Trade representatives of the European Union and the United States are meeting today to discuss the scope of EU-US trade talks. The United States argues for an opening of trade relations on food, while the European Union wants to avoid the introduction of tariffs on automobiles.
In response, Bill Wirtz, Policy Analyst at the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), argued that there was an easy compromise to be found here:
“The essential question is: why can’t we have both? Free trade on food means more choices and better quality food for European consumers, and free trade on cars will mean more choices and better quality for American consumers. The goal should be the bring tariff and non-tariff barriers done to an absolute minimum, ideally to zero,” said Wirtz.
“Some EU leaders, including French president Emmanuel Macron, argue in favour of protectionism on food, in order to court the vote of the agricultural sector. That is short-run economic thinking, and hurts consumers. Protectionism has been intellectually bankrupt for centuries, and it’s time we admit it,” said Wirtz.
“We don’t know what the future holds. Maybe the roles will be reversed in a couple of years, and consumers will be longing for European food and American cars. In any way, it shouldn’t be the role of these trade representatives to restrict consumer choice. The European Union praises the advantages that free trade has had for this continent. It shouldn’t be any different for those across the Atlantic,” concluded Wirtz.