TTIP should be discussed more (in Sweden)

07:43 by Hubert Fromlet, Kalmar

The ongoing free trade negotiations between the United States and the EU (TTIP) are currently entering a decisive period. Totally, 24 chapters have to be settled. However, communication from this important event is held at a low level in Sweden, despite the fact that the responsible EU Commissioner for TTIP – Cecilia Malmström – comes from Sweden. At the same time, the Swedish government obviously avoids to discuss the issue more extensively with a broader public – for whatever reason. This should be changed for democratic reasons!

Time is tight for coming to an agreement between the U.S. and the E.U. It should happen before president Obama will be leaving his office on January 20. Quite a number of difficult issues have to be agreed upon until this date.

Here can be noted institutional matters such as investors’ protection, public purchasing (“buy American”) and sensitive parts of agriculture. Particularly certain details of the agricultural negotiations may become complicated because of the difficult balancing act between necessary environmental protection and too generalizing populism.

The question whether TTIP will become a hot topic or not in Sweden and a number of other involved countries cannot be answered today. But we do know that TTIP is important and already today discussed with passion in, for example, Germany, France, Austria and the Netherlands.

Hubert Fromlet
Senior Professor of International Economics, Linnaeus University
Editorial board

 

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