Another troubled round of TTIP negotiations: Time to stop and rethink whole trade agenda
As the fourteenth round of TTIP negotiations concludes with ongoing disagreement this week, GUE/NGL MEPs are calling on the EU to stop the negotiations and rethink the whole trade agenda.
GUE/NGL Coordinator on the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, Helmut Scholz, comments: "The US' negotiators have not shown willingness to conclude a balanced agreement. The fourteenth round hasn't brought any breakthrough in the three year-long negotiations – which was the clear aim for the EU this week."
"On many topics including market access and investment protection, negotiators are far from reaching any honest and mutually beneficial compromise.
"The US still insists on the old form of investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), which has already been changed by the EU on the basis that this was an undemocratic form of investment policy. Nevertheless, the new Investor Court System (ICS) has maintained the same logic.
"The US is also not delivering on public procurement and GMOs, and does not accept the 'precautionary principle', which effectively threatens agriculture and public health in the EU.
"The planned chapter on energy and raw materials has also increased the opposition to TTIP, as this chapter shows that TTIP would prevent the goals on climate change that were set in Paris last year from being achieved.
"So once again, we have seen how unpopular this kind of trade agreements are. Not only have the negotiators been unable to reach conclusions, but protests also covered the streets of Belgium this week.
"Also in the wake of the Brexit vote, we saw a majority of British people reject the current undemocratic and neoliberal agenda of the EU. There is no doubt that the free trade policies of the EU are contributing to those inequalities.
"It's time for the EU to start listening to its citizens who want real answers to their concerns about employment, growth, consumer protection and how modern knowledge economies should best be managed.
"The time has come to stop these huge trade deals such as TTIP, CETA and TiSA, and to instead adopt a clear strategy for new pathways to sustainable economic development. We need social and environmental standards that are fit for developed and developing countries, job creation, consumer protection, protection of rural areas and local agricultural production, support for SMEs in global value chains and stronger circular economies.
"We need to bring together stakeholders in business, civil society and Parliamentarians at EU and national level to determine – in a transparent manner – a new EU international trade policy that will be able to respond to global challenges of the 21st century," he concludes.
In this context, GUE/NGL MEPS are also calling on the EU to suspend the ratification of the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA), and more huge mobilisations of citizens against these agreements are planned across Europe in September.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20