Wednesday, June 1, 2005
previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)
Don't hold your breath on TAFTA
Glenn Reynolds links to a John O'Sullivan column on the fallout from the French rejection of the EU constitution. It's an odd column, in that carries a lot of normative appeal to me but doesn't make complete sense.
O'Sullivan correctly brings up a worrisome byproduct of the French rejection -- the effect on Turkey:
No disagreement with that analysis. Then things get very strange:
Okaaayyyyy.... just a few questions for O'Sullivan:
To be clear, I think O'Sullivan's proposal has a lot of merit on substance -- I just don't think it has any hope of succeeding at the current political moment.
I am curious whether there would be support in the U.S. for something a bit simpler -- a free trade agreement with Turkey. Comment away!!posted by Dan on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM
I would support a free trade agreement with Turkey.posted by: Bo on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
the US couldn't even negotiate a northern route thru turkey (and perhaps CAFTA for that matter)... besides accession wasn't even scheduled until 2014 (at the earliest) i fail to see how a rejection (of bad legislation no less) matters much, except that pundits needed something to talk about - "EU devolution & euro crackup, oh no," "our constitution is better than yours," etc - oh wait... anyway, economic reform and integration is the key (the horse), not political union (the cart), that will determine whether the euro-project/experiment ultimately succeeds or fails; and, i might add, all the effort toward making it work would be infinitely preferrable to say another franco-prussian war, or what have you, lest we forget...posted by: carabinieri on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
Afta the referendum I've seen people talking about changing Nafta to include the UK and places like Holland. But they'd hafta pull out of the EU to join Nafta, and a Tafta's likely to provoke lafta.posted by: Pat Rafta on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
What would be the benefits of an FTA with Turkey?posted by: Jonathan Dingel on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
The EU wouldn't reject Turkey outright; they would just give another promise that accession might be around the corner. After all, according to the EU, it isn't allowing Turkey to join because Turkey isn't ready yet (not enough rights for women, minorities, military is too close to the government, etc.)
When I say EU, I mean the folks in the institutional structures of the EU, not the population at large. I know quite a few people who shudder at the thought of Turkish accession.posted by: clarkent on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
If we could do it consistent with our interests, I would like to see the US offer a more economically liberal alternative to the EU.
If the EU comes together, countries like Britain are stuck choosing whether to be inside or outside the club, and neither choice is very appealing.posted by: J Mann on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
"Plan B" always seems to be some idea that no one except its author has ever considered. My own suggested European response to the draft EU Constitution's crash-and-burn -- the formation in each European country of a political party committed explicitly to making Europe more like the United States -- is probably more likely than this loopy TAFTA idea.posted by: Zathras on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
The two problems with Europe are (1) the accretion of regulatory power to regional institutions without a commensurate increase in democratic accountability and (2) the performance of different political economies. The second problem will have to be solved at the national level. The first problem is the real reason why the EU is unpopular with its national electorates.
But this problem only exists because the United States underpins European security. If NATO dissolved, Europe would have to federate to prevent a return to national control of the region's militaries. Europeans can afford their present uncertainties only because America relieves them of having to run an independent regional military structure. The true test of regionalism will come if or when Europeans have to provide independently for their own defense.posted by: David Billington on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
I had to laugh when I read that John O'Sullivan was serious about including Norway in the TAFTA. Norway has no interest in free trade, (thank you very much). They voted against joining the EU about a decade ago for those very reasons. They don't want to open the country up to competition from the outside. They are very happy with having one of the highest per capita GDP, thanks to all the oil revenues, and Norway certainly does not want to share its fishery reserves with anybody else.
I stopped taking O'Sullivan seriously after that. He clearly hasn't researched his topic enough to not know these basic points.posted by: Alasdair Robinson on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
A free-trade agreement with Turkey would probably lead to more "trade diversion" than "trade creation." Nor do I see it as especially desirable politically. We've already given them lots of aid and support for decades, but public opinion remains fiercely anti-American. We don't need them as a bulwark against Russia, nor against the Arab Middle East. I say, leave them out in the cold, until the government has the nerve to talk down anti-Americanism at home.posted by: Lancelot Finn on 06.01.05 at 12:01 AM [permalink]
Dear Mr. Drezner,
Post a Comment: