The Power of Failure? Trade Negotiations in the Shadow of TTIP

Maria Garcia

After three years of negotiations, in late 2016, the EU and US halted negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Very active opposition to the agreement, the UK EU Referendum result, the unexpected election of President Trump and upcoming elections in 2017 in France and Germany, made the negotiations toxic to politicians. Moreover, given the distinct regulatory system and preferences that the EU and US spread globally through their respective trade agreements, negotiations on a number of issues proved intractable (financial services, GMO, intellectual property). Notwithstanding the (for now) failure of TTIP, the negotiations already undertaken have, and will have, a lasting effect on EU trade agreements, and the EU's ability to exert 'market power' on a global stage. This paper leverages semi-structured interviews with practioners, and traces changes in policy documents, to analyse how the EU's overall trade strategy (e.g. promotion of new Investment Court System) has been altered by TTIP negotiations, and the likely impact of this on upcoming negotiations with other developed states. In this way the paper adds nuance to the literature on 'market power Europe' by showing how regulatory preferences and externalisation is mediated by interactions with partners, and how, even in the absence of binding agreements, regulatory externalisation can occur.





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