In a recent development with multinational trade agreements, France threatened to walk out on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations this week. France is frustrated with the United States’ unwillingness to budge on issues, most notably the issue of secrecy within negotiations.
France’s junior trade minister, Matthias Fekl, is threatening “outright termination” of France’s involvement in the partnership, saying “total lack of transparency” in negotiations constitutes a “democratic problem.”
In an interview on Monday with French newspaper Sud-Ouest, Matthias Fekl said,
Europe has offered many compromises, in all areas, and has received no serious offers from the Americans in return. Neither for access to their public markets, nor for access to their agricultural and food markets, which remain closed.
According to Fekl, the United States must modify their position or face consequences. One of their main concerns is that the deal is highly secretive. According to Fekl, U.S. officials have access to more information than European officials and there is a serious lapse in communications.
He continued, “American members of parliament have access to a much higher number of documents than we do in Europe.”
“If nothing changes, that will show that there is no willingness to ensure a mutually beneficial negotiation process,” said Fekl. “France is examining all its options, including abandoning the negotiations all together.”
This is a secretive agreement made for corporate power at the expense of whatever stands in their way — an agreement protested by citizens — similar to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP).
Details of the TTP and TTIP are not only hidden from the public, but are even hidden from government officials involved in the deals. Talks for the TTIP began around 2013.
As described by Science & Business,
The grand aim of TTIP is to create greater regulatory harmonisation between the two blocs in areas such as car and drug safety testing, which would result in reduced costs for manufacturers.
Citizens who care about the environment are concerned about the removal of important E.U. environmental regulations and other harmful side effects of this sweeping corporate reevaluation of the laws.
It could be said that greater regulatory harmonization equates to greater influence from corporations on regulations that affect their business.
In any case, citizens of every country involved are concerned.
This article (France Threatens “Outright Termination” of TTIP Corporate Trade Negotiations) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Cassius Methyl and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].