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TTIP talks on verge of collapse, CETA ratification vote expected later this year

Talks on the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) appear to be on the verge of collapse.

France

BBC reports, “Talks between the US and EU over the wide-ranging TTIP trade deal are likely to grind to a halt, according to France’s trade minister. Matthias Fekl said a freeze in the TTIP talks was the ‘most likely option’ without a change from the US. The French minister, who threatened to leave talks last year, said Europe was offering a lot with little in return. …Mr Fekl said a halt seemed to be the most likely option ‘in view of the United States’ state of mind today’. ‘It is an agreement which, as it would be today, would be a bad deal’, he said in a French radio interview. TTIP could ‘unravel’ the international climate change deal agreed in Paris last year, he warned.”


The article highlights, “[Fekl’s comments] come a day after Greenpeace [Netherlands] leaked documents from the talks. The environmental group released 248 pages of classified documents, which it said showed how EU standards on public health risked being undermined by the major free-trade agreement.” French President Francois Hollande has now also stated, “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets. At this stage [of talks] France says, ‘No.’”

Germany

Now RT reports, “Seventy percent of Germans oppose the TTIP trade treaty, according to a new poll. The news comes after France said it is against signing the deal amid a scandal over leaked documents revealing negotiations between US and European officials. The survey, conducted by German broadcaster ARD, found that 70 percent of participants believe [TTIP] has more disadvantages than advantages. Seventy-nine percent said they believed the agreement would hurt consumer protection, while 83 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the secretive way in which the government handled negotiations on the deal.”

United Kingdom

The article adds, “Meanwhile, the British government’s assessment of the proposed deal is similar, stating that there are ‘lots of risks and no benefit’, according to documents seen last month by Global Justice Now.” The Independent notes, “[The Department for Business Innovation and Skills] said it had carried out only one such review in 2013, when the London School of Economics was commissioned to conduct a study. The study found [the ISDS] provision under TTIP would have limited political and economic benefits and may result in ‘meaningful economic costs in the UK’.”

Italy

And today, in another RT article, it is being reported that, “Tens of thousands came out in the capital of Italy to decry the secretive [TTIP] deal between the EU and the United States, which protesters believe would push Europe into corporate slavery. …Protesters believe the treaty will lead to a deterioration in agricultural practices, as well as quality of work and services. …TTIP opponents have also been taking an especially harsh stance against genetically modified (GM) crops, as the deal could allow US companies to bypass EU regulations and sell GM products in Europe. The secrecy surrounding the talks has also come under severe criticism.”

United States

And Science World Report notes, “In a survey in the United States, only 18 percent of Americans support the deal now compared to 53 percent in 2014.” In March, a pro-TTIP British commentator noted, “The leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, has not offered public backing for [the Trans-Pacific Partnership]. We can therefore assume that TTIP would also be a step too far, given the support she needs from heavyweight labour unions to secure her nomination.” And CNN reported earlier this week, “Donald Trump’s near certain nomination as the Republican Party candidate for the White House could be the final nail in the coffin for President Obama’s big free trade deal with Europe.”


While TTIP talks appear in trouble at this moment, it’s important to maintain pressure to stop the ratification of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has previously stated, “Maybe we’ll stop TTIP, but that won’t matter because US corporations will be able to use CETA to take European governments to court and to water down regulations. Already, thanks to CETA negotiations, tar sands oil – the most toxic fossil fuel in the world – is starting to enter Europe.”


The 13th round of TTIP talks recently took place in New York City this past April 25-29. The 14th round of talks is currently scheduled to take place in Brussels this coming July 11-15. It is expected that CETA will go to the European Parliament for a ratification vote later this year or in early 2017.