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Pew Survey: Who Supports T-TIP?

A recent Pew Center survey discovered that most U.S. citizens and Germans support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

For the most part, according to the Pew survey, citizens from both the U.S. and Germany believe that the successful conclusion of the T-TIP free trade agreement will increase transatlantic trade to the benefit of each. More than 72 percent of all U.S. respondents believe that more trade with the E.U will benefit their country economically, and nearly 80 percent support more trade with Germany specifically. The U.S. is Germany’s fourth biggest export market and source of imports.

There are some disparities, though, between the way Americans and Germans perceive the T-TIP. For example, Americans overwhelmingly support the creation of more uniform regulatory standards shared by the U.S. and the E.U. Germans remain skeptical of such an objective, with only 45 percent of them in favor of such a goal. In general, Germans trust E.U. regulatory standards more than their American counterparts; especially when it comes to data privacy, 85 percent of Germans trust the E.U. more than the U.S.

Also, there is considerable wariness in both nations regarding the prospect of the general elimination of duties and tariffs, as well as other barriers to foreign investment. Approximately 41 percent of all Americans support the removal of such restrictions on trade, and 39 percent of Germans concur. As far as tariffs are concerned, 41 percent of Americans view it positively and 38 percent of Germans do as well.

German participants in the survey seemed to respond the same irrespective of age. In the U.S., however, respondents between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine are 67 percent more likely to support the T-TIP than those older. And only 45 percent of those over fifty years of age believe the T-TIP is good for the economy.

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Germans and Americans are also split over the issue of manufacturing. Americans are generally optimistic about the T-TIP’s potential to simulate more manufacturing within their borders: more than 66 percent believe this will be the case. Less than 50 percent of Germans, by way of contrast, anticipate manufacturing with Germany to increase as a result of the agreement.

Unlike in the U.S., there exists no significant partisan cleavage between those who support and those who oppose the T-TIP. In the U.S., 60 percent of Democrats support the agreement, while only 44 percent Republicans follow suit.

T-TIP, a historically important free trade agreement between the U.S. and the E.U. launched its negotiations in the summer of 2013. The free trade agreement is designed to vitalize competitiveness and catalyze growth, potentially creating thirteen million jobs across the two colossal trade blocs. At the heart of T-TIP is regulatory harmonization, a grand consolidation of rules often needlessly disparate. Like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the T-TIP will greatly impact the prevailing rules of origin and, as a consequence, have a lasting imprint on the apparel and textile industries in the U.S.