The “announcement effect” is critical even in international trade. On June 13, 2013, the British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the TTIP would generate 2 million jobs in the United States and Europe. The announcement was welcomed as a plausible thesis because then, as now, the contents of this free trade agreement are hidden from the public.
Economic policy works like this: It sets a number and carves a percentage. Based on this fictitious basis, it is decided how the world will go for the next generation. Four months later, in October, the 2 million number had already been reduced to a vague figure, but still momentous. The then European Commissioner and chief negotiator, Karel de Gucht, spoke of “millions of jobs.” The biofeedback sessions were not working in the European foreign affairs ministries and panic was rampant.
The European Commission put its experts to work in the secret rooms, but chose not to reveal the findings of their report. Using all the tables to calculate the infinitesimal and the nothing, it became known that the impact of the cancellation of tariff barriers and regulations expected in TTIP would produce a catastrophe on the job front: European Union countries would lose 680,000 jobs, while the United States would lose “only” 325,000. Pretty much the opposite of what Cameron announced three years ago.