Illinois Republicans in Congress say a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union could have big benefits for Illinois businesses. The agreement is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) was touting the proposal to representatives from European nations in Chicago, saying it can allow Illinois companies to increase exports across the Atlantic.
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“We export, we sell, we manufacture, we distribute. This has a huge impact from an agricultural point of view Downstate, so it’s an absolutely winning proposition, but we just got to persuade people,” he said. Roskam says TTIP could generate an estimated $8 billion in economic activity for the state. Opponents of the proposal say the trade barriers that currently exist between the U.S. and the E.U. are already minimized, and claim TTIP is designed to help large corporations get around stricter business regulations in Europe. There are also concerns that the agreement will go beyond exchanging goods, and seek to change certain banking regulations and international copyright laws.