Posted Jun. 21, 2013 / Posted by: Bill Waren
On July 8, in Washington, D.C., trade negotiators from the United States and the European Union are expected to open the first round of talks for a Trans Atlantic free trade agreement TAFTA or as it is formally known, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP. The United States is pushing for a transatlantic deal that not only integrates the trade policies of the U.S. and E.U., but also deregulates their economies.Because tariffs are already relatively low between the U.S. and Europe, TAFTA negotiations will instead focus on regulatory “barriers” to transatlantic trade and investment.[i] This may result in dangerous deregulation of environmental and public health safeguards – including those related to toxic chemicals, and will likely have a chilling effect on any future efforts to enact similar protections. Specifically, the E.U.’s more precautionary approach to chemicals management system should not be “harmonized down” to low U.S. standards.