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Excerpt: "Europe's fears over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are not abating, while America is beginning to show signs of impatience."

These protesters in Japan aren't happy with the massive proposed trade deal. (photo: Getty Images)
These protesters in Japan aren't happy with the massive proposed trade deal. (photo: Getty Images)


ALSO SEE: Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trade Deal Obama and the GOP Both Love, Explained

French Government Refuses to Sign TTIP Agreement in 2015

By Cécile Barbière and Anne-Claude Martin, EurActiv

18 November 14

 

Matthias Fekl, France's Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, has made it clear that France will not support the inclusion of the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) in a potential TTIP agreement. The ISDS is a point of heated debate between the EU and the United States. EurActiv France reports.

urope’s fears over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are not abating, while America is beginning to show signs of impatience. Europe and the United States have reached a standoff in the TTIP negotiations, over the question of the Investor State Dispute Settlement.

This mechanism could give companies the opportunity to take legal action against a state whose legislation has a negative impact on their economic activity.

"France did not want the ISDS to be included in the negotiation mandate," Matthias Fekl told the French Senate. "We have to preserve the right of the state to set and apply its own standards, to maintain the impartiality of the justice system and to allow the people of France, and the world, to assert their values," he added.

German opposition to the ISDS mechanism is also very strong. The German Minister for Economic Affairs has often expressed his support for the trade deal with the United States, on the condition that it does not include the ISDS.

The disagreement over the ISDS has caused negotiations to stall. "The year 2014 did not see any great advances in the transatlantic agreement," Fekl said during a speech to the French Senate.

In Brussels, the EU's position on the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism became clear after the appointment of the new team of EU Commissioners.

In his speech to the European Parliament on 22 October, the new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he would not accept any external limitations being placed on the member states' ability to settle their own industrial disputes.

Negotiators from the United States are trying to move the talks forward, despite reluctance from the European Union.

During a visit to the European Parliament’s October plenary session in Strasbourg, Anthony Luzzatto Gardner, from the United States' mission to the EU, insisted that the ISDS was an important clause in the TTIP negotiations.

"Our message to the people of Europe is not to remove it from the table, but to conclude the discussion process and to improve it," he said.

A bad signal

"Removing the ISDS from the negotiations would give off a very bad signal. It would clear the way for the removal of other chapters of the negotiations," he added.

The American negotiators are beginning to show frustration at the demonisation of these arbitration tribunals. "Investor State Dispute Settlements have never been, and will not be, a way for businesses to challenge legislation they do not agree with," an American negotiator said in Paris.

The next cycle of negotiations is due to take place in December.

National parliaments remain vigilant

The European Commission's mandate for the TTIP negotiations was set by the member states, and the American negotiators will have to satisfy not only the Commission, but also the national parliaments of the EU if an agreement is to be reached.

In France, Matthias Fekl reminded the Senate that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership was "a mixed agreement". "It is the parliamentarians who will have the last word when the agreement is finalised,” he said, adding “I don't think will be any time soon".

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+31 # indian weaver 2014-11-18 15:13
For once, the EU displays sanity, however briefly. Pray for the collapse of the TTIP discussions. Europeans have not yet decided to kiss Obama's ass right into their grave of their own making.
 
 
+25 # Buddha 2014-11-18 15:50
What I find ironic is how the GOP, despite always going on and on about "sovereignty" (to the point of being against the UN and even opposing the international treaty for the disabled that was modeled on our own Americans with Disabilities Act), has been conveniently silent as Obama negotiates away our sovereignty for corporate/Wall St. enrichment in the TPP and TTIP. If the GOP leadership truly believed in "sovereignty" as much as they proclaimed, they would be screaming to everyone about Obama and the Dems screwing over our country on these bills...but they don't, do they? One more bit of proof, if any was needed at this point, that we are a complete Oligarchy/Corpo ratocracy, and both political parties have become bought-and-paid -for tools.
 
 
+8 # wrknight 2014-11-19 07:22
It's corporate sovereignty they believe in Buddha. Not national sovereignty.
 
 
+20 # bckrd1 2014-11-18 16:49
The more I read and learn about this treaty the more I agree this is not good legislation for the people of any country considering the monsters that are the greedy corporations these days.

I am glad and a bit heartened to read of the strong objections to this and I hope it cascades into a resounding no thus killing it.

I also hope that the idiots in the Senate do not approve the KXL thus making the taxpayer liable for any damage from anything involved with this. It just shows you we really are stupid because we keep electing people willing to harm us for a buck.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2014-11-19 06:33
The Dems can't even get a filibuster of this fucking pipeline...they will all vote for it because "the economists all say free trade is inevitable". Problem is all of the economists are working for big business. They don't make money working against them. All of their theories are full of holes you could drive a Mack truck through and if you bring it up they fall back on "but I teach at MIT".
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2014-11-18 23:04
The same old suspects shoving the same old "Fuck you all -we aren't rich enough yet", as if we just loved "SHAFT-YOU" and GUTT".
Does anybody remember back in the bad old days, Billy-Bob Clinton leading a living Presidential cheerleader session, including disappointingly , even Jimmy Carter, on the owner-media TV, to explain why we just HAVE to love NAFTA?
And the subsequent great critical mass in Seattle, when the leading financial lights of the G-whatever number it was then, were locked in their ivory castles?
I just wish they'd stop using and abusing the term "Free Trade", simply another tightening of the noose that chokes free anything under another seemingly fair cloak, like "Americans for Prosperity" (For a FEW).
Let the Fragmented States "get impatient" -it might bring a few of them back to life.
 
 
+14 # tedrey 2014-11-19 04:45
"This [Investor State Dispute Settlement] mechanism could give companies the opportunity to take legal action against a state whose legislation has a negative impact on their economic activity."

BUT

'""Investor State Dispute Settlements have never been, and will not be, a way for businesses to challenge legislation they do not agree with," an American negotiator said in Paris.'

They think we can't read? They think we can't think?
 
 
+5 # RLF 2014-11-19 06:29
So we can't have our elected representative pass a law that effects a corp. Rights of business over the rights of citizenship! This is evil at it's most evil. Obama is a bum! He is a republican! He sucks!
 
 
+12 # Gooshlem 2014-11-19 06:55
Nobody's country should be governed by people they have not elected. Who elected the corporations to run our country?

NAFTA, TPP & TTIP all give the power over our lives (environment, workers safety, wages etc) to unelected entities!
 
 
+9 # wrknight 2014-11-19 07:27
Quoting Gooshlem:
Who elected the corporations to run our country?
Two thirds of the voters who didn't bother to vote earlier this month and those who did vote but sit on the upper part of their anatomy and think with the lower part.
 
 
0 # tedrey 2014-12-03 11:02
But what candidates were we offered that would stand against the corporations? The few who have done so we did manage to reelect, but the candidates for both parties were pretty solidly corp-kissers.
 

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