Toward a Transatlantic Renaissance? TTIP’s Geopolitical Impact in a Multipolar World
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union faces an uncertain future. The stated goal of completing the agreement during the Obama administration now seems unrealistic. What is needed in order to bring negotiations to the finish line is more political leadership on both sides of the Atlantic. But as EU and U.S. leaders are discussing how to move forward on TTIP, it is essential that they not lose sight on the bigger picture at play.
And the bigger picture is this: TTIP would be one of the most significant transatlantic initiatives in decades. It would help drive economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic, making the West more competitive at the global level. But TTIP is also about much more than just dollars and euros. Fundamentally, it is about the West getting its own house in order to deal with rising geopolitical and geo-economic challenges and defending an international liberal order under pressure in a unified fashion.
As part of a comprehensive Western strategy for rolling back Russia’s influence in Europe, TTIP would help shore up transatlantic unity and promote energy security. Promoting a more dynamic and outward-looking Europe, TTIP would give the EU’s foreign policy instruments a stronger geopolitical and geo-economic lens and would strengthen the EU’s neighborhood policy. TTIP would cement transatlantic relations at a crucial time, serving as a clear expression of solidarity and willingness to invest in a “transatlantic pivot to each other.” The agreement would complement the traditional transatlantic military alliance with a deeper political and economic dimension. And as an essential ingredient for how the West can deal with China and other rising powers, TTIP would help set crucial global standards for trade and investments and promote further global trade liberalization. These measures would underpin the foundations of the international rules-based order. In short, TTIP is an essential ingredient for bringing about a “transatlantic renaissance” between Europe and the United States in the 21st century.