Leaked TTIP documents confirm major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety
From an environmental and consumer protection point of view four aspects are of serious concern:
Long standing environmental protections appear to be dropped
None of the chapters we have seen reference the General Exceptions rule. This nearly 70-year-old rule enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), allows nations to regulate trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health” or for “the conservation of exhaustible natural resources” . The omission of this regulation suggests both sides are creating a regime that places profit ahead of human, animal and plant life and health.
Climate protection will be harder under TTIP
The Paris Climate Agreement makes one point clear: We must keep temperature increase under 1.5 degrees to avoid a climate crisis with effects on billions of people worldwide. Trade should not be excluded from climate action. But nothing indicating climate protection can be found in the obtained texts. Even worse, the scope for mitigation measures is limited by provisions of the chapters on Regulatory Cooperation or Market Access for Industrial Goods.  As an example these proposals would rule out regulating the import of CO2 intensive fuels such as oil from Tar Sands.
The end of the precautionary principle
The precautionary principle, enshrined in the EU Treaty, is not mentioned in the chapter on Regulatory Cooperation, nor in any other of the obtained 12 chapters. On the other hand the US demand for a ‘risk based’ approach that aims to manage hazardous substances rather than avoid them, finds its way into various chapters. This approach undermines the ability of regulators to take preventive measures, for example regarding controversial substances like hormone disrupting chemicals.
Opening the door for corporate takeover
While the proposals threaten environmental and consumer protection, big business gets what it wants. Opportunities to participate in decision making are granted to corporations to intervene at the earliest stages of the decision making process. While civil society has had little access to the negotiations, there are many instances where the papers show that industry has been granted a privileged voice in important decisions.  The leaked documents indicate that the EU has not been open about the high degree of industry influence. The EU’s recent public report  has only one minor mention of industry input, whereas the leaked documents repeatedly talk about the need for further consultations with industry and explicitly mention how industry input has been collected. ….
Sounds familiar doesn’t it. As usual the pressure is coming from America:
Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal
Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts.
The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection.
President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture. …
It’s all about the lobbyists:
Greenpeace Publishes Leaked TTIP Documents… Show How Backroom Deals Are Driven By Lobbyists
from the because-of-course-they-are dept
We’ve written plenty of stories about the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership) agreement being worked on between the US and the EU. Think of it as the companion to the TPP, which covers the US and a variety of countries around the Pacific ocean. Like the TPP, the US has demanded extreme levels of secrecy around the negotiations (in the past, the US negotiating body, the USTR, has admitted that the more the public is aware of the details, the less likely they are to support the agreement). And while there have been reports out of the EU arguing that negotiators there are more willing to be more open about the negotiations, so far, the US has not allowed it. This has resulted in some crazy situations including secretive “reading rooms” where politicians are carefully guarded if they look at the current drafts — and where they’re not allowed to bring any device or copy anything from the documents.
Now, Greenpeace has leaked a bunch of the TTIP documents… As for the contents revealed, it’s pretty much what everyone suspected. Most of the focus, so far, is on details showing that the US has been pressuring the EU to loosen various consumer and environmental protections in the EU. While it hasn’t received as much attention, the leak also does suggest problems for digital rights, mainly by giving telcos much more power. …
The Guardian’s Trevor Timm offers some good advice:
The TTIP and TPP trade deals: enough of the secrecy
Two of the largest US-negotiated trade deals in recent history are both being hidden from public view. If they remain that way we must reject them outright
And on Stuff this morning Green MP Kennedy Graham reflects on the TPP process in NZ:
TPPA shines light on constitutional shortcomings
As the Green MP on the relevant committee, I attended the hearings the committee held, reading the 3000 written submissions and listening to the 255 oral submissions presented in person.
In eight years in Parliament, I have not witnessed such passion from New Zealanders as in these hearings. Whatever the substantive issues of the treaty, and we all have our views, the fact is that people harbour deep concern over the general nature of this particular agreement.
But the concern I wish to convey here is not about policy. It is about the manner in which the House dealt with the treaty examination process. Because I believe it highlights both procedural hubris on the part of the government, and also a constitutional weakness in relation to the role of Parliament over treaty examination and ratification. …
Read on for Graham’s list of important questions.
TTIP, TTPA, same game around the globe, a take-over by American corporations, with the rights of the public held in no regard whatsoever.