Voice of Business | Debunking the myths concerning the EU-US trade deal
In this column, I have voiced support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA. This historic project would create a free market encompassing the 800 million people of Europe and America, aiding trade and investment and economic growth.
Speculation has been rife about the alleged risks associated with the agreement. While all points of view must be welcomed as part of the important public debate on TTIP, an examination of the mandate of the EU and the results of the negotiations to date show that many concerns are unfounded.
Partnership with US is crucial to future prosperity (photo: Colourbox)
A threat to democracy?
The TTIP negotiations are confined to the mandate given by the EU member states. The European Commission negotiates the trade deal on their behalf, with regular briefings of the member states and the EU Parliament on the state of play of the negotiations.
The final agreement will need the approval of the member states and the EU Parliament.
To ensure the involvement of civil society, the commission is conducting public consultations alongside the negotiations – for example on the inclusion of an investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism.
However, as in any negotiation or game of cards, the hand held by the negotiators must be kept close to ensure an effective negotiating position and the best results.
The Commission has consistently underlined that standards will not be lowered. Products such as hormone-treated beef and GMOs will not be allowed to enter European markets.
Likewise, the US will not allow a number of European products entry, such as certain cheese products, because of US hygiene standards.
TTIP and public services
It is the sovereign decision of EU member states whether or not they want to outsource the delivery of public services such as healthcare and education to private service providers. The TTIP would not change this.
For more information, please visit our TTIP webpage: at bit.ly/1BgysI7.