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Mon, Nov 17, 2003 - Page 12 News List

US, EU to study new trade deal


A ?100 billion plan to create a single market between Europe and the US will be unveiled this week as part of a British government effort to show that having a close relationship with America is worth jobs and money.

Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), will announce an independent inquiry into removing all trade barriers between the US, Britain the rest of the EU.

Officials hope the deal will put the row over steel tariffs into context, by saying that difficulties over specific areas pale into insignificance against the wider need to stay close to the US economically.

Brown will say that the new inquiry should mirror the Cecchini report in 1988 that paved the way for the introduction of a single market in Europe. The report said that removing tariffs would add 4.5 percent to Europe's GDP, cut prices by 6 percent and increase employment by 1.75 percent.

Treasury officials will say that such a deal would be worth ?100 billion annually to the EU, which would be able to export its goods much more easily to America. It will also mean growth would increase by 2 percent and that it could create as many as 1 million jobs across the continent, thous-ands of them in Britain.

"Just as in 1988, when Europe was at the outset of the great project to move towards deeper ... integration, the Cecchini report broke down the barriers preventing the creation of a single market in Europe by clearly showing the benefits in commerce and jobs," Brown will say in a speech today.

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