trade-leaks.org by Netherlands
Trump deserves no praise on TPP withdrawal, Greenpeace
Brussels – Members of the European Parliament’s trade committee have endorsed a controversial EU-Canada trade and investment protection agreement (known as CETA), despite warnings that the deal could lead to a bonfire of environmental, health and social protection standards.
The EU committee vote took place a day after US president Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP).
Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said: “The trade committee’s recommendation is disappointing but not surprising. After years of indoctrination on this new breed of investment protection deal, many politicians are reluctant to stick their necks out. They label any criticism as a capitulation to populism, but an honest look at the evidence would force them to recognise that multinationals are gearing up for an assault on nature, on our health and on social rights. MEPs have one last chance in February to reject this corporate power grab. They should take it to protect the planet and the people who elected them.”
Empowered by trade and investment protection deals similar to CETA, companies are already suing states in special private tribunals over health and environmental safeguards that they see as barriers to trade. The government and companies of Canada are among the most litigious. They have a record of challenging European standards on dangerous chemicals (pdf), clean energy and food safety. Critics say that CETA is only expected to make this easier.
Leaked documents have shown that the EU is prepared to sacrifice safety standards to satisfy the trade demands of Canada and others.
The European Parliament’s plenary vote is expected in mid-February. If MEPs support CETA, national parliaments would still be required to ratify the deal before its full and final entry into force.
As European politicians struggle to ratify CETA, President Trump delivered on his election promise to withdraw the US from the TPP. Greenpeace warned he deserves no praise.
Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard said “The TPP was a bad idea and already dead in the water thanks to a massive movement of resistance from unions to environmentalists. Trump deserves no praise for bumbling onto the right side of this issue. While the TPP would have had devastating results for labour rights and the environment, Trump’s cabinet picks and policy proposals threaten to be equally detrimental for the wellbeing of the people and the planet.”
Greenpeace calls for a trade policy that puts the protection of people’s rights, good jobs and a healthy environment at its heart. New trade policies should work to benefit of everyone, not just a few privileged corporations.
Shira Stanton – Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser: +32 (0)477 790 415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, email@example.com
For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU