The United States has never had a true free trade agreement with the European Union, but that may soon change.
As part of President Trump’s effort to get Congress to approve an agreement, the United States is now seeking to add a new chapter in its bilateral trade relationship with Europe.
According to a draft of a bill that the White House is seeking to pass, Congress could pass legislation that would create a free trade pact with the EU.
While the bill is not final yet, the Trump administration is hopeful it will pass, because of the economic benefits that it would bring to both sides.
“We want to make sure that we get it through Congress,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a briefing with reporters Tuesday.
The president’s push for a free-trade deal is a long-time dream of the Trump campaign.
In February, he vowed to renegotiate NAFTA and to put tariffs on China’s exports to the United Nations.
Trump’s push was a huge success, as the United Kingdom and Canada exited the agreement and Mexico joined the Customs Union, with the U.S. leading the way.
Now, with Trump in the White.
The bill would also add a free pass for U.K. manufacturers, while the EU is expected to be more receptive to the idea of an American-EU free trade deal.
“There are a lot of issues here, and I know there’s a lot to think about,” Ross said.
“But we believe we’re going to get it done.
We think that will make it easier to get a trade agreement passed.”
The administration hopes to pass the bill during the lame duck session of Congress this month.
Ross noted that the European countries are expected to oppose the bill because it would weaken the EU’s economy and lead to fewer American jobs.
While a free deal would be an improvement over the current system, it would still be a long time before the United State would have a true bilateral trade agreement.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the EU last year.
In November, Ross told reporters that he expected Britain to vote to remain in the EU “in a few years,” citing Brexit as one of the main reasons.
But the United Sates own trade deficit with the 27 other countries in the bloc is expected hit $100 billion in 2019, according to a recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund.
That’s the first time since the economic crisis of 2008 that the United states trade deficit has been larger than the other 27 countries combined.
“The United States and other Western countries are the ones that need to be most concerned about this,” Ross told The Hill.
“If we can have this free trade thing and make sure it’s as successful as possible, it’ll be great.”
The bill is being drafted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Democrats and Republicans, and it is being supported by the Office of American Innovation, the Commerce Department, the Office for International Trade and the Office on International Economic Relations.
The group is led by Reps.
Steve Israel of New York, Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, and Dan Lipinski of Illinois.
Ross has already said that the administration will be “proud to have the support of the Congressional leadership and the American people,” according to The Hill, adding that the bill “will be a critical piece of our infrastructure for the future.”
He said the bill would be “part of our strategy to strengthen the economy, improve trade and create jobs in America.”
The Trump administration has already taken steps to try and speed up its push for free trade, including the administration issuing a “white paper” that lays out some of the policies it would like to see in a free free trade accord.
“A strong free trade relationship between the United of Sates and the European Economic Community will provide American workers with better opportunities, lower prices, and higher wages, which will increase our exports to Europe and encourage our economic growth and prosperity,” the document reads.
While that is good news for U,S.
businesses, it’s a very different story for consumers.
The report notes that, “a trade agreement would not benefit U. S. consumers or producers.
It would only provide an advantage to those exporting to Europe.”
And the report also says that “free trade with the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council and other regional bodies, as well as trade with other countries outside the European area, could lower U. s. economic competitiveness.”
And that is why the White, House is now pushing for a more “global” free trade plan, which is aimed at helping the United countries better compete with the rest of the world.
Ross said that, for now, the president is focusing on getting the bill through Congress.
“I’m confident that we’re on the right track.
We’re moving forward,” he said.
The administration is hoping to pass a trade bill during lame duck, and Ross said he would not rule out pursuing trade agreements with other nations, including Mexico.