Economic and Monetary Affairs: To TTIP or to not TTIP

Posted by : Alex Shaw
Country : United States
Date : 20.05.2016
Profession : Graduate Student
From : Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Target institution : European Commission, United States Trade Representative
Problem status :

TTIP aims to "liberalize one-third of global trade," creating millions of new paid jobs. The Centre for Economic Policy Research estimates that 80% of the potential economic gains from the TTIP agreement depend on reducing the conflicts of duplication between EU and US rules. This will ensure that the United States and Europe remain "standard makers, rather than standard takers" in the global economy, subsequently ensuring that producers worldwide continue to gravitate towards joint US-EU standards (Bollyky, Thomas J. and Anu Bradford "Getting to Yes on Transatlantic Trade").

TTIP contenders see TTIP beneficial for Europe. John Bruton, former EU ambassador to the US, is one of those individuals. He argues for TTIP based on 6 points: 1. It would reduce the cost of regulation 2. It would help small and medium sized businesses to break into the transatlantic market 3. The US Federal, State and local government market would open to European tenders 4. It would help high tech start-up businesses on both sides by creating a single market of almost 1 billion consumers 5. It would help keep Britain in the EU 6. It would give a confidence boost to the global economy. ( (

TTIP contesters identified that rather than citizens, it’s much more likely that only big corporations will benefit from it: investors will be able to sue states, corporations will be invited to co-write new laws, big businesses might gain excessive influence on the secret negotiations, the negotiations are conducted in secret, food quality standards and consumer protection could be weakened, workers’ rights and jobs could be endangered, European countries would be falling under pressure to allow high-risk technologies such as fracking, TTIP would further increase inequalities, and liberalization and privatization would become one-way streets ( (

One challenge regarding TTIP is how to protect investor’s rights. Most commonly used globally is the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This would allow for multinational corporations to sue governments if their policy hurts their business as stated above. Last month, Green Peace released leaked documents of what has been negotiated for TTIP thus far. Although there is currently no Investor State Dispute Settlement provision included in the writing, people speculate that the US will bring it up again despite being dropped last year. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have threatened to block TTIP if ISDS is included in the final draft of the agreement. An investment court system (ICS) was proposed, but skeptics saw it as no different from ISDS.

The question is should ISDS, an alternative, or nothing at all be included in the TTIP for investor protection?

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