Martin Walker reports an intriguing development:

[Which is] not just unknown; it has not yet been announced. But Britain’s Finance Minister Gordon Brown will Monday unveil a new and highly ambitious proposal to create a single market between the United States and the European Union. In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry conference in Birmingham in the presence of U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, Brown will propose a new U.S.-EU trade deal of no tariffs, no trade barriers, along with common standards on product safety and accounting.

In effect, Brown is proposing that governments act to formalize what private industry and multinational corporations have already very nearly achieved: the creation of one vast and single economy of the West that will account for about half of global production and world trade and over two-thirds of global investment capacity.

Sources close to Brown tell United Press International that he will announce “a major Transatlantic review on how we can move beyond the old trade disputes and reap the benefits of greater trade and investment liberalization.”

Brown’s aides have already estimated the deal would mean an instant boost of up to $200 billion in Transatlantic trade, raising Europe’s sluggish rate of economic growth by up to 2 percent, and creating as many as 1 million jobs across Europe.

As Walker notes, the current row over steel tariffs will have to be resolved. But a tariff-free zone covering the US and EU would be a phenomenal step in improving the global economy–and should also go a ways toward reintegrating the two communities politically.

FILED UNDER: World Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.