I've always been told that newspapers are pressed for space and like to eliminate any unnecessary wording. Why then do they insist on calling trade pacts, like the proposed deal between the European Union and the United States "free-trade" pacts? I found the phrase "free-trade" three times in my reading of this NYT article on the European Parliament's efforts to limit the scope of a deal.
As the discussion makes clear most of the issues raised in the discussion have little to do with tariffs or quotas, the items that usually hold center place in free trade. Rather, the pact has to do with a range of regulatory issues, in many cases seeking to impose rules that might not pass muster if they had to go through the conventional political process.
These regulatory rules have nothing to do with free trade. For example, the United States is likely to push for stronger patent and copyright protections, the opposite of free trade. Apparently the Obama administration is also intending to use the pact to derail an EU effort to impose a financial transactions tax on banks, according to the article. Again, this has zero to do with free trade, it is about protecting big banks from the same sort of taxation imposed on other industries.
So, the question is, why does the NYT feel the need to use the term "free-trade" in this piece? What information has it provided readers that they would be missing if it just referred to the deal as a "trade" pact?