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Lords examine benefit to the UK of the ‘biggest bilateral trade deal in history'

The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on External Affairs today invites contributions to its new inquiry into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the formal name for the EU/US trade deal.

In February 2013, the European Union and the United States of America launched the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an agreement to reduce red tape and remove barriers to commerce between the two regions.

Trade in goods and services between the two economies already accounts for nearly half of the world's GDP and Prime Minister David Cameron has said this partnership could be “the biggest bilateral trade deal in history.”

The committee will ask how the outcome of the negotiations could benefit the UK, and investigate what the UK and Europe are hoping to get from the deal.

It will examine a wide range of questions such as:

  • Given the disappointments of the Doha round of trade talks, what are the realistic expectations of this partnership?
  • Is two years a realistic time frame for the completion of a deal?
  • What are the challenges facing the EU and US in these talks?
  • How might these negotiations impact on economies such as those in China, India and the emerging countries?

Committee Chairman, Lord Tugendhat, said:

“The scale of this partnership is unprecedented and it has the potential to deliver a colossal boost to the economies of both regions.

“We, as a committee, will investigate first and foremost what the trade deal will realistically bring to the UK, but also to Europe. Estimates suggest that the UK could benefit by an annual increase in GDP of as much as £10 billion . With the Doha talks now more than a decade old, we have to take a close look at the realities of this partnership, both in terms of benefits and possible timescales.

“I welcome contributions from everyone who has experience in this field. My committee, which brings together a wide range of expert knowledge, depends on the right people giving us the benefit of their expertise. Together we hope to make a real contribution to this important subject.”

For the full call for evidence, list of questions, and information about how to submit evidence, please see the website. Evidence should be submitted by Thursday 10 October 2013.

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