Lots of constituents get in touch with us about the TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US so we thought you might be interested in a quick update on what happened since the European Parliament adopted its position on the trade deal.
Talks between the European Commission and US administration are still ongoing, and the 11th round of the negotiations took place in Miami on 19-23 October. Thanks to a big push from citizens and civil society organisations, we were able to secure greater transparency from the Commission, which has published a detailed report of the negotiating round. The next round has been scheduled for February 2016. While negotiators are still officially planning to conclude TTIP before the US Presidential elections (November 2016), this looks like a very ambitious target considering that few of the most controversial issues have been discussed yet.
The Commission has started publishing on its website every single proposal made in the negotiations. Most recently, the Commission published a draft chapter to ensure that minimum labour rights and environmental standards are included in TTIP to prevent social and environmental dumping. It also published its proposal for a revised investment protection chapter without ISDS, as it was asked to do by MEPs.
Labour MEPs are not convinced that this new proposal called Investment Court System - or ICS - is much better than the old Investment-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that we strongly rejected in July. We are still in the process of analysing carefully the proposal to check if our concerns have been fully addressed, but we have already made it clear that if ICS turns out to be merely ISDS-lite then we won't be satisfied. If TTIP contains any kind of ISDS in the end you can count on us to vote against it.
Meanwhile, the US concluded another trade deal with 11 other countries of the Pacific Rim such as Japan and Australia: the Transpacific Trade Partnership or TPP. The full text of the agreement has been published. Sadly, this is not something over which MEPs or the UK government have any say as neither the EU nor the UK is part of this agreement. TPP contains an ISDS and sets very low standard in terms of labour rights. This makes it all the more important that we get these crucial elements right in any TTIP deal.
We keep working hard to address your concerns in EU trade deals. Please let us know if you want to know more about what's going on in Brussels and if you haven’t already you can sign up to our email newsletter at the bottom of this page.