‘Modest jobs gain likely’ from EU-US deal

Negotiations on the transatlantic trade and investment partnership should be suspended amid concerns over the accuracy of purported benefits of the deal, an economic think-tank has said.

The trade-union backed Nevin Economic Research Institute has cast doubt over a study by economic consultancy group Copenhagen Economics, which forecast one-off GDP growth of 1.1% for Ireland in addition to between 5,000 and 10,000 new export-sector jobs.

Assumptions relied upon by the Copenhagen report and the construction of the subsequent economic projections are open to question, according to Neri researcher Tom Healy, who cites an alternative report from Tufts University in the US whose projections are far less favourable.

The proposed free trade deal between the EU and US could result in lower wages on both sides of the Atlantic as well as approximately 600,000 job losses across the EU, according to the US report which uses an economic model favoured by the United Nations.

It also predicts a decline in GDP and net export, with the largest losses across northern Europe, in the long-term.

Consequently, the perceived benefits of TTIP are far from certain and in any case don’t represent earth-shattering levels of growth even if accurate, said Mr Healy.

“The projected net employment gain is indeed very modest. Reference is made, without supporting detail to ‘somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 additional export-related jobs in Ireland’.

“While every additional job would be welcome… an overall increase of 10,000 or less represents about 0.5% of total employment in 2015.”

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