The Impracticality of Four-Way Transatlantic Economic Negotiations: A Multidisciplinary Analysis

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Conference Room - 251 (University of Glasgow)
Yan Cimon , Management, Laval University
Richard Ouellet , Law, Laval University
√Črick Duchesne , Political Science, Laval University
One could reasonably assume that, if we can negotiate an agreement among twelve parties within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), a four-way negotiation between Trans-Atlantic economic partners would have been within the realm of possibilities. In this paper we argue, on the contrary, that a direct negotiation between the European Union (EU), Mexico, the United States and Canada was not politically feasible.  The NAFTA three amigos have governed their economic and commercial relationship without creating mechanisms to enable the coordination of a common commercial policy as opposed to the EU, which conceives globalization as an integrative and cooperative process. Canada, the United States and Mexico then had no choice but to negotiate their agreements with their European partner on bilateral bases.  While it has been acknowledged that Americans are rule-makers on the international stage, we counteract that in this case, Europeans have been model-makers. From a conceptual and methodological standpoint, we use multidisciplinary perspectives (from law, political science and international business) that rely on secondary sources (literature and data) to put forth a reinterpretation of the nature and relevance of the transatlantic relationship(s).  In the end, while North American countries and the EU have historically and generally been objective allies on a range of issues and have been experiencing frictions on others; there may yet be a movement toward relative transatlantic convergence. We find that, while the Mexico-EU FTA, CETA and TTIP are bound to ensure the relevance of North America – EU relationships, the TTP remains the real game changer.
  • Impracticality of 4-way Trade - CimonDuchesneOuellet.docx (46.1 kB)