Sunday, November 8, 2015

Why Trade Deals Are a Tough Sell

At the Wall Street Journal, "Why Opposition to Trade Deals Is So Entrenched":
HAMBURG—Few places have a longer affinity for free trade than this German city, home to one of Europe’s busiest ports.

The city’s left-leaning government overruled environmentalists in 2012 and approved deepening the Elbe River for bigger container ships. License plates boast of the city’s founding role in the Hanseatic League, a medieval alliance that was among the world’s first free-trade blocs.

But unease over new trade deals runs deep in Hamburg these days, as it does in the U.S. and across much of the developed world. The more aggressively leaders push to expand the reach of multilateral agreements into sensitive zones such as drug patents and investor protections, the more aggressively opponents push back.

Ire here is directed at portions of the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which would join the U.S. and the European Union in a vast common market with more than 800 million of the world’s richest consumers.

The freshly completed Pacific trade deal between the U.S., Japan and 10 other countries has sparked similar outcries, underscoring the challenge of completing sweeping pacts that go far beyond eliminating tariffs—few of which exist between the U.S. and Europe...
Keep reading.