A possible free trade agreement between the 28-member European Union and the USA has been mooted for a number of years, but also mired in disagreements between the two parties. By now, however, at a time when governments are desperate to salvage jobs and get out of recession, there are indications of substantive moves towards negotiating a far-reaching deal covering trade and investment.
At the EU-US Summit in November 2011, a High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth was launched as a forum to discuss how they could further integrate their trade relationship, with the option of launching an FTA. Enthusiasm to commence negotiations on such an agreement has seemed higher among EU politicians than in the US, where a response has been somewhat muted.
According to a June 2012 Interim Report to Leaders from the Co-Chairs of the High Level Working Group, such talks should seek to conclude a proposal for a comprehensive transatlantic agreement including chapters on intellectual property, services, investment, procurement, regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers, including an SPS-plus chapter (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) and a TBT-plus chapter (technical barriers to trade), and tariffs.
In November 2012, the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (now TransAtlantic Business Council), a coalition of CEOs from US and European businesses, mainly transnational corporations, co-signed a letter to EU and US leaders urging a “quick launch of negotiations toward an ambitious and comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement”.
In December 2012, a coalition of 60 US food and agricultural organisations sent a letter to the office of the US Trade Representative urging that agriculture be included in the agreement and pushing back at EU regulatory measures on genetically modified crop approval and labels, and the use of pesticides, for example.
As of early 2013, European leaders are getting more and more vocal about the need to get negotiations started.
If concluded, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be the world’s biggest FTA. According to the European Commission, the EU and US economies account together for around half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia. EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together. Approximately a third of transatlantic trade is estimated to consist of intra-company transfers.
La Comisión Europea rechaza la petición ciudadana de realizar una recogida de firmas en contra del tratado comercial UE-Estados Unidos (TTIP) | 18-September-2014
La campaña "No al Tratado Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversión" acusa a la UE de intentar silenciar las voces opuestas a dicho acuerdo secreto.
Trabajo legislativo de UE sobre los disruptores endocrinos podría ser perjudicado por el TTIP | 17-September-2014
El actual trabajo legislativo sobre disruptores endocrinos, que está siendo potencialmente debilitado por el Acuerdo Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversión (TTIP), es un ejemplo perfecto de cómo los beneficios a corto plazo están siendo priorizados en detrimento de las personas y el ambiente, sostiene Robert Pederson, de Arc2020.
Study: Risks and opportunities for the EU agri-food sector in a possible EU-US trade agreement | 17-September-2014
TTIP "could lead to major changes in EU legislation, which may undermine the traditional EU precaution and risk management policy on which the current regulatory framework is based" says study prepared for the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Outrage as EU blocks democratic challenge to US trade deal | 12-September-2014
The European Commission’s decision to block a citizens’ initiative to challenge the secret trade talks it is holding with the US government is a slap in the face for the 230 civil society organisations that have lined up behind the initiative and the millions of European citizens they represent.
La Commission européenne rejette une pétition contre le Traité transatlantique (TTIP) | 11-September-2014
La Commission européenne a rejeté ce jeudi 11 septembre une proposition déposée par une alliance de plus de 200 mouvements citoyens d’organiser une « Initiative citoyenne européenne » contre les traités UE-USA et UE-Canada (dénommés TTIP et CETA).
EU Commission wants to wipe out citizens’ involvement in TTIP and CETA | 11-September-2014
European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP rejected / Alliance announces resistance
Ask Foreign Policy Ministers to exempt ISDS from CETA open letter | 10-September-2014
Please find below a draft letter to heads of state or trade ministers of EU Member States. It can be sent ahead of the Sept .12 meeting of the EU Trade Policy Committee where Member States have the *final* opportunity to comment on the CETA text.
MEPs urged to veto NHS trade deal | 10-September-2014
The leader of the UK’s biggest union has written to all British MEPs urging them to vote against a controversial EU-US trade deal if the NHS is not exempted.
De Gucht rejects claims Commission misrepresented benefits of TTIP | 9-September-2014
The European Commission has rejected claims it misrepresented the possible economic benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Unions say planned international trade deal poses threat to NHS | 8-September-2014
Transatlantic trade and investment partnership may make the outsourcing of national health services in Britain permanent
Les mouvements sociaux dénoncent l’emprise du secteur privé sur le Sommet sur le Climat de Ban Ki-moon | 17-Sep-2014
Strategy conversations: From protest to proposal – Launch of alternative proposal to the global investment regime | 14-Sep-2014
Conversaciones sobre estrategia: De la protesta a la propuesta. Una alternativa al régimen global de inversiones que otorga excesivos poderes a las corporaciones | 12-Sep-2014
La Comisión Europea rechaza la petición ciudadana de realizar una recogida de firmas en contra del tratado comercial UE-Estados Unidos (TTIP) | 12-Sep-2014
EU-Canada trade deal ’a threat to democracy’ | 11-Sep-2014
Guatemala: activists defeat ’Monsanto Law’ | 10-Sep-2014
MEPs urged to veto NHS trade deal | 10-Sep-2014
Guatemala repeals plant breeder rights law | 5-Sep-2014
Guatemala : Sous la pression des mouvements sociaux, la Justice suspend temporairement une partie de la “Loi Monsanto” | 4-Sep-2014
Guatemala: Under pressure from social movements, Justice temporarily suspends part of the "Monsanto Law" | 3-Sep-2014
Guatemala: Por la presión de los movimientos sociales, Justicia suspende, temporalmente, parte de la ‘Ley Monsanto’ | 2-Sep-2014
TTIP will cost one million jobs: official | 2-Sep-2014
Anti-TTIP protests take place across the UK | 1-Sep-2014