The massive leak of secret TTIP negotiating papers due out tomorrow (2 May) will reveal the true extent of the danger posed by the controversial EU-US deal, and early signs are that it will be even worse than already suspected. For the first time, we will be able to see in black and white exactly what the US negotiators are demanding of the EU, and what the European Commission is prepared to sacrifice in order to seal the deal. Here is a sneak preview of just three sections made available this evening – the texts in italics are from the leaked papers:
1. Farewell, European farmers
Any export gains for EU car manufacturers will come at a massive cost to European agriculture, with the European Commission sacrificing the small-scale farmers of Europe in order to force open US markets for major European corporations. Here is the deal:
“The EU proposed a possible package on mechanical devices in Chapter 84 and electrical appliances in Chapter 85 for which both parties share offensive interests. While the US showed an interest, it hastened to point out that it would need to consult with its industry regarding some of the products and that progress on motor vehicle-related parts would only be possible if the EU showed progress in the discussion on agricultural tariffs.”
2. Approval of GM food
TTIP uses the euphemism of ‘modern agricultural technology’ to refer to genetically modified (GM) food, and the US is demanding that all producers of GM food have automatic access to the regulatory procedures of the EU. Not only this, but the European Commission will be required to provide GM producers with full details of what they need to do to get their products approved:
“Where a Party requires a product of modern agricultural technology to be approved or authorized prior to its importation, use or sale in its territory, the Party shall allow any person to submit an application for approval at any time.
Where a Party requires a product of modern agricultural technology to be approved or authorized prior to its importation or sale in its territory, each Party shall make publicly available:
(a) a description of the processes it applies to accept, consider, and decide applications for approval or authorization;
(b) the competent authorities responsible for receiving and deciding applications for approval or authorization.”
3. Business chill on future regulation
One of the key aims of TTIP is to prevent the introduction of any new social, public health or environmental regulations that might represent a burden on business. The leaked documents confirm that TTIP threatens the ‘precautionary principle’ that stands at the centre of all EU regulation. More than this, the US is now demanding that corporations receive prior warning of any new rules or standards to be introduced, and the EU will have to justify its decision to introduce any new rules in future:
“When developing a regulation, a regulatory authority of a Party shall evaluate any information provided in comments by the other Party or a person of the other Party regarding the potential trade effects of the regulation that it receives during the comment period and… provide its views on substantive issues raised.”
In addition to the above three issues, the leaked documents show that the USA has no interest in the EU’s much vaunted ‘investment court system’ – a major blow to the European Commission, which will be unable to ratify TTIP without this element.
John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, commented:
“The TTIP negotiations will never survive this leak. The only way that the European Commission has managed to keep the negotiations going so far is through complete secrecy as to the actual details of the deal under negotiation. Now we can see the details for ourselves, and they are truly shocking. This is surely the beginning of the end for this much hated deal.”