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Disappointing trade vote as MEPs pave way for EU-US trade agreement

MEPs on the European Parliament's International Trade Committee have given their green light to a draft resolution on a proposed EU-US trade agreement, the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz, Shadow Rapporteur on the dossier, commented: “Based on past experiences with previous negotiations and concluded FTAs there is legitimate cause for concern about what impact an EU-US trade agreement would have on the future of public utilities in Europe, social and labour standards, the protection of cultural diversity in Europe, sensitive agriculture topics like cloning and GM crops, and the planned ambitious undertaking to harmonise EU standards and regulations with US ones.

“All amendments adressing these concerns were thrown out by a grand coalition of free-trade advocating MEPs from the EPP, S&D and ALDE groups. The result is a mostly uncritical, self-betraying resolution euphorically welcoming the negotiations and the Commission's mandate-proposal to the Council.”

GUE/NGL MEP Paul Murphy said: “The endorsement of this resolution did not come as a surprise but rather reflects the balance of forces in favour of more liberalisation in the International Trade Committee. The secret negotiations will be dominated by big business interests and will be used to drive liberalisation and privatisation of public services, together with attempting to bring down European 'barriers' to hormone treated beef and GM crops.

“This free trade deal threatens the interests of working people in Europe and the US. It should be opposed and fought by trade union movements on both sides of the Atlantic, together with environmental campaigners. In the Parliament, it will be met with the opposition of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left.”

The resolution was adopted with 23 votes in favour, 5 against and 1 abstention. It will be put to a plenary vote in May.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group