The resolution aims to outline parameters for negotiation and tomorrow’s vote is not on whether TTIP itself should be accepted. However, the organisations have called on MEPs to stop talks on TTIP as well as CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, after 2.3 million Europeans signed a Stop-TTIP petition urging the end of negotiations.
The coalition represents civil society and trade groups from a range of industries, and has appealed to MEPs to “at the very least” consider criticism of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which would allow corporations to challenge governments in trade tribunals. Some are concerned that the system would allow companies to sue governments if legislation could threaten profits.
The letter said: “We want to prevent TTIP and CETA because they include several critical issues such as investor state dispute settlement and rules on regulatory cooperation that pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law. We want to prevent lowering of standards concerning employment, social, environmental, privacy and consumers and the deregulation of public services (such as water) and cultural assets from being deregulated in non-transparent negotiations.”
FoodDrinkEurope, which represents the European food manufacturing sector, has long expressed its support for TTIP, saying that it would create jobs and bring investment into the industry.
However, the coalition behind the letter to MEPs includes the food group Slow Food, which advocates complete rejection of the trade deal with the United States.
President of Slow Food Germany, Ursula Hudson, said in a statement: “The TTIP as it stands at the moment is not at all acceptable. Instead of the TTIP we need different things: we want democracy, transparency and legal protection for human beings instead of more rights for corporations to sue. We want the preservation and future development of European environmental politics, the standards that we have achieved so far, instead of their subordination under the logic of free trade.”
The letter is available online here.