A form of transatlantic free trade area was proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the 1990s and again in 2006 in response to the collapse of the Doha global trade negotiations. However, protectionism on both sides can be an obstacle to future agreements.  It was first launched in 1990, when, shortly after the end of the Cold War, the world was no longer divided into two blocs: the European Community (12 countries) and the United States a “transatlantic declaration”. This necessitated the sustainability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as annual summits, semi-annual meetings between ministers of state and more frequent meetings between politicians and senior officials. A KU Leuven paper, estimated in 2018 by economists at KU Leuven, estimated that a “deep” free trade agreement such as TTIP between the US and the European Union would increase EU GDP by 1.3% and US GDP by 0.7%.  These benefits would be mainly attributable to the removal of non-tariff barriers.  The European Commission claims that the TTIP would boost the EU economy by 120 billion euros, the US economy by 90 billion euros and the rest of the world by 100 billion euros.  According to Anu Bradford, a law professor at Columbia Law School, and Thomas J. Bollyky of the Council on Foreign Relations, TTIP aims to “liberalize one-third of world trade” and create millions of new jobs.  An article in Dean Baker`s Guardian of the AMERICAN think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research argued that the economic benefits per household would be relatively small.  According to a report by the European Parliament, the impact on working conditions ranges from job gains to job losses, depending on the economic model and assumptions used in the forecasts.  This bilateral customs agreement, which the United States and the EU intend to formally implement in the fall of 2020, was the culmination of negotiations that intensified following a meeting between President Trump and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Davos in January 2020. Discussions between the US and the EU on possible tariff cuts and the elimination of non-tariff barriers began in earnest in July 2018, when President Trump met at the White House with Commission President von der Leyen`s predecessor, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.