The political economy of transatlantic trade

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will - when concluded - not only be the largest bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) worldwide measured in GDP, trade and investment flows, and population. It will very likely also be far-reaching with regard to the issues it will cover, including many so-called "trade-plus topics": investment, government procurement, competition, trade and the environment. Never before have trade negotiations been discussed and followed so intensely (and critically) in the public as it is the case with the TTIP negotiations. Never before have trade negotiations met so much opposition in Germany.

This class will allow us to study the political economy of the TTIP negotiations in detail. Why are the EU and the United States negotiating an FTA now, whereas all previous attempts failed? Why do the negotiations meet so much public opposition? Who is for and who is against TTIP - and why? What is being negotiated? How big will the welfare gains really be and how are they calculated? Will TTIP be compatible with multilateral trade law under the WTO? These are some of the questions that we want to answer in class. This class aims at providing a hands-on approach to the analysis of economic problems. Economic research and theoretical elements will be studied to come to concrete policy options.