How will Ireland benefit?
Ireland has a greater dependence on the US export market than any other EU Member State. In 2013, we exported €18 billion worth of goods to the US, equivalent to 21% of our total exports of goods.
However, Irish exporters pay in excess of $300 million per year in tariffs to the US Treasury and are excluded from some markets.
And tariffs aren’t the only problem. Non-tariff barriers such as customs procedures and regulatory restrictions can be even more costly.
One man who knows better than most what Ireland stands to gain from the TTIP is EU ambassador to Washington, Dubliner David O'Sullivan.
He says the TTIP will not only deepen the bonds of commerce and friendship across the Atlantic, it will also be a big boost for Ireland as an export nation.
“TTIP will be a powerful shot in the arm for Ireland as it rebuilds its economy on a more diversified, sustainable basis,” the Trinity College graduate said.
“As TTIP aims to eliminate tariffs and behind-the-border barriers, Irish exports and jobs supported by them can only increase.
“US firms are playing a major role in Ireland’s economic recovery. They have invested around €189 billion here since 1990, more than the combined total of US investments to Brazil, Russia, India and China.
“With only 1% of the EU population, Ireland accounts for more than 14% of all US investment to the EU, investment that supports 100,000 jobs.
“TTIP will make it easier for US companies to invest in Ireland and vice versa and this can only be a good thing for our school-leavers and graduates.”
Ambassador O'Sullivan pointed out that TTIP is also a strategic alliance with the country that most shares Europe's commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as a high level of protection of people and of the environment in regulation.
“We cannot put the genie of globalization back in the bottle, and we must accept that, as our weight in the world declines in relative terms, we need the EU and like-minded allies to have a hope of shaping the globalisation intensifying before our eyes,” he added.
“TTIP guarantees that kind of partnership with the United States for the future.”
In 2015 the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation commissioned a detailed report to find out what economic opportunities and impacts a TTIP agreement would have on Ireland.
The study by consultancy experts, Copenhagen Economics, found that if implemented in the current economy, TTIP would increase Ireland’s GDP by 1.1% or €2 billion.
Real national income - a measure of actual purchasing power – would be up by €2.4 billion and investment in Ireland would increase to a level 1.5% above what it would be without an agreement.
The report also found that TTIP would increase exports from Ireland to the world by around 4% and improve Ireland’s trade balance by €2.4 billion.
According to the study a successful TTIP would also bring between 5,000 to 10,000 new export-related jobs to Ireland and improve wages for all skill groups by an average of 1.5%.
The report predicts new opportunities for many Irish industry sectors including pharmaceuticals and chemicals, Agri-food (notably dairy and processed food), insurance and machinery.
It also warns that Ireland’s beef producers may have to prepare for increased competition from cost efficient US beef producers in the European market.