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;
· increasing access to services and government
procurement markets by foreign providers.
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.
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 servicesin particular the NHSand 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.
- 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.
Oral Evidence taken before the European Scrutiny Committee on
26 February 2015 HC (2014-15)1084 Back