UK to investigate environmental & health impacts of TTIP trade deal following newly released EU documents



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9 January 2015

Critics concerns about weakened protections on chemicals & food safety

Author: Damian Carrington, Guardian Sustainable Business (UK)

The impact of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal on environmental protections in Europe is to be investigated by the UK parliament. MPs are to examine if the agreement could weaken regulations on chemical and pesticide use, oil and gas extraction and genetically modified food...Critics fear it will weaken regulations and place the interests of companies above those of citizens, with 1.25 million people signing a petition against TTIP. The ongoing negotiations have been criticised for their secrecy, prompting the European Commission to release a slew of documents on Wednesday, including some negotiating texts...The European commission maintains that foods such as US hormone-fed beef, GM crops and chlorine-washed chickens will not be allowed in Europe for as long as they are banned in the EU...Trevor Hutchings, at WWF UK, said..“Unfortunately a number of TTIP provisions have the potential to undermine existing environmental standards.”...Samuel Lowe, at Friends of the Earth, said: “With the potential for essential environmental and food standards to be discarded as ‘trade irritants’, the TTIP presents a unique challenge to the health of our environment. The EAC should scrutinise the proposals and ensure that these serious concerns are no longer brushed under the carpet.”

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9 January 2015

EU Ombudsman welcomes released TTIP documents, calls for further transparency

Author: James Crisp, (Belgium)

The European Commission today (7 January) published Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating documents, as the European Ombudsman [Emily O’Reilly] called on the executive to further increase transparency around the trade talks with the US...The eight texts cover competition, food safety and animal and plant health, customs issues, technical barriers to trade, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Government-to-government dispute settlement, which is different from the controversial investor-state dispute settlement clause, is also covered...EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström told reporters in Brussels today that more documents would be published after the next round of talks with the US in February...But documents regarding market access, quotas and tariffs were too sensitive to be published, she said...O’Reilly has demanded more disclosure. It was not enough to keep certain documents secret, just because US negotiators did not want them made public, she said in recommendations to the executive, also published today...In July 2014, O’Reilly opened twin investigations into the EU Council and Commission amid concerns over the secrecy of the trade talks. As part of her probe, she held a consultation, which received an unprecedented 6,000 replies from members of the public...

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7 January 2015

EU releases TTIP negotiating proposals in response to critics' call for transparency

Author: Christian Oliver, Financial Times (UK)

The EU has launched a fresh attempt to punch back against accusations that it is trying to conclude a landmark trade deal with the US in secret, publishing eight of its negotiating proposals in key sectors...The publication is an attempt to counter a growing swell of opposition from non-governmental organisations, which argue that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership only serves the interests of big multinational companies and would lower European standards on food, health and the environment. If concluded, TTIP would represent the world’s biggest trade deal...Bernd Lange, the socialist lawmaker who heads the European Parliament’s trade committee, welcomed the step but pushed for still greater transparency. “The road ahead is still long,” he said...

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7 January 2015

Full EU TTIP negotiation texts

Author: European Commission

The European Commission is negotiating TTIP as openly as possible.

A final agreement would have 24 chapters, grouped together in 3 parts:

  1. Market access
  2. Regulatory cooperation
  3. Rules

And as part of our latest transparency initiative, we're publishing:

  • new 2-page factsheets, in plain language
  • negotiating texts we've given US negotiators:
    • EU textual proposals on parts 2 and 3 of the TTIP – these set out how we'd want a final deal to read, line by line
    • EU position papers– what we want to achieve in a chapter.

We will publish further texts as they become available.

We will make the whole text of the agreement public once negotiations have been concluded – well in advance of its signature and ratification.

For the text of a recently completed EU trade agreement, see the text of the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CETA).

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1 January 2015

European Citizens' Iniatitive to stop TTIP

Author: Stop TTIP

We are an alliance of nearly 300 European organisations running a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP and CETA. We believe that these two trade and investment agreements must be stopped because they pose a threat to democracy, the rule of law, the environment, health, public services as well as consumer and labour rights (see 3-minute info for details).

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