Basel Professor to trade agreements – Switzerland to the UK, carefully observe currently the UK is negotiating at the same time with the EU and the USA on a trade agreement. A mind game, what this could mean for Switzerland.30 Kommentare30Am 31. January 2020 has left the United Kingdom in the EU. Currently in negotiations for a trade agreement take place. However, these are not very successful, such as the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the last Friday admitted in Brussels. (Archive)photo: Keystone

The United Kingdom is benefiting from the exit from the EU gained freedoms and is also negotiating with the United States on a free trade agreement. “So London in the direction of Brussels sends out the Signal: We have Alternatives to you,” says Rolf Weder, a Professor of international Economics and European Integration at the University of Basel.

in Addition, the EU had tried once herself, is a comprehensive trade agreement, known under the acronym TTIP with Washington to negotiate. The project was, however, due to considerable public resistance on ice.

“Berne Also wants to says long a free-trade agreement with Washington”, Neither. This, however, it failed due to the resistance especially of the farmers. “Economically, a free trade would have an impact agreement with the US positively.” Therefore, Switzerland is well advised to observe the behavior of the UK.

EU for British economically important

the United Kingdom, the EU is still the most important trading partner. According to the British statistical office, it is exported in 2019, goods and services to the value of 296.8 q million billion pounds in the EU. In the United States over the same period to 133.7 billion pounds.

According to the British in the negotiations with the USA were not under time pressure – on the contrary, as foreign trade specialist says. “You can let it simmer, which strengthens their Position towards the EU.” Condition is, of course, that the negotiations between Brussels and London will not be aborted in vain.

The US trade representative Robert Lighthizer announced in early may that the US and the UK have begun talks for concluding a bilateral free trade agreement. (Archive)photo: Keystone

it Came finally to a trade agreement with the USA and the EU, then this is not a Problem. A country could have multiple free trade agreements with partner countries that have different Standards, says Neither with a view to Switzerland. She currently has about 35 free-trade agreements, which include most of the in the framework of the European free trade area EFTA, which includes Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

this is Why the Economist sees in the case of the UK, possible, different Social and environmental standards in the various agreements, not as a Problem.

If the UK should decide to Orient its Standards to those of the EU, in order to obtain better access to the EU single market, it can conclude with the U.S. a free-trade agreement, which may lower Standards. Rules of origin to prevent goods from the USA takes on the UK in the EU.

connection to Switzerland?

concluded Would, in fact, a free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States, for Neither the question of whether it is for Switzerland would be beneficial to join in, possibly through a reformed EFTA.

“These countries would then cooperate economically with each other, without the need to be politically integrated, as is the case in the EU.” This would stimulate competition in Europe. and the alternative Club could be an “attractive vessel for other countries”.

“For the EU itself, it would of course be a challenge.” At the same time, it could have a positive impact. “Because we have to ascertain that the EU is not in a very reformist, but possibly the pressure from the outside helps. And that would be good for the whole of Europe,” says Neither.

Rolf Weder, a Professor of international Economics and European Integration at the University of Basel, explains why the negotiations of great Britain with the United States on a trade agreement for Switzerland could be of interest.Photo: University of Basel, Switzerland

of Course, but the EU will make the British people is not easy, because she wanted to keep the series within the EU closed. “Furthermore, to have successful negotiations between London and Washington with companies in the EU adds a disadvantage to the British company access to the US market”, Neither.

WTO strengths

Whether and with whom the United Kingdom at the end of a free-trade agreement will conclude, is currently open. On Friday, a round of Negotiations between Brussels and London was again without significant progress to the end. In addition, it reject the British until now, to extend the transition phase, which would provide more time for an agreement.

Thus, the pressure on the EU to make concessions increases at best. But it is also a No-Deal-Brexit in December is more likely. In the latter case, then only the market access rules of the world trade organization (WTO) would apply between the EU and the UK. The WTO, however, has been lost in recent years greatly in importance.

“Just in case of No-Deal-Brexit, it would be important for the British, for a strengthening of the WTO to use”, says Neither. A strong WTO is in the interest of Switzerland.


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