Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - Business, Innovation and Skills Contents

1  Introduction


1. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is an ambitious attempt by the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) to deliver a comprehensive trade and investment treaty. The main aims of the proposed Partnership are to increase trade and investment between the EU and the US through:

·  the reduction of tariffs;

·  aligning regulations and standards;

·  improving protection for overseas investors; and

·  increasing access to services and government procurement markets by foreign providers.[1]

2. International trade agreements with the European Union are negotiated by the European Commission. This Mandate is authorised by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The first round of negotiations between the EU and the US took place in July 2013 and the eighth round took place in the first week in February 2015. There are expected to be at least two further rounds in 2015, and it is hoped that a deal could be reached before the end of the year.[2]

3. Both the UK Government and the European Commission argue that TTIP can deliver significant economic benefits to the Member States of European Union. However, this is not universally supported. Organisations and campaign groups in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the EU have questioned the economic benefits of TTIP and argue that certain elements of the trade deal could result in significant economic and social detriment.

4. Our inquiry does not aim to cover the full detail of the TTIP negotiations. What we have tried to do is shed some light on those areas of specific interest to the wider public, namely the reported benefits and risks to the UK, the impact on public services—in particular the NHS—and the proposals to include Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses in the trade agreement. In addition, we comment on the quantity and quality of the information provided on TTIP both by those in favour of it and those who are campaigning against it.

5. In the course of the inquiry we held four evidence sessions and received a number of written submissions. A list of the contributors is contained in this Report.

  1. Although we are at the end of the present Parliament, the negotiations on TTIP will continue. We urge our successor Committee, when it is reconstituted, to continue to monitor the TTIP proposals and the negotiation process.

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2   Oral Evidence taken before the European Scrutiny Committee on 26 February 2015 HC (2014-15)1084 Back

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Prepared 25 March 2015