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Charlotte has ‘biggest stake’ in trade deal, expert says

Flavio Bernindino discusses washer and dryer technology during a 2014 tour of Swedish appliance-maker Electrolux's research and development facility in Charlotte. On Wednesday, a professor at Johns Hopkins University said a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union could result in more business between Charlotte and European countries.
Flavio Bernindino discusses washer and dryer technology during a 2014 tour of Swedish appliance-maker Electrolux's research and development facility in Charlotte. On Wednesday, a professor at Johns Hopkins University said a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union could result in more business between Charlotte and European countries. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte is among the U.S. cities that stand to benefit the most from a proposed yet controversial trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union, an expert said Wednesday.

Daniel Hamilton, professor at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, spoke about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership during an event at the Duke Energy Center in uptown Charlotte.

The agreement, which is being negotiated by U.S. and European officials, is expected to make it easier for U.S. and European companies to trade and invest across the Atlantic.

Charlotte has “the biggest stake” in the talks’ outcome, said Hamilton, who spoke at a meeting of the Global Vision Leaders Group. The group is made of leaders in business and other sectors seeking to make Charlotte a global commerce hub.

Hamilton, director of Johns Hopkins’ Center for Transatlantic Relations, pointed to the large economic impact the Charlotte region already receives from commerce with Europe.

He said foreign firms, such as those from Belgium and England, provide many jobs in the Charlotte area. Removing barriers to trade could increase business between Europe and North and South Carolina, he said.

“You will profit if we can get this done,” he said.

Others have concerns about the agreement.

In Europe, questions have been raised about whether the pact would lead to the sale there of meat from American animals fed with hormones.

In the U.S., critics say the pact reminds them of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which they blame for the loss of textile industry jobs from the Carolinas.

Roberts: 704-358-5248;

Twitter: @DeonERoberts

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