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TTIP to add half point of GDP over three years, consultancy estimates

by Rossella Bocciarelli

An additional half point of GDP over three years and a 30,000 unit boost in employment - that's the potential impact that the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) could have on Italy’s economy.

According to an estimate by Prometeia, Italy’s GDP would rise by €5.6 billion net of inflation if partners move ahead with the most expansive version of the transatlantic treaty, its three pillars being market access that would eliminate customs’ duties, new rules on non-tariff barriers and untangling tortuous bureaucracy, and a series of regulations regarding intellectual property, sustainable development, small and mid-sized companies and capital movements.

At a hearing in the House of Deputies yesterday, Italy’s vice minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda, explained why the treaty was good for Italy: He noted that non-tariff barriers account for 20% of Italian exports to the U.S., “with peaks for food and beverage products of up to 70%.” Italy’s exports are penalized twice as much as the European average by trade barriers, Calenda said, due to specialized production that would make Italy “one of the biggest beneficiaries” of the TTIP.

The advantages would be “mostly for small and mid-sized enterprises, because they are the hardest hit by non-tariff trade barriers,” he said. Calenda also tried to dispel certain prejudices: “TTIP won’t result in any genetically modified substances being imported to Italy,” he said. And he reiterated that the agreement “won’t lead to any diminution of health and environmental safety standards.”