Statement on Washington, D.C., round of transatlantic trade negotiations
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United States and the European Union concluded the third round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade deal intended to facilitate economic deregulation between the two regions.
The negotiations were held behind closed doors, and the negotiating text is secret to all save for approximately 600 “cleared advisors” to the United States, most of whom are corporate lobbyists. The TTIP negotiating objectives, however, are well known. The negotiators are seeking to roll back democratically agreed-upon safeguards in areas such as food and chemical safety and to establish business-friendly investment tribunals. Such tribunals would be authorized to award millions or billions of dollars in damages to big energy companies and other corporations whose expected future profits are threatened by environmental and other regulations.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, released a statement today saying:
“As long as these talks continue in secret we have no way of knowing if this is a deal to please big businesses or one to protect people and our planet, and we will fear it is the former. All negotiating documents must be made public so that a democratic debate can take place. People must be able to take part in discussions about what kind of economy, environment and future we want for our children. Without more transparency, public opposition on both sides of the Atlantic will continue to grow.”
Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S., had this to say about the past week of TTIP negotiations:
“The proposed investment chapter of the transatlantic trade agreement could thwart government efforts to address global warming. Governments seeking to address the climate crisis could be forced to pay the fossil fuel industry billions in compensation. The United States and Europe must be free to take bold action in light of the consequences of runaway global warming.”