Comprehensive EU-US trade deal would add 1.1% to Irish GDP

Ireland’s GDP would be increased by 1.1% and 5,000-10,000 extra jobs would be created in exporting sectors if a comprehensive trade and investment agreement is secured between the EU and the US, according to an independent economic impact study recently published.

The report was formally launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD at an event in Dublin Castle attended by Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Trade, as well as Martin Hvidt Thelle, lead author of the report.

The main findings of the report, entitled TTIP impact in Ireland, prepared by leading international economics consultancy Copenhagen Economics, are that a comprehensive deal would:

  • bring a 1.1% increase to Irish GDP
  • increase Irish real national income by €2.4billion, (approx 1.5%)
  • create 5,000-10,000 extra jobs in exporting sectors
  • increase real wages by 1.5%, impacting all skill groups, with low skill groups seeing a higher impact (1.9%)
  • increase exports by 3.8%
  • increase investment in Ireland by 1.5%
  • increase trade with third countries as well as with the USA

Securing a mandate to commence negotiations on a comprehensive EU US trade deal was identified as a major priority during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU Council in 2013, and under the chairmanship of Minister Bruton this mandate was agreed.

A independent study for the EU Commission in 2013 found that benefits across the EU from a comprehensive agreement would amount to 0.5% increase in GDP and 400,000 jobs – however due to our strong links with the USA, the benefits to Ireland would be proportionately much higher.

The report also finds that TTIP would have a more significant positive impact on SMEs than on other types of business. Enterprise Ireland already supports over 3000exporting Irish SMEs, and the Agency stands ready to support Irish companies seeking to take advantage of the opportunities for extra export sales offered by TTIP, via its network of four offices in the USA, which has expanded in recent years as part of the Action Plan for Jobs.

Speaking today as he launched the report, Minister Bruton said:

“The most important thing to know about TTIP is that it will improve Irish GDP by 1.1% and create 5,000-10,000 extra jobs in exporting sectors. That is why we prioritised this issue under our Presidency, and that is why we are strongly supporting the achievement of a comprehensive agreement now.

“As a small open economy Ireland's ability to grow and create jobs is directly linked to our ability to sell our goods and services overseas. That is why the TTIP is so important to Europe, but Ireland in particular - because it will allow Ireland grow its trade with the US and grow jobs back at home. This is another example of the ways in which we as a Government are building a sustainable economy based on exports and enterprise, to replace the failed model based on property and debt which collapsed.

“It is by achieving sustainable full employment in this way that we can ultimately grow our tax revenues, deliver improved services and put money into people’s pockets through income tax cuts.

“There is a lot of complexity and a lot of competing claims being made about TTIP. As with any trade agreement, there are some sectors which will benefit and some areas where challenges may emerge, and we will work hard to address those challenges.

“However it is now clear that the benefits across the economy are overwhelmingly positive, and I believe we must grasp this opportunity with both hands”.

Commissioner Malmstrom said: "This detailed study is an excellent initiative. By looking at TTIP from a national perspective, it is a vital contribution to the debate on the economics of this deal here in Ireland, and I will encourage other European countries to do the same. It is clear that many sectors across the Irish economy stand to benefit from TTIP, from medical devices to cheese, from electrical and electronic equipment to financial services."

See link to report 'TTIP Impact in Ireland Study' below: