Podcast: Dr Gabriel Siles-Brugge talks about the background to TTIP
Dr Gabriel Siles-Brugge, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, talks about the background to TTIP at University of Manchester Policy Week 2014. In this podcast he gives a historical backdrop running up to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, detailing trade agreements and policies which add context to the current proposals.
His research and teaching interests sit at the interface of European and International Political Economy, where he focuses on issues relating to trade and development politics (including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), the EU’s role as a global actor, constructivism and responses to the Financial and Eurozone Crises:
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. Proponents say the agreement would result in multilateral economic growth, suggesting the project aims to “create a free market encompassing the 800 million peoples of Europe and America, potentially boosting collective GDP by £180bn.”
Critics such as George Monbiot suggest that it is “a monstrous assault on democracy” by institutions, “which have been captured by the corporations they are supposed to regulate”. As a piece of legislation, it would allow a covert panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections.
In 2014 a proposed draft was leaked in 2014,[http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/eu-kommission-position-in-den.pdf]. This resulted in the European Commission launching a public consultation in January 2015 for which they published questions and answers [http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1233].
A coalition of digital rights organisations and other groups issued a declaration in 2013 in which they called on the negotiating partners to have the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership “debated in the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, national parliaments, and other transparent forums” instead of conducting “closed negotiations that give privileged access to corporate insiders”, and to leave intellectual property out of the agreement.
It has been suggested that the agreement would threaten the sovereignty of the signatory states. The European side of the negotiations has been aiming for the agreement to include a section on the regulation of financial services; but this is being resisted by the American side, which has recently passed the Dodd-Frank Act in this field.
The Dodd-Frank Act has been referred to as having an ‘Eddie Murphy Rule’ among provisions in Dodd-Frank. Gensler cited the movie “Trading Places” to explain why such an expansion of the law should occur. In the film, the confidential Department of Agriculture “crop report” on orange crop forecasts was intercepted, and used it to short sell and corner the orange juice futures market before the report was publicly announced.
You can hear another podcast on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership given by Professor Clive George: