“This really is more global than it is bilateral,” says a senior European official.
For both US and EU officials, a transatlantic free-trade deal with global ramifications would be a way of getting around global trade talks launched in 2001, called the Doha Round, which have gone nowhere.
Negotiating a US-EU trade partnership, even as the US is negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) envisioned as a prototype for a vast Asia-Pacific free-trade area, could mean that before the end of Mr. Obama’s presidency two major pillars of a globalized trading system would be in place.
With two of the world’s dominant economic powers trading based on streamlined and common rules and standards, other economies seeking to take part in the expanding global trading system would find it in their interest to adopt the same or at last similar rules and standards, trade experts say.
"The transatlantic relationship is so intertwined with the global economy that any amount of streamlining of standards and regulatory convergence is going to increase economic growth globally,” says Charles Dittrich, vice president for regional foreign trade initiatives at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) in Washington. “Such a high level of cooperation and convergence between the US and the EU has the potential to serve as a basis for a broader adoption of common trade rules and standards with other countries.”