Leaked Documents Reveal TTIP Free Trade Agreement Would Undermine Climate, Environment, Consumer Protections

Posted July 20, 2016

MP3 Interview with Ben Beachy, senior policy adviser with the Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program, conducted by Scott Harris


Among the free trade deals being negotiated by the U.S. in the remaining months of Barack Obama’s presidency are the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, and the less well known, but equally controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP. TTIP if ratified, will create the world’s largest free-trade zone. But with Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the future of TTIP is now in doubt, as the conservative government of outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron had been an important ally of the U.S. in EU trade negotiations.

After the 13th round of TTIP negotiations in May, Greenpeace Netherlands leaked 248 pages of classified documents covering two-thirds of the areas discussed at the secret trade talks. Critics of the trade deal say the documents reveal that if ratified, TTIP could lower EU standards in areas such as the environment and public health by giving U.S. companies the right to lobby the EU to make sure regulations do not stand in the way of U.S. corporate profits. Specific concerns relate to the possible erosion of EU regulations on climate change, food labeling and approval of dangerous chemicals and pesticides, a claim denied by U.S. and EU trade negotiators.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Ben Beachy, senior policy adviser with the Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program, who discusses his group's concern about the leaked documents and what they reveal about Washington’s apparent goal to weaken environmental and climate protections. He also talks about the Sierra Club's view that the U.S. should develop a new model for trade that prioritizes the protection of working families and the environment over corporate profits.

For more information, see the Sierra Club Statement on Leaked Transatlantic Trade Deal Text at content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2016/05/sierra-club-statement-leaked-transatlantic-trade-deal-text.

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