For Immediate Release
March 10, 2014
(Brussels/Washington DC) – A leaked document from the December 2013 round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations exposes the extent of chemical industry influence over secretive ongoing US-EU trade negotiations. Chemicals industry proposals to TTIP would have a chilling effect on the regulatory environment, slowing down the implementation of precautionary decisions on toxic chemicals, undermining democratic decision making and stifling the innovation of safer alternatives.
A report published today by ClientEarth and CIEL shows that the leaked proposal from lobby groups, the American Chemistry Council and the European Chemical Industry Council, would damage future protective legislation on toxic chemicals.
For years the US government and the chemical industry has complained about protective EU chemicals laws being a trade barrier, with some industry groups calling it the largest transatlantic trade barrier. The major aim of the TTIP is to minimise what it calls technical barriers to trade. Its actions could weaken the implementation of vital laws to protect people and the environment.
“This proposal illustrates two huge and interrelated problems with TTIP,” says Baskut Tuncak, Staff Attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law, “the privileged position of industry to craft language in the trade agreement without public input, and the unlimited potential of TTIP to affect the ability of countries to regulate on toxic chemicals, energy and climate change, food and agriculture, and other critical issues.”
“The overriding theme of the proposals is secrecy,” says Vito Buonsante, ClientEarth Lawyer. “The industry wants to restrict the transparency of information, which is essential if people are to make choices about what they expose themselves to. They also want to undermine the democratic process by putting decision making in the hands of industry dominated committees.”
The report also shows that the leaked proposals would have a particularly damaging effect on legislation concerning chemicals that interfere with hormonal systems, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are found in everyday products such as sunscreens, deodorants and children’s toys.
You can read ClientEarth’s and CIEL’s joint report here.
More information regarding Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations is also available.