The Transatlantic Free Trade Area & Transatlantic Economic Council

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Assuming you're from the USA: Different things. Our liberals are more like a light-version of Libertarians who want to deregulate the economy, take apart our social safety nets and do anything for corporate lobbyists for short-term profit, regardless of the long-term economic consequences. And they don't even fulfill their supposed function of protecting civil liberties.

That's more the answer to the question "How does the populistic conservative left view the liberals?".

In reality, liberals in the European context are political movements who subscribe to the ideals of liberalism, such as freedom, human rights, secularism, equal opportunities for all. They range from the left wing to the right wing, but never the radical left or right.

Being liberal and libertarian at the same time is impossible. Liberalism promotes healthy secularism, libertarians seek to impose religion by force. Liberals value individual freedom, libertarians don't give a shit about that except when it's about themselves. Liberals in large majority realise that an extreme of either economic left or right is bad, and propose mixed forms of free market and regulated markets. Libertarians propose a dogmatic radical right wing economic policy which even rejects sensible regulations.

To name an example: Dutch liberal parties VVD, D66 and Groenlinks ('Greenleft') respectively proposed and supported smoking bans at the workplace, in trains, followed by a smoking ban in hotels restaurants and bars. A good policy to promote public health, and reduce harm that smokers do to others. Libertarians would never do that. Libertarians would reason that public health is not worth protecting, and it's perfectly fine to harm others through your own addiction. After all, the free market will magically provide smoke-free establishments if you don't want your kids to die from lung cancer, or don't want to be subject to an de facto going-out-ban if you got asthma, while in reality, that doesn't really happen due to a collective action problem.


I think I was pretty clear that I was mainly talking about our waste of a liberal party and my experience with them and even admitted that my impression of liberals overall may be tainted due to their worthlessness. I don't quite see the point of your post.

"It's primarily because of our particular (Corporatist, couldn't-give-a-fuck-about-civil-liberties, hate-equality-of-opportunity) liberal party - i. e. I'm biased - that I don't trust liberals."

Also, you need to realize that the left isn't necessarily conservative in most places, despite your experiences in your country. Our center-right conservative party is the main problem and hurdle when it comes to gay marriage for example, or civil unions receiving the same tax benefits as married heterosexuals etc.. Despite both being European countries - based on the descriptions you've left about the Netherlands' parties - it really sounds quite different to the setup we have here.

As for our particular liberals? Let's hope they stick with the ~4% they've garnered so they finally fail the 5%-hurdle as they so very much deserve.

Lastly, in a sense we're all liberals because we are in favour of the liberal democratic order. That said, the ideology of (especially economic) liberalism is often a bit more specific than any such broad umbrella.



So, further political and economic chaining to the failing states of america?


of course the same could be said about the splintering EU

Yes it could.

both are in the path to ruin.

we will go down in each other's arms <3

The racially homogeneous peoples of the future who will come to settle in our ghost towns will sing songs of our graceful Danse Macabre.

I read about this on a German news site. I'm very skeptical of it. This would only be acceptable if the USA raises their food, chemical and safety standards to meet European ones. If they decide to lower our standards just for economic gain then I'll take to the streets. This smacks like another liberal ploy to reduce governmental oversight to me.

Much of this it to export US IP laws (and to weaken local laws), look how Eli Lilly is using NAFTA to attack Canadian pharmacutical laws.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but we'll see what any actual proposals will look like eventually.

I do not think we will get to read an official version any time soon, though leaked copies supposedly exist.

My understanding is that the negotiations and treaty will be secret for 4 years after it is signed/abandoned.

Much of this it to export US IP laws (and to weaken local laws)

Yeah the US made a very big deal about ensuring Australia accepted software patents as part of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.

Not G. Ivingname:

Wait, how is nobody talking about this?

People been stating that Obama would lose us national soveriegnty and turn us into a socialist European country.

Obama openly stated he wanted to do that (sort of...), and the internet hasn't started to freak out?

This isn't even on Drudge Report. How is this the first place I have heard about it?


I... don't think this is a good idea. I think the United States has inane amount of regulations already. One also has to wonder, how much control will this legislative body be given? What would count as the "economy?" Could it bypass Congress? How would this work with the already existing EU? How is this body chosen?

I doubt this will be a legislative body. It will principally be a sort of "council" to define stuff (which would then need to be individually agreed by members) and an arbitration system to review potential infractions. It would work in very similar lines to NAFTA, EFTA, the early EEC and so on. I think what you should more look at this as is an exercise in regulation harmonisation. This might mean more regulations in some areas, less in some, no change in some, and changes with trivial impact in some.

I saw an example of this with relation to cars. The USA and EU have broadly similar regulations regarding cars; safety, pollution, etc. However, they also have differences. This complicates car design and manufacturing for many companies because they need to to make cars that pass both EU and US regulations. Far easier to have a unified code for both, and this is the sort of thing the free trade group would work out.

The other impact is minimising trade spats and protectionism. If everyone has decided rules in the first place, it helps prevent them occurring. Currently, the EU and USA take their disagreements to the WTO (such as US steel import tariffs in the early 2000s, and perennial complaints about EU agricultural subsidies). Presumably, this would now switch to the new body.

In theory, all this could be done by a huge raft of individual trade treaties. Creating a dedicated body to manage it is simply more efficient. There is always the possibility it may grow to transnational government (as the EEC to EU development demonstrates can happen). However, that's a far distant future possibility best left not worrying about until it starts happening.

My final note is to say this is not an Obama thing. It dates back to at least the 90s, and in fact Bush Jnr. made some advances on it in the 2000s. In that sense, Obama is simply continuing an already existing process.


Outside of the xenophobic/nationalist faction in the EU parliament, think PVV, UKIP, stuff like that, the support for safety regulations and harmonising them is pretty universal. Especially strong among the liberals; harmonised standards = €.

Yeah, but harmonised, lower standards = more €, because then we can sell crap and save money short-term.
It's primarily because of our particular (Corporatist, couldn't-give-a-fuck-about-civil-liberties, hate-equality-of-opportunity) liberal party - i. e. I'm biased - that I don't trust liberals. Certainly not with something like this.

The EU isn't particularily known for lowering it's standards in hmmm...forever. To have a "Corporatist, couldn't-give-a-fuck-about-civil-liberties, hate-equality-of-opportunity" you have to ramp up regulations and licensing fees so there will be no competition.

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