Irish GDP ‘could increase by 1.1%’ under EU-US trade deal

Study finds 8,000 jobs could be created in Ireland under proposed agreement

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said Ireland ‘stood to benefit disproportionately’ from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and US. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said Ireland ‘stood to benefit disproportionately’ from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and US. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Irish GDP could increase by 1.1 per cent with an additional 8,000 jobs created as a result of a new trade and investment agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the US, it has been estimated.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could also lead to a 2.7 per cent increase in Irish exports, a 1.4 per cent rise in wages, and a 1.6 per cent rise in investment, a study by Copenhagen Economics has found.

The findings of the study were published to coincide with a conference in Dublin Castle today to update farmers, business people and other stakeholders on the progress of the five rounds of TTIP talks which have taken place between the EU and the US so far.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, who secured formal agreement among the 28 EU member states to enter talks with the US last year as part of Ireland’s presidency of the EU Council, said Ireland “stood to benefit disproportionately” from the deal.

“Ireland has particularly strong economic links with the US, with over 100,000 people employed in 500 US companies here, and Irish companies exporting over €1 billion in goods and services to the US every year… The findings by Copenhagen Economics published today show that the benefit to Ireland would be more than double the EU average,” he said.

“At a time of high unemployment, both in Ireland and across the EU, we must grab with both hands any opportunities for job-creation. Major stimulus spending is not an option, and so our focus must be on increased trade and exports,” Mr Bruton added.

He said sectors such as life sciences, ICT, food and manufacturing, which are vital employers in Ireland, would particularly benefit under the proposed deal, which would see tariff and non-tariff barriers reduced for goods and services exports.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland today, Mr Bruton denied that the deal would result in US multinationals pulling out of Ireland in an effort to cut manufacturing costs.

“Companies come to base their company in Ireland as a gateway to the European Union… People come to Ireland predominantly now for the talent and the ability to build off a very good environment for manufacturing, for producing services, because we have built up sectoral strength,” he said.

“We have clusters now for example for medical devices that are as big as any cluster in the US. We have created a good environment and we believe we can build out these hubs in key sectors as the barriers come down.

“Of course we have to be sensitive to commercial pressures, that is true of any sector, but this is clearly an opportunity that we more than any stand to gain.”

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