Cloaked in secrecy and controversy, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is facing further scrutiny from French Member of European Parliament Jean-Luc Shaffhauser, who claims the deal “is made to diminish the influence of the European Countries”.
The massive. U.S.-led agreement will leverage two-thirds of global economic output forming the largest legislated “free trade” zone on the globe. TTIP is a partner agreement to the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) bill, and has courted criticism from both Europe’s left wing and conservative groups like the UK Independence Party.
Shaffhauser accused Washington of pursuing “domination” though acquisition of pivotal French companies Alstom and Alcatel.
The International Business Times (IBT) reported on European Union (EU) member states concerns over a TTIP Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism and potential lawsuits by corporations towards governments. The report cited a July vote in European Parliament that asserted to moderate ISDS impact while pushing Socialist and Democratic proposed corporate tribunals to, “replace the ISDS system with a new system for resolving disputes between investors and states.”
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström was quoted in IBT, attempting to assuage concerns: “TTIP will not in any way affect EU public services, nor will it in any way undermine the power of EU or national Parliaments. And it will certainly not undercut core EU legislation in areas such as food safety or environmental protection.”
Activists have indicated that the improvements are inconsequential to the fundamental threat of ISDS. Some have additionally contended that ISDS is altogether unnecessary to TTIP.
The late 1990s saw lawyers discover the potential profit in ISDS cases and the volume of such cases grow according to IBT. It’s a trend that is expected to continually afflict the proposed trade agreement.
TTIP has additionally been criticized for a high level of secrecy after being paraded as a picture of transparency. Under heavy threat of being leaked, the text of TTIP was relegated to a highly secured room in Brussels. Breitbart London reported on the plan to keep the text secret until final negotiations between Brussels and Washington.
Secrecy surrounding TTIP has been compared to that surrounding the similarly controversial TPP held in a secret Washington D.C. reading room.
In June Breitbart London reported on massive public backlash over TTIP and the attempts of EU chief bureaucrats to stem debate around the deal. U.S. President Barack Obama has promoted the agreement under the banner of supposed “free trade.”
TPP has received a great deal of attention in criticism in the U.S.; however, TTIP is said to have an even greater economic impact Politico reported in June.
The outlet pointed out that a push in Congress to give Obama “fast-track” trade authority could amount to the most ominous transformation of worldwide trade in history all in time for the sunset of Obama’s reign as President. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman listed five priority agreements with TTIP leading the pack.
TTIP proponent Hillary Clinton has dubbed the deal “economic NATO.” Efforts to stop the agreement have amassed more than 2.4 million signatures out of 14 EU member states.
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