Trading Kingdoms | Benefiting from an EU-US trade and investment partnership

From now on, where euro we go

How will the business community benefit from an EU-US trade and investment partnership?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the most ambitious free trade agreement in history. It is supposed to be the magic growth pill for Europe’s ailing economy.

July 2014 saw the sixth round of negotiations of the TTIP – something experts say is a positive sign about the process.

Growth or destabilisation?
Advocates foresee growth, profits and increased stability for both parties, while critics fear assaults on national democracies, destabilisation of markets and favouritism towards big, multinational corporations. Regardless of the outcome, Danish companies will be affected if the deal is closed. 

Today only 6 to 7 percent of Danish exports go to the US. The TTIP would change this. The big question is: if the agreement is signed, who will survive and who will not?

The British Chamber assessment is that the trade agreement will be a significant opportunity, but we also acknowledge the fact that it will have far-reaching consequences for the business community in Denmark and throughout the EU. 

Darwinian days ahead
Mirroring the EU’s economy, over 99 percent of Danish companies are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). If the TTIP is approved, it will result in a ‘survival of the fittest’ for SMEs never before seen in the Danish and European business communities.

I expect more Danish SMEs to be cut loose from the supply chain and replaced by bigger companies if more dynamic and cheaper American components gain access to the market.

Companies need to focus on innovation and design: they ought to plan a sensible, progressive strategy if they are to make it in the new market with TTIP’s competition. Relational collaboration in the supply chain can be made history with TTIP, and not all companies will survive under the new conditions.

Prepare for change
This quarter the BCCD business and politics forums have been assessing the TTIP. We recently brought together 100 business leaders, academics, diplomats and media houses in Denmark to debate with EU negotiators, trade experts and government representatives from Denmark and the US.

For the list of speakers, a summary of their presentations and our analysis see:

Whether the critics or the optimists will see their prophecies come true is unclear, but TTIP will certainly change the world.