Brussels, 29 September 2014 – The seventh round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the EU and the USA will be taking place in Washington DC this week.
TTIP is an international agreement to facilitate trade between the EU and US. This aims to remove duties and regulatory barriers to trade for a wide range of goods and services, including chemicals, cosmetics, food, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products, textiles and clothing. Since May 2013, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) has signed three joint letters with over 150 organisations around the world outlining our concerns about TTIP.
HCWH are deeply concerned by the following three issues:
1) Inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism
This entitles foreign companies to compensation if the regulatory environment is not predictable and interferes with investment expectations. ISDS has been used to challenge the creation of health and safety regulations in other countries, effectively jeopardizing public interest. See our joint position on ISDS.
2) Proposals for 'regulatory cooperation'
This can easily result in regulation by the lowest common denominator as environmental and safety standards in the EU are different from those in the USA. Any convergence is likely to lower standards rather than raise them. We are concerned that cooperative measures would also prevent the creation of new legislation, especially measures to protect human health or the environment. See our joint position on regulatory cooperation.
3) Inclusion of chemicals within TTIP
The EU has done incredible work to create and implement REACH, the world's most progressive chemicals regulation. Such bold efforts to protect human health and the environment should not be washed away or weakened in the name of international trade. See our joint position on chemicals.
HCWH believes that these concerns must not be ignored in the course of TTIP negotiations. Such actions could have a grave impact on Europe's health and environment.