Business World

Friday 24 November 2017

Trade deal could add 18,000 jobs in Ireland – think-tank

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRELAND will benefit more than any other European country except Britain if the European Union and United States hammer out a new trade deal, a leading German think-tank says.

A deal that leads to "deep liberalisation" could boost average incomes here by almost 7pc and create more than 18,000 jobs, the Munich-based Ifo Institute said in a report published yesterday.

The US would be the biggest beneficiary of any agreement under a "deep liberalisation" scenario with a 13.4pc rise in income, according to Ifo, but an agreement that allowed for deep liberalisation would see gross domestic product per head rise 9.7pc in Britain and 6.9pc in Ireland.

Countries which already have deep trade with the US such as Ireland, the UK and Sweden are set to benefit most while countries with relatively low levels of trade such as France would see a smaller gain, Ifo said.

Germany's benefits would also be below average, at 4.7pc. In employment terms, the study found that an aggressive transatlantic deal would create 1.1 million jobs in the US, 400,000 in the UK and 100,000 to 200,000 each in Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

TRADE BARRIERS

Deep liberalisation means getting rid of tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers, according to the report which was released before the visit of US President Barack Obama to Berlin later this week.

The study shows how long-term real per capita income would change for a total of 126 countries as a consequence of a transatlantic free trade agreement.

Traditional US trading partners such as Canada (down 9.5pc) and Mexico (down 7.2pc) would be particularly affected. In Japan as well, long-term income per capita would be reduced by almost 6pc.

The figures, commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation, assume that the US and EU strike an ambitious deal that would slash transatlantic tariffs. That prospect became remote late on Friday after France won a battle to keep Europe's film, television and music industries out of the European Commission's mandate for talks, at least temporarily.

Irish Independent

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