The United States government is putting more intense and significantly more far-reaching pressure on the European Union than previously thought during the ongoing negotiations to reach an accord on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This has become evident from copies of confidential negotiation documents that have been made available to Süddeutsche Zeitung and the German radio and television stations WDR and NDR. The material, consisting of 240 pages, was provided by Greenpeace and will be published this coming Monday. Several people familiar with the negotiations confirm that the documents provided are current.
According to the documents, Washington is threatening to prevent the easing of exports for the European car industry in order to force Europe to buy more U.S. agricultural products. The U.S. government concurrently has criticized the fundamental prevention principal of the EU Consumer Centre which protects 500 million Europeans from consuming genetically modified food and hormone-treated meat. The documents further reveal the fact that the U.S. has blocked the urgent European call to replace the controversial private arbitration tribunals, responsible for corporative lawsuits, with a public State model; instead, Washington has made a suggestion on the matter that had hitherto not been disclosed to the public.
The publication of these TTIP documents provides citizens with an unfiltered insight into the negotiations between the U.S. and Europe. Ever since the start of negotiations three years ago, the public could only try to guess what both sides were discussing, which has prompted millions of people to take to the streets in protest of TTIP. While the EU is making its suggestions publicly available, the U.S. insists on keeping their stances on issues secret. Washington utilizes this tactic to ensure a larger scope for negotiations. The disclosure of these 16 TTIP negotiation papers finally offers a fuller transparency for the 800 million people spread over two continents whose lives will be affected by the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history.…The Trojan horse:
Washington has also set its sights on controversial genetically modified foods that are mostly prohibited within the Europe Union. Both sides have often stressed up until now that the U.S. will respect European concerns in this matter, and that Europe’s citizens do not have to be worried about this issue. But the confidential material paints a very different picture of the situation. “It is really quite interesting to see the demands the U.S. has made,” says Klaus Müller, chairman of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, while evaluating the documents. “Perusing the documents has shown that nearly all of our fears regarding the U.S.’ TTIP intentions for the food market have been proven to be justified.”
The U.S., for example, demands that statutory prohibitions on products to protect human health should only be allowed to be passed if it has been scientifically proven that these products really are harmful. The EU bans products such as hormone-treated meat or genetically modified food as a precautionary measure if only the slightest hint of risk emerges, whereas the U.S. only bans them if people have already been harmed as a result of consuming said products.…
Another serious point of contention is legislative cooperation. Both the U.S. and Europe gave the impression that they were mostly in agreement regarding legislative regulation.
But the negotiation papers suggest something very different. While the EU stresses its right to legislative self-determination in the documents, the U.S. wants to severely curtail the scope of European legislators in regards to economic decisions where it has demonstrated in several suggestions it has made. One example is the demand formulated by the U.S. that “each Party shall maintain procedures that promote the consideration of the following factors when conducting a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) for a regulation.” Namely, this means that the EU is supposed to introduce a process that will evaluate “the need for a proposed regulation” in conjunction with an analysis of “the anticipated costs and benefits (quantitative, qualitative, or both) of such alternatives.”
“It will severely complicate legislation in environmental and consumer matters should the Americans assert themselves in this matter,” says Markus Krajewski, Professor of Public Law in Erlangen, in regard to the currently published suggestions made by the U.S..
U.S. legislation is fundamentally different than that of the EU. In the EU, for example, the use of 1,308 various chemicals in cosmetics is prohibited in light of suspicions that they may be carcinogenic. The responsible U.S. authority on the other hand, according to consumer protection organizations, prohibits no more than exactly 11 substances.The US has a strange interpretation of "freedom" and "self-determination," revealing paradoxes of liberalism resulting from failure to integrate and balance social, political, and economic liberalism by prioritizing economic liberalism.
Economic liberalism (free market fundamentalism) is incompatible with political liberalism (democracy as government of, by and for the people).
The American version of "liberalism" is elite rule. First US Chief Justice John Jay's political preference, "Those who own the country ought to governed the country," has morphed into, "Those who own the world ought to govern the world."
TTIP Documents Revealed
Alexander Hagelüken and Alexander Mühlauer
ht Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism
Greenpeace Leak Exposes Big EU-US Rifts, US Thuggishness, in TTIP “Trade” Negotiations
For all those who said that we were scaremongering and that the EU would never allow this to happen, we were right and you were wrong.Independent (UK)
IndependentAfter the leaks today showing just what it really stands for, this could be the end for TTIP
ht Lord Keyes at Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
Expect firestorm to ensue, followed by official denials.