Harnessing commercial potential. A free trade agreement between two advanced economies has little to do with the already considerably low tariff reduction (some of the highest UK tariffs are 10% for cars). The benefits, as would be the case with a potential free trade agreement between the US and the EU, come from harmonising and harmonizing standards and rules. According to credible estimates, this could represent 0.16% of the UK`s additional GDP over the next 15 years, with the removal of tariffs and the reduction of 50% of other barriers. Totally or partially stripped of EU rules, the UK could introduce more US standards for its goods and services, with a few exceptions for those crossing Northern Ireland. Conversely, the United States could choose to introduce more British or European product standards in a number of areas. What should cause traffic jams are the controversial elements of a quality free trade pact. Both sides should negotiate banking regulations that would facilitate the free trade in financial services. They should put an end to the mutual recognition of professional qualifications so that british and American architects, engineers, accountants and others can work freely on both sides of the Atlantic. There should be mutual recognition of product safety rules and inspections. The United States makes no secret of the fact that it views European health and environmental standards as “barriers to trade”. This goes beyond EU measures to limit chlorine-washed chicken and beef to hormones, which the US has attempted to dismantle through the World Trade Organization and during the TTIP negotiations. Indeed, the US Trade Representative`s (USTR) 2016 report on barriers to foreign trade lists, among other things, EU chemical safety rules (reach), nutrition labelling, hormones in food, GMOs, milk quality and meat safety as measures that it considers to be all or part of trade restrictions that it wants to “demolish”.
This is part of the wider US opposition to Europe`s application of the precautionary principle in its approach to health and environmental protection. This agenda would be at the centre of any agreement between Britain and the United States and would significantly increase the exposure of British consumers to the health risks of the food they eat. According to the former US agriculture minister, such “problems” will be “more easily solved” for the US with the UK than with the EU. British Trade Minister Liz Truss has promised a “hard deal” with the US and praised Britain`s failure to reduce its food safety standards for imports of US products such as chlorinated poultry and genetically modified plants.