Published: Thu, 28 May 2015
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP) offers massive opportunities for the Irish economy Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South, Sean Kelly, told attendees at a TTIP information seminar, organised by Mr Kelly in Dublin (May 28th).
As Ireland’s only member of the European Parliament’s high-level Trade Committee, Mr Kelly wishes to raise awareness amongst the public and business communities about the opportunities a balanced TTIP could bring for economic growth and job creation.
Research by Copenhagen Economics has shown that a comprehensive trade agreement with the USA would add 1.1% to GDP and create up to 10,000 extra jobs. While the negotiations are on-going, Mr Kelly has welcomed the increased transparency of the talks and has urged all parties to remain open-minded and allow negotiators to make progress.
“So much of Ireland’s ongoing economic recovery is happening in the SME sector. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and after a very tough economic crisis, they are starting to create jobs again,” Mr Kelly said.
“I would like to see the TTIP negotiations focus on a strong harmonisation of business regulations, as it could go a long way towards SME growth. The reduction of non-tariff barriers and the cutting of red tape, for example, will enable our businesses to grow and become stronger players on the highly competitive global stage.
“Businesses who currently trade with the US find the compliance requirements very off-putting. Differences in US States’ regulation, customs rules and limited market access are all greatly limiting factors for European and Irish businesses. An ambitious but calculated EU trade agreement with the US will tear down trade barriers, open up investment opportunities, boost EU exports and particularly benefit SMEs. TTIP could lead to a €250 billion or 2 percent increase in EU GDP – equating to an annual extra €500 per European family, and the creation of over 2 million jobs across Europe.
“Fine Gael knows that small businesses are so crucial to our economic success. That’s why we are conducting a nationwide campaign called ‘Standing up for Small Business’ which is consulting with members of the SME community around Ireland about how we can continue to improve the environment in which SMEs can flourish.
“I seek to bring the European perspective to this in my role as a member of the European Parliament’s Trade Committee. I hope that the TTIP negotiations are conducive to bringing about a regulatory environment which will ease the red tape involved for European businesses trading to the US. This can only be a good thing for Ireland as we seek to continue our economic growth,” Mr Kelly concluded.