In June 2013, US President Obama and European Commission President Barroso officially launched negotiations on a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), or a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) as many are calling it. Both names overstate the importance of trade, which is only a tiny part of the negotiations. The main objective of the TTIP or TAFTA is to harmonize to the greatest extent possible transatlantic rules, regulations and standards on food and consumer product safety, environmental protection, biotechnology and toxic chemicals management, financial services and banking, domestic regulation of services, pharmaceutical patent terms, and many more areas of public policy. EU and US governments will hold onto a “right to regulate” but it will be severely constrained, subsumed under the overall priority of reducing barriers to investment opportunities for multinational corporations.
The TTIP/TAFTA will also contain very powerful investment protection rules and an investor-to-state dispute settlement process, which is the subject of the Commission’s three-month consultation between March and June. Both European and US officials, backed by powerful business lobbies, will be pressing for maximum protection for corporations against legislative or regulatory interference into their “rights” to profit from transatlantic trade and investment.
Draft TTIP Text (Limited) – Trade in Services, Investment and E-Commerce (2 July 2013)
(as released by the German weekly DIE ZEIT on Febr. 27, 2014 ZEIT-Artikel “Freihandelsabkommen: Endlich wird öffentlich gestritten” (28.2.2014))
Leaked German version of EU Mandate for TTIP – plus critical comments A website by Green MEPs and the NGO PowerShift (March 2014)
Leaked EU Non paper on TTIP-chapter on Energy & Raw Materials, dated 20 Sept. 2013, leaked by Huffington Post on 19 May 2014.
ANALYSIS OF TTIP AND INVESTMENT
A transatlantic corporate bill of rights: Investor privileges in EU-US trade deal threaten public interest and democracy, a report by CEO and TNI (June 2013)
A Brave New Transatlantic Partnership: the social & environmental consequences of the proposed EU-US trade deal, a report by CEO (October 2013)
TTIP Updates – The Glyn Moody blogs Blog entries and analysis “tracking the twists and turns of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and spelling out what it really means”
WEED Factsheet on Finanical Services in TTIP, a briefing paper by WEED e.V., Germany (November 2013)
STATEMENTS OPPOSING ISDS IN TTIP
Open letter to USTR Froman and EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht opposing investor privileges in TTIP (16 December 2013), signed by hundreds of international, US and EU CSOs.