Economic Strategy and National Security: A Next Generation Approach

By Patrick J. DeSouza | Go to book overview

Summit. The prospects for free-trade outcomes post-Summit are uncertain, primarily because of Europe's notorious common agricultural policy, complicated by prospective enlargement negotiations with countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

More recently, Sir Leon Brittan took the lead in the European Commission to propose a broad-scale agreement with the United States for a so-called New Transatlantic Marketplace (NTM). This is a complex proposal with elements both of bilateral agreements and commitments for multilateral negotiations. It calls for 1) widespread removal of technical barriers to trade in goods through an extensive process of mutual recognition and harmonization, 2) a political commitment to eliminate by 2010 all industrial tariffs on an MFN basis through multilateral negotiations, provided that a critical mass of other countries join in, 3) bilateral free-trade area in services, and 4) liberalization beyond multilateral agreements in the areas of government procurement, intellectual property, and investment. Significantly, agriculture, and audiovisual services, sometimes referred to as cultural industries, were explicitly excluded from the proposal.

Europe, newly fortified by the successful beginning of the Euro and by broader trade discussions with other areas of the world, is rapidly emerging as a major source of potential cooperation as well as a source of contention in the trade area. Clearly, as in the recent past, any further movement in the direction of free trade will require European and United States association. How to attain this, consistent with the important push toward regional identity--with the forthcoming expansion of the EU to Eastern Europe--is a major task at the beginning of this century.


Conclusion

We are at a critical juncture in the evolution of U.S. trade policy. While it is true that trade is expanding more rapidly now than at any previous time in history, clouds are gathering on the horizon threatening to undermine such progress. Such clouds are different because they implicate the U.S. conception of security and the preferred world order that it has been trying to shape.

For the first time, Congress has denied the president fast-track authority to negotiate trade agreements. The rest of the world has

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