AmCham Macedonia Summer 2013 (issue 38) - Page 11

ANALYSIS What a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Should Mean for Macedonia On Jun 17th this year, the United States and the European Union (EU) officially launched negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). By creating the world’s largest integrated market, the TTIP is meant to bring significant economic benefits to all parties. However, reaching agreement on the details of the T-TIP promises to involve a long and arduous process that will test the involved countries’ determination to reach big picture, strategic goals. After all, the idea of a “US-EU free trade agreement” is not new; what is new is a public commitment to the initiative by the highest levels of government on both continents. Given the very early stage of the negotiations, it is unclear how and in precisely what ways the T-TIP would impact non-EU member states such as Macedonia. As a candidate country, Macedonia has clearly signaled its desire to accede to the EU and is working to align itself with EU standards in many areas. However, with the economic downturn in Europe Emerging Macedonia Summer 2013 Issue 38 and the country’s failure for its 8th year to obtain a concrete date to kick-off negotiations, “euroscepticism” here is on the rise. The T-TIP should again boost the attractiveness of EU alignment and accession for Macedonia since it will mean becoming part of the world’s largest free trade zone. Why the T-TIP? The United States’ trade and investment relationship with the countries of Europe is the world’s largest and most complex. U.S. transatlantic economic ties are dominated by relations with the EU. The EU is a market of nearly 500 million consumers and U.S.EU trade has been roughly balanced. Very high levels of mutual foreign investment make the transatlantic economy the m [Yܘ]YۙHۈX\ \][H[YHو^\[YH][Z[܈[\ݙ[Y[[H\[H[]H[ܛ[\\HYX˂LB