Open Markets – Open Society

This pro-TTIP article confronts the opponents of the TTIP-treaty by arguing, an open society with open borders would only be possible with comprehensive free-trade. After pointing out, that most opposition only seems to come up against treaties with the USA (not against other free trade treaties, thus being a rather anti-american movement) it counter-argues the expected harmfulness to European companies:

“TTIP will not mean that we become subject to American rules and laws – no more than it will mean that American companies and citizens will have to adapt to European Union standards. (…) It is not a question of one side having to adopt the other side’s rules; it is about limiting future unnecessary differences – and particularly in cases where different rules are being used to achieve the same ends on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, the USA and the EU have different technical regulations on the positioning of emergency ‘off’ buttons on industrial machinery. This means additional costs for the companies that produce the machines – but it does not mean that one continent’s machines are safer than the other’s. If it were possible to achieve a higher degree of uniformity – at least for new rules – that would be progress.”

The author then goes on to point out that investor dispute courts would be a necessary to ensure fair regulations for international companies competing with domestic ones. In the end, as he points out, national economies would “profit twice over: they derive an income from exports; and imports result in a better, more diverse and cheaper supply of goods and services. Cross-border trade leads to an improved division of labour. A company’s expertise – and thus the benefits it derives from it – can be honed and improved on a cross-border basis.”
Especially Germany with its high percentage of the exporting economy, would profit by the treaty. The supposed benefit of free trade would thus be a greater competition, leading to lower prices for both consumers and the production-process of companies and further to more diversity of supply, innovation and efficiency.

FAZ, Germany, 5.12.2015: “Open Markets – Open Society”