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European Parliament sends a strong pro-TTIP message

28 May 2015

European Parliament sends a strong pro-TTIP message

The European Parliament has sent a welcome strong message that all issues are open to negotiation between the EU and USA as it seeks to find agreement on a game-changing trade and investment partnership.

The European Parliament has sent a welcome strong message that all issues are open to negotiation between the EU and USA as it seeks to find agreement on a game-changing trade and investment partnership.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group trade spokesman Emma McClarkin welcomed the parliament’s decision and particularly its decision not to lay down red lines on investor protection at this early stage. An amendment had been tabled by left wing MEPs seeking to demand that an investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) clause be ruled out of any agreement. The rejection of the amendment was supported by Ms McClarkin who believes that European investors must be able to ensure non-discriminatory treatment in the US, and with a proposal on the table to reform ISDS so that it is more transparent and includes additional safeguards, any refusal to consider it is premature.

Although the parliament’s adoption of a strongly pro-TTIP position is not binding on the negotiators, the parliament must give consent to any eventual deal.

Ms McClarkin is now urging the European Commission and the US Trade Rep to take this vote as a signal to redouble their efforts.

She said: “This vote has injected a dose of caffeine into TTIP negotiations.

“The parliament is right not to take investor protection off the table at this early stage. This resolution should be about telling the USA what we do want in a balanced and ambitious agreement, not setting down red lines that risk scuppering the talks. ISDS needs to be reformed and we should give those reforms a chance before ruling out any form of ISDS in this agreement when there are already 1400 ISDS clauses in EU Member States’ bilateral investment treaties.

“TTIP is worth far too much to our economy and to everybody’s pocket for us to let it fail. This agreement is not just about the wider issues of growth, jobs and investment but it would have tangible benefits too such as an estimated 17 percent saving on the price of shoes, 12 percent on jeans and even 30 percent on sweets.

“We will continue to push for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that will benefit people across Europe. We cannot begin to seriously grow Europe’s economy without opening up for trade, and this agreement would show the world that we mean business.”

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