You may or may not have heard much about TTIP, the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Now you probably needn’t bother finding out more, as Barack Obama’s plans have stumbled at the first hurdle with the US Senate voting 45 against, 52 in favour. A majority of 60 was need to push TTIP forwards.
There was surprisingly little mentioned about TTIP during the recent UK election campaign considering Cameron was madly in favour of the deal. Proponents of TTIP suggested it would create jobs and revenues and the aim was to remove import duties between the EU and US as well as aligning consumer safety and product quality requirements.
This would undoubtedly have come at a cost to businesses although proponents argued the increased business was worth it. The EU concluded that reducing the costs of complying with technical regulations would be the most effective way to boost SME exports. SMEs already account for 28% of the European Union’s exports to the United States
Opponents of TTIP pointed out that the US and UK/EU have very different product safety levels and could lower standards, that our Governent could be sued by companies under a new Investor-State Dispute Settlement, for instance if a US healthcare company thought the NHS had an unfair advantage in supplying services to Brits (although the EU say the NHS would be protected) and banking regulations in the US and EU are very different.
It seems today’s Senate vote was led by Senators, opposing Obama, who are claiming the deal would lower US wages and workplace conditions.
Now it’s a waiting game to see if the US can rescue their side of TTIP. In the mean time it doesn’t make any difference how ready the EU and the UK are to ink a deal, it takes two to tango and the US doesn’t currently have a dance card.
If you’re interested to hear what eBay was lobbying to be included in TTIP, we listed them back in February
Let’s hope they nip it in the bud. TTIP is one of the most undemocratic trade agreements I have ever read about. Secret judgements made by a small handful of corporate lawyers, poor countries being sued simply because they are concerned about health and environmental issues. For any good that might come of it, the rest reads as an Orwellian nightmare.
Great news If true – but if it really is dead why are the BBC (and others) currently bigging it up? ‘TTIP: Why the EU-US trade deal matters’?
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