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News > World

TTIP Leak Proves Worst Fears Are True

  • Protesters demonstrate against the TTIP free trade agreement ahead of Barack Obama's visit in Hanover.

    Protesters demonstrate against the TTIP free trade agreement ahead of Barack Obama's visit in Hanover. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 May 2016

"Hard-won environmental progress is being bartered away behind closed doors," said Faiza Oulahsen, campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands.

The leaked 13 of 17 chapters of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, published Monday, reveals major compromises by Europe to secure contracts with multinationals that threaten both health and the environment.

6 Shocking Reasons Why TTIP Should Scare Us All

"We have long warned that TTIP is a danger to democracy, food safety, jobs and public services," said John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, in a press release. "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."

Greenpeace announced Sunday that it would leak 248 pages of classified documents that proved the huge TTIP free trade deal between the United States and the European Union poses "major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety."

The draft covers a range of issues from telecoms to food and agriculture to trade barriers.

Leak Confirms Fears: TTIP Is Huge US Threat to EU's Sovereignty

"These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the center of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health," said Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss.

In Europe, in particular there is deep suspicion that TTIP will erode social and consumer protections to the advantage of big business.

Greenpeace says the confidential documents prove that long-standing environmental protections are being ignored and claims there is no mention at all in the proposed text of global goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The group also says the U.S. wants the EU to drop its so-called "precautionary principle" under which products that may be harmful are banned. The United States, on the other hand, refuses to accept any concessions.

: EU's-Regulatory Sovereignty Affected by TTIP

Instead, the less strict U.S. approach "that aims to manage hazardous substances rather than avoid them, finds its way into various chapters," according to Greenpeace.

Civil society organizations have repeatedly criticized the deal for being negotiated behind closed doors, without integrating public input.

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a joint pitch for the TTIP, saying the pact could spur much-needed economic growth.

But President Francois Hollande warned that France would reject the pact if it endangered the country's agricultural sector Sunday. Over 3.4 million European citizens have also signed a petition to kill the trade deal.

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