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TIPP-Leaks: Greenpeace reveals secret documents of EU-USA Trade Deal

The Dutch chapter of the environmental activist group Greenpeace leaked on Monday what it called a trove of documents from the talks over a proposed trade deal between the European Union and the United States. The documents, which were released in Berlin at 11 a.m., consist of 248 pages, or about two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, which were said to have been prepared sometime between the latest round of talks, in New York last week.

According to Greenpeace,

the documents indicate that American trade negotiators pressed their European counterparts to loosen important environmental, consumer protection and other provisions as part of the deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The revelations  could further complicate efforts to finalize the trade deal which began in July 2013.  The proposed deal, which President Obama would like to see finalized before he leaves office, has already received criticism on both sides of the Atlantic. The deal would cover a broad range of topics, including telecommunications, agricultural products, intellectual property and regulatory compatibility.

Greenpeace tippleaks

On Sunday evening, Greenpeace activists project documents on the Berlin Reichstag.

Greenpeace said the leaked documents revealed four major concerns about the Americans’ negotiating positions:

■ Efforts to weaken or loosen two longstanding clauses from global trade negotiations that are intended to protect “human, animal and plant life or health” and “the conservation of exhaustible natural resources”;

■ Inadequate protections for the climate;

■ A new, more lax approach to product regulation than the “precautionary principles” used by the European Union, which generally takes a stringent approach to product regulation;

■ Provisions that would give corporate lobbyists greater influence in decision-making.

“These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: T.T.I.P. would put corporations at the center of policy making, to the detriment of environment and public health,” Jorgo Riss, director of Greenpeace E.U., said on Monday. “We have known that the E.U. position was bad, now we see the U.S. position is even worse. A compromise between the two would be unacceptable.”

Although the documents were not released until Monday, they were shared in advance with several European publications.

EU reactions – newspapers

In Germany, the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the documents showed that the United States was threatening to prevent the easing of export controls on European cars in an attempt to compel Europe to buy more American agricultural products.

The French newspaper Le Monde, which has also reviewed the documents, said there were no signs that European negotiators were ready to make concessions, and that the documents did not suggest that the Europeans desire or need the deal more than the Americans do.

According to The Guardian, which reported that it was provided the leaked documents by Greenpeace, the documents reveal “irreconcilable” differences in several areas: the use of animal testing for cosmetics; efforts by the Americans to give corporations like BASF, Nestlé and Coca-Cola more say in trade talks; and, potentially, an effort to expand the number of genetically modified foods that are sold in Europe.

In general, opposition to genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s, tends to be stronger in Europe than in the United States.

EU Comissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom,  wrote a blog post on Monday to correct what she called “misconceptions” in news coverage of the leaks, adding that “many of today’s alarmist headlines are a storm in a teacup.” Malmstrom said of the documents, “They reflect each side’s negotiating position, nothing else.”

“It begs to be said, again and again,” she added. “No E.U. trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers, or food safety, or of the environment. Trade agreements will not change our laws on G.M.O.s, or how to produce safe beef, or how to protect the environment.”

US-Officials were not available to comment, so far.

Can these Leaks bring down the TIPP-Deal? I’m sure, the EU will try to bring up the pieces…

TIPP-Leaks Documents here to download

PS It’s not surprise that lobbyists make the laws, is it? Business profit and unethical “ethos” prevails, money talks. The rest is history and romanticism…

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  1. Congratulations Greenpeace!
    I am very glad you succeeded in revealing what appears more and more as the take over of the whole planet by «economy» which I think is a gigantic mistake.

  2. TTIP will lead to a complete erosion of social, labor and environmental rights in Europe and is nothing less than a neo-liberal takeover of a continent by corporations. While MEPs and activist organizations have no access to the negotiations, big corporations and their lobbyists have and are even ‘helping’ to write whole parts of it.

  3. For more information on TTIP and other lobbying and influencing of the EC by corporations and lobbyists see corporateeurope dot org. I hope KTG allows me to link to this organization cause they expose a lot of lobbying in the EU.