26/05/2015

TTIP Offers 'Massive' Opportunities For The Irish Economy - FG

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, and Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South, Sean Kelly, have said that the EU-US trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP) offers "massive" opportunities for the Irish economy.

They were speaking at a TTIP information seminar, organised by Mr Kelly in Dublin.

Minister Bruton said: "Ireland is a small, open, trading economy – at the heart of our plan for jobs and growth is growing our exports to markets right across the world.

"Research by Copenhagen Economics has shown that a comprehensive trade agreement with the USA would add 1.1% to GDP and create up to 10,000 extra jobs.

"Clearly some people have concerns about aspects of the proposed agreement, and we have to be careful to take account of these as part of the negotiation process.

"But we must not lose sight of the massive opportunities that this offers, in terms of jobs and growth, to both the EU and Irish economies at a time when this is badly needed.

"Many people are looking for more information about TTIP in advance of the negotiations being finalised, and the information seminar hosted by Sean Kelly here today is an important initiative as part of that process."

Mr Kelly said: "So much of Ireland's ongoing economic recovery is happening in the SME sector. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and after a very tough economic crisis, they are starting to create jobs again.

"I would like to see the TTIP negotiations focus on a strong harmonisation of business regulations, as it could go a long way towards SME growth. The reduction of non-tariff barriers and the cutting of red tape, for example, will enable our businesses to grow and become stronger players on the highly competitive global stage.

"Businesses who currently trade with the US find the compliance requirements very off-putting. Differences in US States' regulation, customs rules and limited market access are all greatly limiting factors for European and Irish businesses.

"An ambitious but calculated EU trade agreement with the US will tear down trade barriers, open up investment opportunities, boost EU exports and particularly benefit SMEs.

"TTIP could lead to a €250 billion or 2% increase in EU GDP - equating to an annual extra €500 per European family, and the creation of over 2 million jobs across Europe."

(CD)

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