Friends of the Earth statement on US – Europe trade negotiations
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the first round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership concludes in Washington, D.C. The trade talks opened Monday, July 8, under a cloud resulting from the National Security Agency “spy scandal,” which involved U.S. surveillance of European diplomats. The spy scandal amplified public concerns about the TTIP negotiating process — in particular whether the negotiations will be conducted in secrecy, as has been the practice in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, the other major U.S. negotiation underway. Given the controversial TTIP negotiating objectives, which may result in weaker food safety and toxic chemical regulations, Friends of the Earth and other civil society groups have demanded that the talks be much more transparent, and that draft negotiating texts be released. More transparency would also help expose the role of “cleared corporate advisors,” who have privileged access to the trade talks, in drafting negotiating proposals.
Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth U.S., issued this statement on the conclusion of this round of TTIP negotiations:
“The negotiating framework for the transatlantic free trade agreement is a wish-list for international financiers and corporate CEOs who want to roll back environmental and other public interest regulations. Tariffs are already low, so this deal is not about ‘free trade.’ It’s about paying off K Street lobbyists and campaign bundlers. It’s about a reflexive deference to deregulatory dogma. And, it’s about power politics. The spying on European Union and French embassies is characteristic of the secretive and ruthless style of contemporary trade and investment negotiations. It’s time for a more thoughtful approach to trade policymaking that preserves government authority to deal with the climate crisis, protect public health, and wisely manage our natural resources.
Click here to read full analysis of TTIP environmental issues.
Bill Waren, 202-222-0746, [email protected]