How is big business using the EU's trade and investment agreements to sideline people, planet and democracy?
Despite the scandal surrounding Volkswagen’s rigged pollution measuring equipment and the flawed EU car test regime, the proposed EU-US trade deal (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) is set to include rules on tests that could make a solution more difficult. EU negotiators are even moving in tandem with the very car industry that just lost all credibility.
Publicly, business lobby groups are heavily pushing the idea that TTIP will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But behind closed doors they admit the reality: that small companies will “face increased competition” and that “benefits remain hypothetical”.
The prospective EU-US trade deal could be the world's biggest such treaty. The revolving door between public and private sectors is helping to grease the wheels of the TTIP corporate lobby.
An often asked question is whether TTIP will weaken Europe's rules over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Meanwhile, the biotech industry is pushing for the products of the 'next generation' biotech crops to escape the EU's legislation on GMOs and therefore to go unregulated. Is there a link between this new push, and TTIP? Emails obtained via a Freedom of Information request show this might indeed be the case.
Why the Commission’s alleged ISDS ‘reforms’ fail to address the key problems
Compared to other trade talks, EU governments and parliamentarians face far more hurdles to understand and debate TTIP.
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