TTIP is the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the 28 member Euro Group and the US. The UK is included in the Euro Group. These negotiations are strictly confidential and the EU has locked out public access to the discussion paperwork for a whopping period of at least 30 years. These discussions are so secret that even Government officials from EU member states are denied access to the documents except in designated meeting rooms from which copies can’t be made or removed.
These negotiations have little to do with trade and are more to do with the regulatory barriers which restrict US corporations from making profits from EU citizens. At stake is some of the UK’s most prised social standards and safety regulations. The US wants to de-regulate our industries so US corporations can tap into our markets with their inferior safety standards or through the privatisation of government services. These include Food Safety, the Environment, Public Health Service and Investor-State Dispute Settlement.
Food Safety De-Regulation
US food producers do not need to meet the same environmental or animal welfare standards as their European counterparts. European regulations on genetically modified organisms, pesticides, hormone treated beef and growth promoters are being targeted. The difference between the US and EU food quality is striking. For example, roughly 70% of US processed foods contain GM ingredients versus almost none in the EU. 90% of US beef uses bovine growth hormone that has been linked to cancers in humans and the EU has restricted imports of US beef since 1988. You can help stop the de-regulation of EU Foods industry by showing your support.
TTIP threatens to undermine key environmental regulations within the EU which are known to guarantee far higher safety levels than in the USA. EU laws on chemicals introduced in 2007 is based on the precautionary principle which requires companies to prove it is safe before being certified. By contrast in the US companies need to prove chemicals are unsafe before its use can be restricted. Of all substances banned under these differing safety approaches the EU's higher safety standards dwarfs the US with 1200 banned substances in cosmetics versus the US's 6 banned substances. You can help stop the de-regulation of our EU environmental laws by showing your support here.
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
Another aim for TTIP is to allow foreign corporations to sue our Government when political decisions have led to a loss of profits. This means that tax payers money is at risk of being swallowed up by mega corporations through legal action.