NATO Secretary General: ‘I Strongly Support’ TTIP

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, May 6, 2013Some may ask why the Secretary General of NATO should kick off a discussion on trade between the United States and the European Union. There are good reasons for me to do so. Because I have advocated a Transatlantic Market Place since 2006, as Prime Minister of Denmark; because already the Washington Treaty – the NATO Treaty – states in its article 2 that the allies “will seek to eliminate conflict in their economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them”; and because ultimately, economy and security are closely interlinked.  . . .

Europe and North America are much more than just economic partners.  We are also united by family ties and friendships that often go back many generations.  We are united by our shared values – freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.  And we are united in our resolve to safeguard those values by working together in NATO.  And that is why my vision is for a truly “Integrated Transatlantic Community”. 

An “Integrated Transatlantic Community” would help us to strengthen those different strands of our relationship — our economic links, our personal ties, and our security cooperation. 

It would help us to protect our common values, our populations and our societies.  To promote the rules-based international order and norms and practices.  To preserve our peace and our prosperity.  And to assist other nations progress towards peace and prosperity too. . . .

Economics and trade will be the lifeblood of this “Integrated Transatlantic Community”.  And that is why I strongly support the idea of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. 

According to some estimates, a comprehensive agreement could — within five years — boost exports between the United States and the European Union by more than 150 billion US dollars.  It could expand our economies by some 250 billion US dollars.  And it could generate more than half a million additional, high-paying jobs.  That is a shot in the arm which all our economies could use. . . .

Finally, if we want to create a truly “Integrated Transatlantic Community”, we must continue to strengthen the third, important strand of our transatlantic bond, and that is the security strand.  Because security is the foundation for everything that we have – and for everything that we hope to achieve.

For well over six decades, NATO has ensured the security and stability that has allowed all our nations to flourish.  With our unique integrated command structure, unrivalled military capabilities, tried and tested forces and procedures, and extensive network of partnerships, NATO is the most successful alliance in history. 

But as we all know, nothing comes for free. And security certainly doesn’t.  That’s why it is vital that NATO remains fit for purpose.  Not for the sake of war. But for the sake of peace.

And that means all Allies must continue to invest in NATO – politically, militarily and financially.  And we must all shoulder a fair share of the burden, just as we all share in the benefits.  That commitment, too, is a key part of my vision for a truly “Integrated Transatlantic Community”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In a world where we are all connected, the transatlantic relationship remains the most important relationship we have.  It is vital for the freedom, security and prosperity of both Europe and North America.

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Image: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, May 6, 2013 (photo: NATO)