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Geoffrey Harris

The project of a transatlantic trade and investment partnership was presented in both the US and the EU as a major political enterprise with "geo-economic" implications and a declared intent to reaffirm transatlantic leadership in favour of a rule based international economic and political order. Over 3 years up until the end of the Obama administration negotiations advanced much slower than originally expected and in an atmosphere of increasing controversy and hostile mobilization amongst civil society in some European countries. The Trump administration began with profound uncertainty regarding the chances of the whole project ever coming to fruition.What went wrong? Were the original ambitions unrealistic and provocative towards Russia and China and insufficiently sensitive to concerns about corporate power and excessive de-regulation. Does the US President's "America first" trade policy mean that the Atlantic partners are no longer able to set the standards in world trade or even to address any meaningful joint message to rising powers? What are the implications of this impasse for the EU which had been committed to make a deal which would generate jobs and growth whilst safeguarding environmental and consumer standards?What are the implications for US global economic leadership following the overall failure of President Obama's ambitious trade policy which had been designed precisely to reaffirm this leadership, a role which President Trump seems to have abandoned?In view of the widespread perception that the rise of populism is providing an unmanageable challenge to established western political and economic elites what lessons can be drawn from the story (so far) of TTIP? Does it confirm that the Atlantic partnership is unworkable or even obsolete in the current political circumstances in the US and the EU?

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