Greenpeace has leaked hundreds of pages from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
The TTIP is a bi-lateral trade agreement between the EU and US that aims to reduce regulatory barriers to trade, including food safety regulations, banking regulations, environmental legislation and the sovereign power of individual nations. The agreement is designed to support business in the EU and the US, but it would particularly benefit US corporations trading in Europe, where the economy is generally more regulated.
However, there has been a broad array of objections to the TTIP, including the consequences for food safety and the environment, the risks of removing restrictions on bankers that were put in place after the financial crisis, unemployment as jobs move to the US, and the further breaking up of public services such as the UK’s NHS by opening them up to US companies.
Detractors also perceive a threat to democracy through the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which would allow companies to sue governments for policies that result in a loss of profits.
The negotiations have been happening largely in secret. But the leaked documents publicly reveal certain details for the first time, such as that American companies would have as much input in EU regulation as Europeans, while no mention at all is made of global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
However, negotiations could be on the brink of collapse, according to campaigners, especially following this leak.