‘The Details Of TTIP Need To Be Discussed Openly, Honestly And Fairly’

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Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes

They say the most important part of a debate is defining the arguments. Suzanne Lynch’s excellent article explaining TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is a perfect example of how TTIP opponents have been successful in defining what an EU-US trade agreement, like TTIP, might contain.

Opponents to Atlantic trade are focusing on the straw men of genetically modified food and hormone-treated beef. Let’s be clear – no EU trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers or food safety. European food standards are not up for negotiation.

Many of these issues arose in the EU-Canada trade deal and were resolved. The scare tactic put forward of some sort of malevolent investor court ruling for multinationals against governments is not borne out by history.

Investment protection exists in 1,400 bilateral agreements signed by EU member states since the 1960s. These have not stopped governments legislating in the public interest. Little if any attention has been given to the massive steps forward for workers rights and the environment a potential trade agreement between Europe and America could bring.

The sustainable development provisions the EU negotiators put forward are the most ambitious provisions on sustainable development, labour protection and the environment put to any trading partner. Europe’s negotiators want TTIP to include the International Labour Organisation’s core standards. The sustainable development chapter ensures high standards for labour and addresses health and safety at work and workers’ rights.

TTIP allows Europe to bring our environmental standards on biodiversity, shipments of chemicals and waste, and sustainable management of natural resources to bear on a global scale. The EU legal text enhances co-operation between the EU and US to fight illegal logging, illegal fishing and the illegal trade in endangered wildlife.

TTIP would make it easier to trade goods and services that help us tackle environmental problems, such as climate-friendly and resource-efficient products. We have an international agreement to combat climate change, and TTIP can help us implement it.

International trade negotiations are complex and cannot be boiled down to a slogan on a placard. The details of TTIP need to be discussed openly, honestly and fairly. A good start is to look at the totality of the negotiating documents and not straw men put forward by opponents to trade.

Brian Hayes MEP,
Donnybrook,
Dublin 4.

TTIP negotiations and global trade (Irish Times letters)

Previously: Luke’s TTIP

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

27 thoughts on “‘The Details Of TTIP Need To Be Discussed Openly, Honestly And Fairly’

  1. Vote Rep #1

    “no EU trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers or food safety”
    – I would really love to believe this but I seriously doubt this is true.Him saying it manages to make it seem even less believable.

    “The details of TTIP need to be discussed openly, honestly and fairly.”
    – I agree with this but feel its going to be an absolute poopstorm from all side.

  2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

    “The details of TTIP need to be discussed openly, honestly and fairly”

    Are they ever though?

  3. Leo Keohane

    “The scare tactic put forward of some sort of malevolent investor court ruling for multinationals against governments is not borne out by history.”

    This is an empty and misleading phrase. Under the TTIP, states would agree to refer disputes between them and the multinationals to a court to be set up for this purpose.The point is that democratic governments are surrendering their sovereignty to an outside entity (malevolent or no). In other words, a government elected b y the people is handing over their decision making to an unelected body. In fact it is probably unconstitutional – it would be interesting to see where a legal challenge would go.
    Suzanne Lynch’s article, like some much of the Irish Times nowadays, is simply a regurgitation of the establishment position under the guise of a no-nonsense informative piece. Even she acknowledges, without elaborating, that there is a very substantial opposition at ground level – WTF indeed!

    1. Andy

      “The point is that democratic governments are surrendering their sovereignty to an outside entity (malevolent or no). In other words, a government elected b y the people is handing over their decision making to an unelected body.” ==== empty & misleading phrase

      States have already surrendered parts of their “sovereignty” by signing up to the ECJ, the ICC, the ECHR etc etc

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Surrendering your sovereignty to another state is a bit different to surrendering it to a private corporation. At least the EU makes decisions for the benefit of society *in theory*. Corporations do not.

  4. perricrisptayto

    dav
    May 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Liar and a cheat.

