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The German Backlash Against TTIP

The trade deal faces some of its stiffest opposition in Germany.

One of the things Jeb Bush did during his visit to Berlin was to express his support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and to make clear that a future Republican administration would support it. As The New York Times reports, however, the trade deal faces some of its stiffest opposition in Germany:

The backlash against TTIP has rattled political and business leaders concerned that Ms. Merkel will struggle to unite her citizens — let alone the rest of Europe’s fractious member states — behind a deal.

The German anti-TTIP backlash has been significant. Pew surveys have found that support for the trade deal had dropped 14 points since last year, and those saying that it would be a bad thing for the country increased by 11:

Decreasing Support for TTIP in Germany

While there is some warranted skepticism of TTIP here in the U.S., it is much more pronounced in Germany, and opponents of the deal are much better-organized and active. It is entirely possible that the U.S. could seek to conclude the deal in the next few years only to find that European governments are unwilling to risk the ire of their voters. That raises the question of how much time and attention current and future U.S. administrations should spend on completing it. Given that the deal is likely to yield modest benefits at best, it may not be worth the trouble that reaching an agreement may involve.