Nia Griffith MP and other MPs on the European scrutiny committee have recently met MEPs to discuss the concernsthey have about the EU -USA Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As Nia Griffith explained,
“Negotiations on this treaty are racing ahead behind closed doors with little opportunity for imput from national parliaments. We are demanding a more cautious approach and greater transparency. Whilst we can see the benefits of facilitating trade between the EU and the US, there are some very worrying aspects of TTIP that I raised with the MEPs. In particular I raised my concerns about the inclusion in the treaty of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism which would allow individual companies to sue states, if they act in a way that is judged to be breach the treaty. Furthermore, investor-state disputes would be settled by three arbitrators behind closed doors, with no appeal procedure, thus circumventing the usual legal options available. There are some horrifying examples of these investor-state disputes happening already….. The US tobacco company Philip Morris is currently suing Uruguay and Australia over their anti-smoking laws: the company argues that by introducing warning labels on cigarette packets and plain packaging, those states have prevented it displaying its trademark. In 2012 the Dutch insurer Achmea was awarded €22 million in compensation from Slovakia because in 2006, the Slovak government had reversed the health privatisation policies of the previous administration, and required health insurers to operate on a not-for-profit basis. You can see the threat to our NHS, and the way that big companies could bully governments into dropping legislation such as consumer or environmental protection. “