non-ferrous metals, other meats, and other machinery, with declines foreseen in motor vehicles, beverages & tobacco and electrical machinery.
Overall, however, the report states that the TTIP’s employment impact is expected to be slight with labour displacement effects being “marginal” and “well within normal labour market trends”.
Unsurprisingly, anti-trade groups like the far left War on Want, a London-based “charity” that purports to fight poverty in developing countries, took an unremittingly gloomy view of the TSIA’s findings, focusing exclusively on short-term job losses while completely ignoring the forecast employment gains and recklessly distorting a number of the report’s social, human rights and environmental impact analyses.
“The revelations in this new report hammer the final nails into the coffin of TTIP,” John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, said with typically hyperbolic flourish. “The official assessment has shown the true extent of the threat that this dirty deal poses to our common futures, and it is not pretty. We call on the EU to stop the negotiations now to prevent these dangers from becoming a reality.”
The report will be presented at the Civil Society Dialogue taking place on May 30 in Brussels, during which there will be time for public questions and feedback.