TTIP leaks reveal US position

SUBHEAD: Leaked text shows attempts by US to undermine EU environment and health protection laws.

By Staff on 1 May 2016 for GreenPeace -

Image above: American negotiators hidden agenda. From original article.

Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts [1], which will be published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.

The classified documents represent more than two-thirds of the overall TTIP text as of April, at the 13th round of TTIP negotiations in New York. They cover 13 chapters addressing issues ranging from telecommunications to regulatory cooperation, from pesticides, food and agriculture to trade barriers.

Jorgo Riss, director of Greenpeace EU, said: “These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health. We have known that the EU position was bad, now we see the US position is even worse. A compromise between the two would be unacceptable.”
Greenpeace identified four main issues of concern:
  • Long standing environmental protection is dropped
The “General Exceptions” rule, enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is absent from the text. This nearly 70-year-old rule allows nations to restrict trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health", or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources" [2].          
  • No place for climate protection in TTIP
If the goals of the Paris Summit to keep temperatures increase under 1.5 degrees are to be met, trade should not be excluded from CO2 emissions reduction specifications. But nothing about climate protection can be found in the obtained texts.
  • Precautionary principle is forgotten
The US wants the EU to replace the EU’s hazard approach with ‘risk management’, disregarding the precautionary principle, [3] which is enshrined in the EU Treaty but is never mentioned in the consolidated text.
  • Open door for corporate lobbying
The leaked documents suggest that both parties consider giving corporations much wider access and participation in decision making.

Jorgo Riss said: “The effects of TTIP would be initially subtle but ultimately devastating. It would lead to European laws being judged on their consequences for trade and investment – disregarding environmental protection and public health concerns.”

A 70-year-old EU rule, which allows nations to restrict trade in order “to protect human, animal and plant life or health," or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources,” would end, if U.S. President Barack Obama gets what he wants.

Furthermore, the “Precautionary principle is forgotten”: it’s currently enshrined in the EU Treaty, but Obama wants it gone; it is stated in the EU Treaty as allowing "rapid response in the face of a possible danger to human, animal or plant health, or to protect the environment. In particular, where scientific data do not permit a complete evaluation of the risk, recourse to this principle may, for example, be used to stop distribution or order withdrawal from the market of products likely to be hazardous.”&

Obama wants there to be no ability for EU nations to withdraw from the market “products likely to be hazardous.” All products would be assumed safe, unless proven not to be.


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