Monday, 25 April 2016

Who needs a US trade deal? Its a red herring.

We do a pretty good two way balanced trade with the EU worth currently about $57bn annually, or roughly  £40 BN Monthly each way. We have never had a trade deal with the US for this trade. Source

This is for my neighbour P Ashdown who likes to demand sources but is not so good at supplying  them. Lib Dems like to talk about walking tall whatever that means. Generlly anything vague and wooly does for the LibDems. Hard facts like hard stones get stuck in their sandals.

Question for Obama so why should this trade not continue or is he so anti UK he cannot see the benefits to the US of this deal?

We have a very unbalanced trade with the EU.  I quote from HMRC statistics

In February 2016 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £24.1 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £35.2 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £11.1 billion.

Again this is for Paddy.

The EU has never had a trade deal with the US. The colleagues are trying to negotiate one but for why I don't know. Other than keeping the colleagues in work it seems to serve no useful purpose.

Here are the EU US trade figures for this year so far


2016 : U.S. trade in goods with European Union

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Details may not equal totals due to rounding.
January 201620,455.129,287.7-8,832.6
February 201622,534.032,450.1-9,916.1
TOTAL 201642,989.161,737.8-18,748.7

Source US govt Census

Again for Paddy, today's sterling US dollar rate is 1.44 $/£  so it is roughly a monthl;y imbalance of around
£ 6.5 billion in favour of the EU on an unbalanced trade of £36 billion monthly average.

Looking at annual totals in US dollars

US imports from the EU  426bn exports to the EU 273 bn

For the UK the figures are roughly 57 bn exports and 57 bn imports

So around 20 % of US EU exports go to the UK. Adding EU  imports  and exports together  out of 700bn US$ in total of which $114bn will be with the UK so non UK EU trade comes down to $586bn annual so we account for 16% of the total  EU including  UKtrade. or 19.5% excluding UK. The philes like to quote population figures. These are 508 million for the EU and 65 million  for the UK. So while the UK has only 12.8% of the EU population we account for 19.5% of US EU trade.

Obama should be more careful who he puts to the back of the queue. The UK is a good balanced trading partner for the US whilst the residual EU is imbalanced and per capita is worth less to the US.

The FT today have summarised the reasons why such a US EU trade deal is not likely to happen any time soon or in Obama speak, 5 years, 10 years who cares. Click link  below to read

I recommend reading the original article but for continuity I summarise the main points below:


Negotiators start their 13th round of formal talks towards a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on Monday in New York. 

In the EU anti-TTIP protesters have taken to the streets by the thousands and senior politicians in both France and Germany have expressed reservations about a deal. That is driven in part by the political calendar. Beyond the June UK referendum on EU membership, in which trade has been a big issue, lie general elections next year in France and Germany. 
US officials fret that if a deal is not concluded before Mr Obama leaves officeit could be 2021 
European opponents of TTIP have seized on a provision that would allow US companies investing in the EU to take disputes to special arbitration panels and circumvent local courts. They argue that the inclusion of “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provisions could undermine European governments’ ability to draft regulations. 
After suspending negotiations over the investment chapter in 2014 and holding public consultations, the European Commission came up with proposed reforms. They include the creation of an international court to hear investment disputes and the establishment of an appellate body. 
But the US is opposed to both of those ideas and crafting a compromise is likely to be difficult. 
I think that a bit of an understatement!
I can't see either party agreeing
Government spending
Since 1933 the US government has been required by law to give preference for many of its purchases to US companies, and over the years many state and local governments have passed similar statutes. 
The EU wants Washington to use TTIP to supersede those laws, and give European companies equal access to the US government procurement market. 
The EU Brussels bureaucracy don't do democracy. The state of the US do and Obama cannot dictate to them the way the EU can dictate to us.
Any conversation involving TTIP and agriculture is likely to be a long — and potentially volatile — one. 
Powerful farm lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic have long been eager to protect their domestic markets whether via tariffs or regulation. But governments on both sides have also long had different official attitudes towards a range of agricultural issues. 
I think 10 years to resolve that lot is optimistic! The colleagues are wasting their time and our money.
Its a Red Herring from start to finish. I don't know why I bothered. I guess I just like demolishing Lib Dem arguments
Its uncontrollable immigration, freedom and supremacy of our courts and our democracy we should talk about. One man one vote, government accountable to the people and not being slaves to a self perpetuating Brussels elite we shoul hamer at until 23rd June.

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