Threats of the Trans-Atlantic 'Trade' Deal to Americans' Daily Lives
By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
A “trade” deal only in name, the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which corporate proponents have tried to rebrand as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), would require the United States and European Union (EU) to conform domestic food and product safety standards, financial regulations, climate policies, data privacy protections and other non-trade policies to TAFTA rules – rules being negotiated in secret.
These backdoor negotiations could also force state and local governments to weaken health and safety standards and give up long-standing tools for local job creation. With national politics gridlocked, this is not the time to tie the hands of state and local governments searching for ways to spur economic growth.
Equally troubling, corporate trade advisors are working to empower foreign corporations to skirt domestic courts and directly challenge national, state and local policies before extrajudicial tribunals that can force taxpayers to pay tens of millions of dollars if they decide the policies violate the prospective agreement’s sweeping corporate protections.
TAFTA negotiations focus on demands by large corporations on both sides of the Atlantic to remove consumer and environmental safeguards that they dub as “trade irritants.” TAFTA rules are being negotiated behind closed doors. About 600 official U.S. corporate trade advisors are being provided access to documents and decision-makers, while the public and press are locked out.