The European Union and the United States recently announced their intention to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) which would encompass both sides of the Atlantic. If concluded, this Transatlantic FTA would create the largest free trade area in the world and boost the EU’s GDP growth by 0.05 per cent.
Officials in Washington and Brussels admitted that the growing economic might of China gave added incentive to the undertaking. They said that the trade agreement would provide a more united front against Chinese standards and norms in areas such as product safety or intellectual property.
The US-EU FTA talks will urge China to move faster on the road towards more FTAs with its trade partners, including the US and the EU. But it seems that the possibility of a China-US FTA or a China-EU FTA is determined not by China, but by its partners, who might urge China to make concessions on many areas of their economic relations with the second largest economy.