It was a quiet weekend for the world economy.
As the first tranche of the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) signed between the two countries arrived at customs in Brussels, the world was left with few words to describe the breakthrough.
The agreement has been hailed by business as a game changer that could potentially lead to a boom in global exports and the strengthening of the eurozone.
But what are the actual impacts of the deal?
And what could it mean for the rest of Europe?
We asked a panel of experts and politicians to take a closer look.
First, we look at the trade and economic benefits of the TTIP, which will see the two sides trading nearly $1tn a year for 40 years.
Then, we explore the political and social implications of the agreement, which includes a deal to give up the right to sue governments over their public finances.
Finally, we discuss how the agreement will affect the financial stability of other nations, and how the European Union will play a role in ensuring a fair and orderly settlement.
Read more: EU-US TTIP deal to bring $1trillion of trade to Europe, but critics fear impact on jobs and pensions – FT article The TTIP agreement has the potential to create jobs, boost economic growth and help Europe’s struggling public finances, according to several experts who attended the signing ceremony in Brussels.
But some are concerned that the agreement is in many ways a Trojan horse for the US, with its proposed free trade deals with Canada and Mexico.
The EU is already negotiating an agreement with Canada that is also being negotiated with the United States.
These are big-ticket agreements, with a big potential impact on economic growth, jobs and wages, said Giovanni D’Alessandro, head of the European Economic Centre (EEC) at the University of Bologna in Italy.
“The TTIP is going to be a good one, but I fear it’s going to do a lot of harm,” he told the FT.
The deal is also expected to open the door to the US being a market for EU-made products.
The TTI agreement, signed in 2015, aims to make Europe a world leader in agricultural, manufacturing and financial services.
In exchange for a deal that will give the EU the right of first refusal on new investment and new goods, the EU will also get an agreement to create the European Investment Bank, which could boost the financial sector.
But the TTI deal also contains provisions that could harm the financial system, including an investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that allows companies to sue the EU for damages if the European Commission rules that a deal violates EU rules.
It could also undermine the European financial system by requiring the European Central Bank to intervene in markets that it determines to be vulnerable to contagion.
“If the TTi deal goes ahead, it will be a huge mistake, because the TTip deal is supposed to make the euro stronger and to bring the EU closer together,” said D’Orazio.
The European Union has already proposed the TTIF to the Commission, which is due to debate the details of the proposed deal in October.
But D’Osso said it will take years for the TTIB to be implemented and for the EU to gain a foothold in the global economy.
The TTIF is the EU’s response to the crisis created by the global financial crisis in 2008, which has seen the US economy slide into recession and Europe become increasingly dependent on US trade.
This has prompted criticism from some quarters in Europe that the TTII could be the beginning of a race to the bottom.
Critics say the TTIC, a multilateral trade deal between the EU and the US that has been in the works since 2002, will be more expensive than the TTIFA, a bilateral trade deal that would have been signed between Germany and the EU in 2017.
“This is a race between the United Nations and the European Parliament,” said Luigi Zingales, a professor of political economy at the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca in Italy and an expert on trade and globalization.
“We cannot allow it to happen.”
Read less: TTIP: A glimpse at the TTIPS hidden agenda – FT The deal has been touted by some as a means to bring European prosperity back into the eurozone, but others have criticised the deal as a Trojan Horse for the United Sates, especially its proposed ISDS system.
D’ Orazio said the TTTI is part of a larger US strategy to weaken Europe’s position as the world’s financial centre.
“What the TTTIP will do is to weaken the euro,” he said.
“It will create a financial and political vacuum that will make it difficult for the European government to control the banking system and finance,” said Francesco Piazza, a former Italian prime minister who served