Extracts of leaked TTIP documents projected onto the Reichstag building in Berlin
image: Daniel Müller/Greenpeace
By Andrew Butler
May 2, 2016
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a massive trade deal between the US and EU. Years in the making, negotiated in secret and the subject of massive protests throughout Europe and the United States; the deal threatens to undermine democratic processes, weaken legislation around environmental protection, workers rights and consumer safety and give unprecedented power to corporations that would allow them to sue governments over legislation that undermined profits.
Today Greenpeace Netherlands leaked a huge cache of the TTIP negotiating documents that reveal the true extent of what is at stake and confirm the worst fears of those who have been opposing the deal.
Executive Director of Greenpeace Netherlands, Sylvia Borren, says:
These documents make clear the scale and scope of the trade citizens of the United States and the European Union are being asked to make in pursuit of corporate profits. It is time for the negotiations to stop, and the debate to begin.
Should we be able to act when we have reasonable grounds to believe our health and wellbeing is at risk, or must we wait until the damage is done?
Were our governments serious in Paris when they said they would do what was necessary to protect the planet, and keep climate change under 1.5 degrees?
Environmental protection should not be seen as a barrier to trade, but as a safeguard for our health, and the health of future generations.
We call on citizens, civil society, politicians and businesses to engage in this debate openly and without fear. We call on the negotiators to release the latest, complete text to facilitate that discussion, and we ask that the negotiations be stopped until these questions, and many more have been answered. Until we can fully engage in a debate about the standards we and our planet need and want
Reacting the leak Global Justice Now trade campaigner Guy Taylor remarked:
These leaks confirm what millions of people across Europe have suspected all along - that this toxic trade deal is essentially an enormous corporate power grab. TTIP is proposing to open the door even wider for corporations to influence decision making processes, and this would have a disastrous impact on vital laws protecting public health, the environment and labour rights.
“It’s disgraceful that despite the fact TTIP would have such a profound impact on the lives of people across Europe, the only way that people get to know about these disturbing details is through leaks like these. TTIP is being cooked up behind closed doors because when ordinary people find out about the threat it poses to democracy and consumer protections, they are of course opposed to it.
“It’s no secret that the negotiations have been on increasingly shaky ground. Millions of people across Europe have signed petitions against TTIP, and hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to call for an end to the negotiations. These leaks should be seen as another nail in the coffin of a toxic trade deal that corporate power is unsuccessfully trying to impose on ordinary people and our democracies.
War on Want is another group who have been campaigning against TTIP, Executive Director John Hilary stated:
We have long warned that TTIP is a danger to democracy, food safety, jobs and public services. Now we see it is even worse than we feared. Today's leak shows the European Commission preparing to sell us down the river, doing deals behind closed doors that will change the face of European society for ever. It is simply unacceptable that a group of unelected officials should be allowed to contemplate such a thing without any public scrutiny."
Today marks the end of TTIP. Total secrecy was the only way the European Commission could keep the European people from learning the truth about these appalling negotiations, and now the cat is out of the bag. We call on the governments of Europe to halt the TTIP talks immediately, disband the EU negotiating team and hold a public inquiry into how such a damaging set of negotiations was ever allowed to get this far.
Last year Wikileaks put out a call for the TTIP negotiating documents to be leaked, making this video explaining the historical context for TTIP:
For more information and to view the leaked documents visit www.ttip-leaks.org