Tariffs between the EU and the U.S. are already relatively low, averaging 5 percent to 7 percent. But because of the sheer size of the markets, the pact could boost economic activity by removing even relatively low barriers across $1 trillion of bilateral trade annually.
The best-case timetable for completing the pact is the end of 2014. However to many experts, that is exceedingly optimistic and the consensus is it will take a few years.
Jeffrey Schott, an analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington said the agreement won't be a quick fix for what ails the two giant economies.
"Anyone who thinks this will be an immediate kick start to growth is mistaken," he said. "The trade agreement alone won't be a magic bullet to propel economic growth if it is not undertaken in conjunction with domestic economic reforms."
What could offer a shot in the arm, according to Schott, is an "announcement effect" in which the business community sees the likelihood of a successful deal as a reason to step up investments to prepare to compete in the new, less encumbered environment.
Associated Press reporters Sarah DiLorenzo in Paris and Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.
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