EU-US trade: secrecy and
round of trade negotiations between the EU and US on a Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP) end today with public disapproval growing
stronger than ever. After another week of talks there is no more transparency
about the content of the deal, and new evidence to suggest big business lobby
groups are being given privileged access to the negotiating teams – including
business-dominated events, and meetings
between chief negotiators and business groups.
of the Earth Europe and 26 other organisations, including consumer groups,
labour organisations, and transparency and trade organisations, today launched
a joint call for transparency towards the European Commission which is
negotiating on behalf of the European bloc. They are calling for the
negotiating mandate, all the documents submitted by the EU and negotiation
texts to be made public.
As it stands,
Friends of the Earth Europe remains concerned the deal will trade away
democracy in Europe, and safeguards that protect people and the environment.
Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "After a week of behind-closed-door discussions,
with privileged access for powerful multinationals, citizens have every right
to be concerned about the kind of future this deal could lead to. All the
negotiation texts must be published so that the public know what is on the
table, and what impacts a deal will have on daily life in Europe."
groups are highlighting the dangers of a controversial investor rights clause
which would give foreign companies the right to sue governments. If included in a deal,
the 'investor-state dispute settlement' mechanism could threaten the ability of
states and local authorities to take preventative action to protect public
health and the environment, for example by banning risky extraction
technologies such as fracking.
In the EU,
growing controversy has forced the European Commission to announce a public
consultation on the investor rights clause.
multinationals, including agri-business, are currently lobbying for the deal to
lead to weaker safeguards, under the guise of 'regulatory coherence', on issues
related to food
safety, and GM crops.
are trying to dismantle important health and environmental regulations by
arguing that they are trade barriers," said
Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth United States. "For example, this trade deal could force
European consumers to accept risky genetically modified organisms and meat
laden with growth hormones and drugs. It could also undermine European efforts
to combat antibiotic resistance; a situation which is creating a public health