No TTIP through the backdoor!”: Civil society organisations warn against risky concessions in EU-US trade talks

No TTIP through the backdoor!”: Civil society organisations warn against risky concessions in EU-US trade talks

More than 100 civil society organisations from across Europe denounce the European Commission’s statements on EU-US trade talks. Health and environment are put at risk to please Trump, they say.

Recent statements made by EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has spurred a strong reaction from civil society groups many of which campaigned against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Confronted with US demands to change EU rules on pesticide residues in food, chemical treatment of poultry (‘chlorinated chickens’), and GMO’s, the Commissioner said he will now seek solutions to such ‘regulatory barriers’.

A joint statement signed by more than 100 organisations from across Europe express concerns about this development that bodes ill for measures taken to protect standards, public health and the environment. Furthermore, they warn the Commission of challenging its own “European Green Deal”, including in areas such as pesticides.

“During the TTIP debate the European Commission tried to reassure European citizens they would not sell out on health and environment. Now it seems the Trump administration is successful with its threats to impose higher tariffs on cars. It is pathetic and unacceptable.”

“The European Commission is showing little regard for the mandate they have for these negotiations, and they show no interest in transparency. We need politicians and governments to put their foot down and stop this development.”

The statement is a call to member state governments, parliamentarians at the national level and members of the European Parliament to make the Commission retract its conciliatory statements to the US Administration. The signatories demand a guarantee that no concessions will be made that would weaken food standards and environmental protection.

The groups point out that the European Commission that the existing mandates for the negotiations leave no leeway for any discussions on standards related to food and agriculture. In addition to this, it is the belief of the 100+ civil society groups that the European Commission is entering into territory where they will meet little if any understanding in European societies, as they write in their statement :“EU citizens’ commitment to the precautionary approach was strongly confirmed during the public debate on TTIP – a trade agreement that would not have survived a democratic vote within the EU had it included concessions on the scale now demanded by the US.”


The statement and the list of signatories is available here

On Commissioner Hogan’s statements, see for instance New York Times, 16 January:

On US Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue’s statements, see her:

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