According to the sole government commissioned assessment of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposed agreement will have “few or no benefits to the UK”.
The TTIP agreement currently under negotiation between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) is regularly cited as one of the future benefits of Britain voting to remain in the politico-trading bloc, promising billions of dollars worth of trade opportunities.
However, research conducted by experts in international investment law and political economy concluded that the political and economic benefits of the deal offer “few or no benefits to the UK”, yet could result in “meaningful economic and political costs in the UK”.
In 2013 the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned LSE Enterprise — a subsidiary of the London School of Economics and Political Science which provides consulting, commercial research and customised executive education programmes for governments, public and private sector organisations around the world — to review the proposed treaty.
The assessment, entitled ‘Costs and Benefits of an EU-USA Investment Protection Treaty’, has now been released thanks to a Freedom of Information request submitted in February by an organisation working on behalf of Global Justice Now. It reveals that experts see little benefit in the proposed treaty.
— Global Justice Now (@GlobalJusticeUK) April 25, 2016
One of the report’s conclusions found:
“All in all, it is doubtful that UK investors will find additional protections from an EU-US investment protection treaty beyond those currently provided, and enforced, under US law.”
The anti-TTIP campaign group asked BIS what risk assessments had been carried out regarding the UK government facing investor protection lawsuits if TTIP were to come into effect. Such provisions in other treaties allow corporations to sue governments for losses incurred after new regulations are passed.
According to The Independent, United Nations figures show U.S. corporations have used similar provisions to sue governments nearly 130 times in the past 15 years, including tobacco giant Philip Morris suing Australia and Uruguay for including health warnings on cigarette packets.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:
“Introducing a system of secret corporate courts under TTIP would be a fundamental shift in trade and legal policies, so it’s staggering that the government is pushing us into it with almost no assessment of what the risks are for our policy makers or the tax payer.
“What’s even worse is that the one assessment that the government has commissioned shows that there are lots of risks and no benefit.
“Yet again this toxic trade deal is exposed as being full of harmful consequences for ordinary people, and new powers and privileges for corporate elites.”