The main winners of any free trade agreement are consumers. Not only does it give consumers more money in their back pockets but it also offers greater choice and variety.
Although the US and EU have relatively low tariffs on average, there still exist some “tariff peaks” on certain products. Certain industries and sectors are particularly affected by these tariffs;
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One of the main concerns voiced is that the benefits of any trade agreement are not passed on to consumers. It is always difficult to predict the exact benefits of an agreement before a final text is drafted. Therefore, one needs to look at past free trade agreements. For example the WTO Uruguay Round Free Trade Agreement of 1994, a Which? Report in 2005 found that households spent £249 less per year on clothes and £153 less per year on food. Over the course of nine years this equated to a reduction of £10bn from UK households expenditure on food and clothes.
A common problem for people who buy products online from America is that they have to pay additional custom duties at the post office where the parcel is held up. TTIP has the potential to put an end to this or at least raise the threshold for which custom duties must be paid. This problem is equally seen when exporting to the US, where the customs duties can range from 6% to 25%.
All of these are tariff barriers, the enforced barriers to trade that we can see. However, this trade agreement is so much more. It aims to reduce the non-tariff barriers (NTB), roughly 80% of the potential gains from TTIP would come from cutting costs that arise from administrative procedures and divergent regulations. For example, for a business to export to the US, often they have to be inspected by US authorities, even though the existing EU standard is equivalent. This kind of double certification is a particular problem for smaller firms, who cannot afford to pay for it. By allowing for single inspections by authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, we stand a chance of reducing the cost of countless products that would undergo only one test.