If successfully concluded, the EU-US free trade pact would be the largest the world has ever seen. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) is a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. Proponents say TTIP would bring jobs and growth to both economies, while critics argue that TTIP will only benefit corporations and will weaken the ability of governments to regulate markets.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Siegfried, who was concerned that European negotiators must get the best deal possible with the United States, one that respects consumer protection and labour rights. But what would such a deal look like in practice?
What would YOUR ideal EU-US trade deal look like? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who YOU support in the European Parliament!
The challenge with TTIP is that it would not only have huge impacts on our consumer and social standards, but also on the way culture is promoted in Europe. In the US most cultural events are privately funded, whereas in Europe, the state ensures the existence of a diverse landscape. TTIP threatens state subsidies for culture, because they are an obstacle to the free market access of US companies. We need to maintain cultural diversity and we do not need it to be the victim of TTIP.
A trade deal between the EU and the US must strengthen the global, rules-based system, and set global standards on the area of human and worker’s rights, consumer protection and the environment. For Europe, it is crucial that TTIP provides European companies, especially SMEs, more access to the American market, which is still closed in some areas. The US should also be more fair, or reciprocal, when it comes to procurement. A trade agreement must also look to the future. It needs to foster innovation and stimulate the trade and development of new and green technology. In the end, the most important aspect is that TTIP must create tangible results for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic. An ideal outcome would be a win-win.
I think the ideal trade deal with the United States would serve the interests of all the stakeholders. I mean, and I understand under stakeholders, of course, first of all European citizens, but also European consumers, European companies, and generally speaking European interests. Because we are not speaking only about economies and trade, we are speaking also about geopolitics, and we are speaking about who will shape the ongoing process of globalisation. And, of course, I think that this ideal trade deal should serve also citizens and consumers on the other side of the Atlantic; American industry, research and innovation, and in general I would say that this trade deal should serve the interests of Western civilization and Western society in a global contest which is not easy at all, which is a very sharp and very complicated global contest.
My ideal world is a world where we don’t have competitiveness. Instead, I think we have to move to a world that is more about ‘convergence’ than ‘competitiveness’. Instead of a ‘win-lose’ paradigm, where we always have to fight and where one partner is unsuccessful, we must try to move to a new world, a new way of life, where we are more convergent; we should move to a ‘win-win’ paradigm. And this is also the case in trade, because we always have competition, and we constantly sacrifice our trade partners, for example, to focus on another partner that is more strategic, but we don’t think about the people that are affected by these changes.
Curious to learn more about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP)? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger image):
IMAGE CREDITS: © European Union, 2015
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