Cameron Promotes US-EU Free Trade Deal at Davos

UK prime minister David Cameron has promoted the cause of a free trade agreement between the US and Europe in a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

He said that it would be a priority, along with tax and transparency, when Britain gain takes on leadership of the G8 later this year for the first time since 2005.

In his speech, which came a day after he pledged that an
in-out referendum
on the UK’s continued membership of the EU would be held by the end of 2017 if his party retains power after the next election, Cameron stated that negotiations on a possible US-EU treaty should be pursued.

“The EU and the US together, we actually make up a third of all global trade. A deal between us could add over £50bn to the EU economy alone,” Cameron said. The cause of free trade would receive a massive boost from sweeping away bureaucracy and he wanted to use the G8 to promote a serious debate on corporate tax evasion and tax avoidance after “years of abuse”.

He told delegates at Davos: “Europe is being outcompeted, out-invested, out-innovated. And it is time to make the EU an engine for growth, not a source of cost for business.

“We need more free trade. We need fairer tax systems. We need more transparency on how governments and companies operate. When trade isn’t free we all suffer.” In a thinly-veiled reference to
Starbucks
, which has received much opprobrium in the UK following revelations that it pays little corporate tax in the country, Cameron added: “Companies need to wake up and smell the coffee, because the customers who buy from them have had enough.”

He also warned fellow EU politicians: “Europe is being outcompeted, out-invested, out-innovated. And it is time to make the EU an engine for growth, not a source of cost for business.” In order to compete effectively with other nations that were growing and changing fast, European countries needed to deal with their debt loads and cut business taxes.”

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