Focus on: TTIP & intellectual property
Privacy is not on the table in the TTIP negotiations, but data flows are, which brings privacy to the table, explains Ante Wessels of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII)
On 31 January, there was a stern warning from Elmar Brok, chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, that the United States must move quicker on joint data protection standards to avoid failure of the bilateral talks between the EU and the US.
The European authorities want industry to come up with a counter-narrative to civil society in what would appear to be fear of an ACTA protest Mk2. This was revealed in a cosy Brussels soirée held at the American Chamber of Commerce to discuss the intellectual property content of the EU-US trade agreement known as TTIP.
EU-US free trade talks risk following the same path as Acta, the controversial anti-counterfeit treaty which collapsed in 2012, warns BEUC, a pan-EU organisation representing consumer groups
There are apprehensions that TTIP would prevent Indian pharma companies to come to market with the same products - they would need to pass through several rounds of additional tests. As a result, prices will move up significantly.
While EU-US trade talks are expected to generate great economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic, the impact of a trade agreement on the EU’s healthcare systems will surely be negative, experts warn.
Data protection issues have been cut out of the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but rivalry between the two trade blocs in the critical booming sector threatens to spoil any deal.
This treaty, if passed, would represent an enormous challenge to public-owned health services across Europe.
Statements made at a US government hearing by the American Chemistry Council, the trade association of multinational chemical companies lobbying for the US-EU trade deal, highlight the risks to public health, report Friends of the Earth
Topics where EU and US politicians and stakeholders’ interests clash — such as public procurement, data protection, financial services and agricultural issues like geographical indicators and sanitary and phytosanitary measures – will prove the most problematic during talks.
The furor over U.S. Internet surveillance could hit transatlantic trade. A senior European lawmaker says the revelations could potentially derail plans for a U.S.-EU free trade deal.
US consumer groups raised concerns on Wednesday about the proposed free trade agreement between the US and the EU, which they said could weaken government health, environmental and food safety regulations and undermine privacy on the Internet.
"From a democratic perspective, we believe that important rules governing technology, health, and culture should be debated in the US Congress, the European Parliament, national parliaments, and other transparent forums where all stakeholders can be heard—not in closed negotiations that give privileged access to corporate insiders."
The buzz around possible negotiations of a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) keeps growing, with European politicians pointing to agriculture and intellectual property as controversial topics.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) yesterday released an interim report with the European Union on ways to expand transatlantic trade and investment. But apparently this would not include trying to bridge differences on intellectual property rights.