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Welcome to the global economy…we think

How the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership impacts globalization

Lately, regardless of what side of the political spectrum you may gravitate to, globalization has probably been a topic of conversation. However, with economies linked so closely around the world it is hard to ignore the fact that globalization impacts us all, and by all I mean all human beings across the planet—not just those in the United States.

For years now, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been the proposed trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States, and has been designed to promote trade and economic growth on both sides of the proverbial pond. It is considered a companion piece to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Simply put, the TTIP has been designed to address such things as market access, specific regulations, etc. And although the negotiations were to be finalized by the end of 2014, it now appears as though that is not the case as they are moving at the speed of bureaucracy—negotiations are now slated to be completed by 2020.

All that to say, the question remains, “What exactly does this mean for people around the globe?”

As always, there are varying degrees of polarization on the topic: some economists say it would be a monumental step forward, while others argue that it would do little for the common household.

For instance, the European Commission has stated that the TTIP could in fact boost the global economy by a fair amount—the EU’s experiencing an economic jump in the ballpark of €120 billion. Simultaneously, they have also stated that the US economy could see a rise of €90 billion, with the rest of the world trailing at €100 billion.

However, it is also argued by US think tank The Center for Economic and Policy Research, as well as a European Parliament report, that the effects would be minimal at best, with jobs both lost and gained.

So, what is the possible outcome? Currently, protectionism on both sides may very well halt TTIP in its tracks. As the US and Europe currently view global trade as something that is hurting their respective economies, they may walk away from it entirely—or at least most of it. Simultaneously, many may not realize that the resultant complications would leave many companies at risk of losing suppliers because they currently do not exist in their own countries or, at the very least, these companies would be subject to new tariffs to dissuade them from doing business outside their borders.

And though this may encourage new growth in some areas, like all policies there are both good and bad aspects. While some may see and experience benefits that produce more jobs, thus injecting more money into the economy, others may very well be on the losing side where jobs are reduced and production halted due to new rules and regulations.

The moral to this story: do your research and forget what the politicians tell you. Figure out for yourself what best suits you, your business, and your local and national economy. After all, whether we like it or not, countries will always do business with one another—it is just a matter of how involved you would like to be in the future of global trade.