A new trade pact between the United States and European Union, being brokered by President Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel, aims to create a new united western front to hedge against a world whose power is shifting to the east. “If the deal is concluded next year as planned, economists estimate the creation at least one million jobs over 10 years, and a 0.5 percent increase in G.D.P., on both sides of the Atlantic. The new pact would draw together 259 of the Fortune 500 companies. Investment flows and tourism would bubble to new heights.”
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What’s the Big Idea?
Territorial, political, and economic size still largely determines a country or region’s weight in the world, and in the face of a rising China, a trade pact that spans two continents, it is hoped, will create an economic center strong enough to draw China in. “For decades to come, China will have to sell in the West to gain money and access to technologies that it doesn’t yet possess. The consolidation of a Euro-American economic unit will require China to join, too, as it becomes a more open, liberal and rule-governed polity.” Ultimately, trade — not war — must buttress western power.