Germany’s Finance Minister has put the controversial TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) free trade agreement between the USA and the European Union back on the agenda.
In an interview published in Germany, Christian Lindner called for new talks on the free trade agreement Handelsblatt newspaper yesterday. It is the latest sign of how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has revived and cemented loosening ties between Western democracies.
TTIP has largely been on hold since 2016 because then US President Donald Trump was elected against free trade on an “America First” platform.
But it was also controversial in Europe, including in Ireland, where issues such as US food producers’ access to domestic markets raised fears over food standards and farm prices.
Across Europe, many politicians had warned that they would oppose any version of TTIP that includes a controversial investor protection mechanism known as Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
The clause would allow disputes between companies and governments to be decided outside the jurisdiction of national courts.
Supporters say that bridging an agreement across legal systems is a necessary condition, while opponents see it as undermining the power of individual states to impose restrictions on large companies or enforce laws such as those on labor standards or environmental conditions.
TTIP is primarily an agreement to reduce tariffs and regulatory trade barriers between the US and EU countries.
In 2015, Ibec’s Danny McCoy estimated that a deal could boost Ireland’s gross domestic product by around 2 per cent – double the EU average – and research found that a comprehensive trade deal with the US would create up to 10,000 additional jobs.
“We should resume negotiations on a transatlantic free trade agreement. Especially now, in the (Ukraine) crisis, it is becoming clear how important free trade is with partners all over the world who share our values,” said Lindner, Finance Minister of Europe’s largest economy Handelsblatt.
It is unclear to what extent such talks are supported in Europe. Some officials have spoken out in favor of reopening, while others have been more cautious.
Germany’s finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/business/germany-wants-ttip-free-trade-deal-between-eu-and-us-back-on-the-agenda-41468749.html Germany wants to put the TTIP free trade agreement between the EU and the USA back on the agenda