To coincide with the recent meeting in Washington of EU and U.S. trade negotiators working to advance talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a group of more than 30 civil society organizations released a joint declaration expressing their “deep concern and firm opposition” to the transatlantic regulatory cooperation envisaged by the proposed trade deal, arguing it will drive down standards in areas such as chemicals, food standards and financial services.
Despite repeated assurances from European officials that lowering of standards would not be allowed to happen, the NGOs are calling for regulatory cooperation proposals to be taken off the table.
“Leaks over the past few months revealed that proposals for regulatory cooperation carry the threat of regulatory attacks and lowering of standards in the short term as well as in the long term,” they claimed in the statement, which also called for the trade pact’s negotiating documents to be made available to the public.
In stark contrast, pro-free trade business groups such as the American Chamber of Commerce and BusinessEurope, contend there are already too many needless barriers impeding trade between the Europe and the United States.
“By ensuring that regulators are better aware and understand what their transatlantic counterparts are doing, TTIP can help avoid and overcome unnecessary regulatory differences that often make trade prohibitively expensive – especially for SMEs – while maintaining the current high levels of protection enjoyed by US and EU citizens,” according to a statement issued by the Business Alliance for TTIP.