The TTIP is described by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-country European Union, as a "trade and investment agreement" designed to help trade and boost exports by getting rid of red tape, removing tariffs, and cutting investment restrictions.
First announced by U.S. President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address, the deal is still being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.
Speaking to the BBC recently, the U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond commented that TTIP was, "A hugely important opportunity for the European Union and the USA… to set the standards for international trade for the future."
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Hammond went on to add that, "Our share, collectively, of global trade is declining as China and India and others increase their share of it. If we don't act now to set the standards… for world trade, we will find that others – the Chinese, the Indians – are dominating and (that) they are setting the standards for the future."
For Pawel Swidlicki, Policy Analyst at Open Europe, TTIP has the potential to be a game changer. "It could really set the new rules of trade, which would then be seen as a global template for other agreements around the world," he told CNBC in a phone interview. "So, in that sense it could actually do a lot to force through trade liberalization, which has obviously become bogged down at the WTO level."