Geneva Hosts EU Economist on Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment

| April 19, 2013
Webster University - Geneva International Relations

Dr. Cernat, chief economist for trade with the EU Commission, said a free-trade agreement would spur growth and job creation in both regions.

Webster University’s Geneva campus recently hosted Lucian Cernat, chief economist for trade with the European Union Commission in Brussels, who discussed the importance of free-trade agreement between the EU and the United States.

His guest lecture was arranged through the International Relations program at Webster Geneva.

Cernat presented compelling arguments for why new attempts to negotiate a trans-Atlantic free-trade agreement (FTA) is key for spurring economic growth and creating new jobs in both regions.

In an optimistic scenario, Cernat said such a transatlantic partnership could bring gains of roughly 200 billion euro per year for both regions combined, with the motor vehicle sector profiting most, among many others.

His talk also stirred an interactive discussion with the audience on the theme of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) for goods.

These are highly criticized in and out of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. But Cernat believes reducing NTBs will be profitable: The lion’s share of expected gains will come from cutting costs caused by bureaucracy and differences in regulations, as well as from liberalizing trade in services and government procurement.

The new agreement will be systemically a “building bloc” for further trade liberalization worldwide. Economic estimates suggest that the world as a whole would profit from such a deal, increasing GDP in the rest of the world by almost 100 billion euro.

Adapted from a submission by Susanne Peters

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Category: International & U.S. Campuses

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