MPs must open the talks to public scrutiny
Social justice campaigners have called on MPs to stop the controversial EU-US trade talks, as European and American trade representatives meet in Washington this week. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will become the biggest deal of its type in the world if agreed. But campaigners argue that far from boosting jobs in Europe and the US, the agreement will give big business a whole range of new powers with potential to harm people and planet.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and US trade representative Michael Froman have been engaged in a ‘stocktaking’ exercise aimed at clearing blockages in the talks this week. But there is growing opposition to the agreement in both the EU and US from trade unions, environmental groups and anti-poverty campaigners.
Social justice group World Development Movement today called on MPs to thoroughly scrutinise the deal and push for a halt in the negotiations. The campaign group believes the deal’s proposed ‘investor-state dispute mechanism’ will detract from the ability of MPs to regulate corporations and will put the UK at risk of being sued for enacting a range of wide range of laws. The group also claims the deal will have global impacts on social and environmental protection.
Nick Dearden, Director of World Development Movement, said:
The idea that this trade deal will massively boost growth and jobs has been thoroughly discredited - even British officials can’t substantiate it. Research commissioned by the British government itself has concluded that the controversial investor-state dispute mechanism, which is at the heart of these talks, will be bad news for Britain.
These talks are about embedding the power of big business into our society – guaranteeing corporations more privileges in public services, the environment, food safety and much more. It’s terrifying because this deal will set a new global standard which in time will affect almost all countries in the world.
If MPs care about their own power to set standards and rules regarding how corporations can behave, then they need to look carefully at this deal and not be taken in by the bogus figures out there which suggest this is all about jobs and growth. We believe the talks should be stopped in their tracks.