Trade agreement with Europe could add billions to Texas economy

Austin American-Statesman:
Texas exported more than $29 billion of goods and services to the European Union last year, but an economic projection released Wednesday suggests that figure could shoot significantly higher if U.S. and E.U. officials can hammer out a long-sought free-trade agreement.

If negotiators reach a pact to eliminate tariffs between the United States and the 27 E.U. member countries, Texas would stand to gain at least $9.1 billion in annual business activity by 2020, according to the report by the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic consulting firm.

That number could rise as high as $17 billion if other trade obstacles are eliminated and if companies capitalize on the productivity gains that would likely arise from freer business interactions, according to the report, which was commissioned by the British Embassy.

Collectively, that activity could help generate anywhere from 89,000 to 166,000 Texas jobs, according to the report, which considered a range of factors such as trade flows, price responses and projected patterns of the state’s competitiveness in attracting European trade.

The study was distributed Wednesday by a group of government and business leaders from Texas and the United Kingdom, who held a news conference at the state Capitol to extol the virtues of a potential free-trade pact. Officials said an agreement would stimulate growth in Texas and throughout the United States and the E.U., which together account for about half the global economy despite the recent downturn.
This should be a no brainer, but I predict the usual suspects will oppose it, i.e. unions.  They just do not like free markets and competition.  Some are still whining about NAFTA which was a clear winner for the US, Canada, and Mexico.  Europe has significant barriers for none European countries.  Reducing them would make it easier to sell manufactured goods from Texas.


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