Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The United States and European Union have entered into negotiations to establish a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a free trade agreement between the US and EU. CIEL has established itself as a leading advocate for transparency in the ongoing TTIP negotiations which have thus far been characterized by a lack of transparency, reinforcing concerns that any resulting agreement will undermine public interests, such as the right to a healthy environment.

While TTIP could—in theory—offer an opportunity to elevate regulations in the US and the EU, experience with other trade agreements, industry submissions on TTIP, and the two parties’ explicit goal of reducing perceived regulatory barriers to trade make it far more likely that TTIP will hinder progress on environmental, health and safety standards around the world. Of particular concern is the risk that TTIP will be used to weaken the stronger standards for chemicals management that exist and are being developed in the EU and in some US states, rather than to raise US national standards to achieve higher levels of protection.

To reduce the likelihood that TTIP will hinder important public health and safety goals related to chemicals, TTIP:

  • must ensure that both the EU and U.S. retain the right to determine their own levels of protection for people, wildlife and the environment, and to develop measures as they see fit;
  • must not include provisions for investor-state dispute resolution;
  • should not provide authority to the Regulatory Cooperation Council or equivalent oversight group for the chemicals sector and other sensitive sectors;
  • should not include provisions for mutual recognition for the chemicals sector and other sensitive sectors;
  • should not impede the rights of states and local governments, or of governments outside the United States and E.U., to adopt new health and environmental initiatives, including their right to choose higher levels of protection for their citizens;
  • should not impede regulatory efforts to address emerging issues of concern, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals, nanotechnologies, or hydraulic fracturing;
  • should be negotiated in a single undertaking; and
  • must be negotiated in an open, transparent and participatory manner that safeguards the universal and fundamental public interest in the outcomes of the negotiations.

 

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“T” for Toxic? Seven things everyone should know about the EU-US trade negotiations (aka “TTIP” or TAFTA”) and chemical regulation (February 2014):


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