International Business Law Advisor Insights on International Litigation & Transactions

U.S. and E.U. Trade Negotiations: A Complete Waste of Time?

Posted in Business Transactions, international business, international manufacturing, international trade

U.S. and E.U. Trade, international trade, international business, international attorneyLast month I wrote about the Obama Administration’s plan to negotiate a U.S. and E.U. Free Trade Agreement in the next few years.

Lots of folks think its an excellent idea.

And so do I.

However, there is at least one commenter who thinks that U.S. and E.U. trade negotiations is a terrible idea.

Tim Worstall, a Forbes contributor, thinks U.S. and E.U. trade negotiations are, in essence, a complete waster of time.

He proposes something radically different: Abolish free trade negotiations altogether and just declare unilateral free trade.

His reasoning is that it’s the imports that are desired, not the exports. That is, both the U.S. and the E.U. want to have the maximum amount of imports at the very lowest prices that they can.

The U.S. could just say “imports into the U.S. are duty free” and there, the U.S.  would have free trade.

Same would go for the E.U.

As Worstall explains:

Because it is imports that are the gain from trade simply announcing that imports into the US will no longer pay duty would mean that the US has free trade. And we’re finished, done: no international negotiations needed. So, given this simplicity why actually are we having a negotiation about free trade at all? 

Hmm, free trade by purely unilateral action, without any negotiations at all.

An interesting idea.

What do you think?