This report assesses the claimed benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The report analyses multiple studies on the controversial EU-US trade agreement and finds that it would bring limited potential economic gains accompanied by considerable social and environmental risks.

Its main findings are:

  • Estimated gains from TTIP are very small – for example, GDP and real wage increases are only estimated by most studies to range from 0.3 to 1.3 per cent over a period of 10 to 20 years.
  • Estimated gains depend on reducing laws, regulations and standards – given that EU tariffs are already at very low levels (less than 5 per cent) the potential benefits of additional trade resulting from the TTIP agreement would mainly come from the reduction of ‘non-tariff measures’ such as laws, regulations and standards that are viewed as ‘barriers to trade’.
  • Social costs of regulatory change might be substantial – reducing laws, regulations and standards would come at significant costs to consumer safety, public health and environmental sustainability.
  • Macroeconomic adjustment costs are not negligible and should be dealt with by EU policy-makers – the combined costs of changes in industry that result in unemployment, loss of tax revenues and welfare payments could amount to a loss of EU public revenues of at least €20 billion over 10 years.
  • More trade with the US is likely to result in less trade with other EU Member States and developing countries – this could cause up to a 30 per cent reduction in intra-EU exports and losses of up to 3 per cent of GDP for some of the world’s least developed countries.

The report was written by researchers from the Austrian Foundation for Development Research and was commissioned by GUE/NGL.