Why the U.S. and Switzerland should capitalize on momentum to forge a trade deal

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Since the start of the Trump administration, trade has been front and center. The United States has begun raising tariffs and other trade barriers against both allies and economic competitors. In turn, America has been on the receiving end of retaliatory actions from a raft of trade partners.

That pattern of raising barriers came to an abrupt end when the White House announced a new North American trade agreement with Mexico and Canada last month. With this agreement in place, the United States has new opportunities to forge more dynamic free trade alliances. The administration announced in mid-October it would pursue three separate trade agreements with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom. Given the economic benefits of lowering trade barriers, making those deals should be a priority for any “America First” trade policy, but the White House shouldn’t stop the forward momentum on important deals with our allies.

Switzerland is already America’s largest European trading partner outside of the EU. In a recent speech to the American Swiss Foundation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stressed: “Our nations [the U.S. and Switzerland] share a commitment to democracy, free enterprise and entrepreneurship.” The two countries share high labor and environmental standards — issues that have been a stumbling block in other trade negotiations. Both nations have highly educated workforces, high wages and strong enforcement mechanisms for environmental and workplace safety. And crucially, the path to a trade agreement with Switzerland is much shorter than with the EU, whose 28 member-states each have to ratify any deal.

Read the full article at the Washington Times.