The U.K Independent is reporting that a massive 800 page leak (sourced to Greenpeace activists) of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) may doom the ongoing negotiations.
Interestingly, the aspect that seems most troubling to Europe has nothing to do with actual economic trade, but rather insufficient climate change rules/regulations.
[…] They indicate that the US is looking strongly to change regulation in Europe to lessen the protections on the environment, consumer rights and other positions that the EU affords to its citizens. Representatives for each side appear to have found that they have run into “irreconcilable” differences that could undermine the signing of the landmark and highly controversial trade deal, campaigners say.
For instance, the papers show that the US is looking to weaken the EU’s “precautionary principle” that governs how potentially harmful products are sold, Greenpeace says. The US has much weaker regulation that aims to minimise rather than avoid risks, and that same less strict regime could come to the UK and Europe under the deal.
If the EU made further changes to similar regulations, it would have to inform the US and corporations based there, according to the documents. American companies would then be able to have the same input into EU regulation as European ones do.
There are also notable missing parts of the agreement. None of the texts includes any reference to the global effort to cut CO2 emissions agreed in Paris last year, according to Greenpeace, despite a commitment from the European Commission that it would make environmental sustainability a key part of any deal. (read more)
This reality underscores the problem with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently sitting in the Senate. These deals are not as much about trade, they are about increasing globalization and governmental control over peoples lives.