    + 1000. i’d also throw in obnoxious.

  5. Gorev Mahagut

    Brian, I’d love to believe you. But someone who accuses his opponents of straw man rhetoric while, in the same sentence, smearing them as “opponents to trade”, is probably not bringing the most subtle and unprejudiced of intellects to bear on the question at hand. Best of luck though.

  6. Clampers Outside!

    Disingenuous knob end…. courts for corporates to sue governments, and that govts are not allowed sue in return.

    Feck all the trade stuff…. it’s the non-trade stuff that is freaking a lot of people out; and the interference in the provision of public services in the latter chapters of TTIP…. ya trite little man.

  7. MoyestWithExcitement

    “The scare tactic put forward of some sort of malevolent investor court ruling for multinationals against governments is not borne out by history”

    Is he taking the pish? That is an out and out lie. A baffling one considering its been well covered that tobacco companies gave successfully sued countries for loss of earnings over anti tobacco legalisation. Our politicians truly think of themselves as rulers of ignorant peasants.

    1. Andy

      Can you cite one instance where a Tobacco company has won a lawsuit against a country?
      Just one case which has been decided and settled?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Yeah you’re right. Uruguay is still ongoing. How about Poland having to pay €2 billion to a private insurance company for deciding to not privatise public insurance? Is taking about that using scare tactics?

        1. Andy

          So in other words YOU LIED.

          And you don’t really know the details of the Eueko / PZU case do you?
          Poland never had to pay Eureko $2bn.
          PZU paid an approx €1.8bn dividend to Eureko when it was eventually IPO’d.
          The Polish took €700mm from Eureko & BBG in 1999 for a 30% stake in PZU but then failed to complete the agreed upon full IPO. Eureko only agreed to invest in PZU on the basis that it could subsequently acquire a controlling stake and the state agreed to divest all its shareholding. The state never upheld its part of the agreement.
          This was only settled in 2009 after Poland had flip-flopped on the privatization for a decade and reneged on a 2004 settlement, as well as removing Eureko board members from PZU etc for political purposes (admitted by the 1st minister to renege on the SPA).

          The FACTS of this case do not compare in the slightest to Tobacco lawsuits.

          So yes, you’re lies are “scare tactics”.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            OK, fella. Calm down. If saying I lied makes you feel better, I won’t judge. Thanks for explaining further though that private corporations do indeed have the ability to sue countries and have done so successfully.

  8. The Bad Ambassador

    “Let’s be clear” = “this next bit is so ridiculous, I’m hoping that by saying “let’s be clear” you’ll be more convinced of its veracity and will, as a result, be more likely to buy this crap”

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I’ve noticed that “Let’s be clear” has appeared in the politicians’ lexicon more of late. Frances Fitzgerald LOVES saying it. As does Mary Lou.

  9. Eoin

    . TTIP is bad, bad, bad for soveriegn states and people in general, through and through. This ‘discussion’ talk suggests they’ll lie about what it contains and we will be scammed again.

  10. phil

    He has always been a very good boy hasnt he, and like most Irish politicians , he is probably cheap, will be happy with a pat on the head…

  11. Sheik Yahbouti

    Rubbish, and egregiously dishonest rubbish at that. International agreements to combat the matters referred to can be easily implemented without TTIP if the will was there to implement them – it is not. Even more laughably, he cites steps forward in worker protection and conditions, had won, , which have been under attack since the beginning of the current recession – no where more than in the USA – and has the gall to say TTIP will maintain and improve the situation? I give up. Language has entirely lost its meaning – black is white etc.,

  12. 15 cents

    “The details of TTIP need to be discussed openly, honestly and fairly” .. but they aren’t.

  13. catherine

    Honesty and openness appear to be incompatible with TTIP or has hayes bothered to read the agreement to date with its security, signatures and a threat that divulging any of it’s contents will result in all future access to it cancelled for any other mep’s.

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