Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
(3 April 2014) The USA and the EU have been negotiating the creation of the worldwide largest free trade area, the so-called “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership“1 (TTIP), since summer 2013. The planned Trade and Investment Agreement shall not only cover a larger area but also broaden and deepen its content compared to previous Trade Agreements, thereby setting new liberalisation standards. EPSU has many concerns about the negotiations and is pressing for:
greater transparency on what is being negotiated
commitments from governments and MEPs that they will oppose the inclusion of ISDS, uphold and strengthen social and environmental rights, not least workers’ rights
upholding consumer protection standards (health and safety, food safety etc....)
no opening-up of public services (healthcare and social services , education, water....)
Avoid a ‘negative list’ approach to making liberalisation commitments
Seek a bigger role for the European Parliament, social partners and civil society during negotiations, and afterwards.
The joint letter (attached below) from large number of civil society calls for transparency from the European Commission in its trade negotiations. EPSU and the other environmental, consumer and social action groups want that documents are published so the public can make up their minds about what is at stake for workers, for consumers, for the environment. Will the trade agreements give workers new rights or will they make it more difficult for governments and the EU to improve health and safety, equality and information and consultation rights for example. All groups are deeply concerned that the secretive nature of the negotiations undermines the transparency that is essential for democracy. Openness is needed to prevent that corporate interests will rule. EPSU also wants to see the text that safeguards public services against privatisation and competition.