TTIP trade deal is dead in the water – Harkin

“Hello Trump: Goodbye TTIP.”

This was the view expressed by MEP Marian Harkin regarding the prospects of the TTIP trade deal being agreed between the United States and Europe, in the wake of this week’s presidential election result in the US.

“Donald Trump’s priority will be to sort out a new trading arrangement with Mexico and Canada. His focus is not on Europe.

“This means that we are looking at the total wind down of the TTIP negotiations or the evolution of an alternative strategy, which will focus on the development of  specific trade deals between the US and Europe across a range of sectors. And agriculture may well be one of these.”

Harkin said that she was sceptical about the impact of trade deals, across the board, when it came to their impact on Ireland’s agri food industry.

“Take CETA, the recent trade deal struck between the EU and Canada, as a case in point. It may well have implications for Ireland’s beef industry and our suckler herd.

“But if we add in the prospect of a Mercosur deal, never mind TTIP, the implications for Ireland’s beef industry are horrendous.

“Both CETA and one assumes Mercosur, if it becomes reality, will offer tariff free access for beef on to European market. This would sound the death knell for the Irish beef industry.”

The Independent MEP said that trade deals may well have the potential to boost Ireland’s GDP.

But this may welcome on the back of multi-national businesses setting up in this country. However, the down side to all of this is that many of our most important indigenous industries will be decimated.

Meanwhile, German MEP David McAllister believes that the election victory of Donald Trump puts the prospect of a TTIP agreement very much in doubt.

“Mr Trump is critical on free-trade agreements. He wants to reverse the NAFTA agreement, involving the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“He was very critical on TTIP. The planned trade agreement with Europe did not play such a central role in the presidential campaign. I think we will just have to wait and see what the next Trump administration comes up with, where trade is concerned.

“I believe trade negotiations with the Trump administration will be more difficult than under the Obama regime.”

McAllister is chair of the EU Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States.