European Union, US 'intend to move forward fast' on transatlantic trade deal

The transatlantic trade deal between the European Union and the United States was announced at the G8 summit this week, as British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama vowed to "fire up our economies and drive growth and prosperity around the world."

The two leaders formally announced the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as TTIP, at a press conference in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland on Monday, where the world's wealthiest nations gathered for their annual conference.

"We’re talking about what could be the biggest bilateral trade deal in history, a deal that will have a greater impact than all the other trade deals on the table put together," Cameron said.

"I'm hopeful we can achieve the kind of high-standard, comprehensive agreement that the global trading system is looking to us to develop," Obama said. "I'm confident we can get it done."

If reached, the deal — a result of months of "backroom wrangling" by British diplomats, according to the Wall Street Journal — could see massive profits on both sides of the Atlantic

Trade in goods between the United States and the 27-country EU was worth some 500 billion euros ($670 billion) in 2012, with another 280 billion euros ($374.5 billion) in services and trillions in investment flows.

The EU said that the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement would add about 119 billion euros ($159 billion) annually to the EU economy, and $127 billion dollars for the United States. 

The two partners don't intend to waste any time setting their talks in motion, said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. 

"Our joint endeavor is part of our overall agenda for growth and jobs to both sides of the Atlantic by boosting trade and investment," Barroso said in a statement. "It is also a powerful demonstration of our determination to shape an open and rules-based world."

"We intend to move forward fast," he said. "We can say that neither of us will give up content for the sake of speed, but we intend to make rapid progress." 

Already, there is rampant speculation over who is going to come out on top in the negotiations. 

"The UK could be the biggest winner in Europe from a transatlantic trade deal between the European Union and the US," the Guardian mused, while German paper Die Welt said the deal would especially benefit America. 

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