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US Congress vote on TTIP is opportunity for Irish Government – Matt Carthy MEP

13 May, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Commenting on the decision of the US Congress yesterday (Tuesday), not to allow TTIP negotiations to be fast tracked by the White House, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy stated that the decision of the congress highlights the need for Governments to  retain the power to act in the best interests of their citizens.

Carthy said:

“The Trade Promotion Authority Bill voted on yesterday by the US congress essentially proposed that Congress give away its right to amend international trade deals for the next five years and limited the legislature’s influence on TTIP to a yes/no vote.

“The US congress rejected this proposal and retained the right to amend international trade agreements.

“Unfortunately, the Irish Government has not been as conscientious and has happily given a mandate to the unelected officials of the European Commission to negotiate the terms of  TTIP on our behalf and the European Parliament is restricted to a straight yes/no vote on the terms of the deal.

“In my view, the decision of the US congress yesterday means that the Irish Government has a new opportunity to set out clear parameters to ensure that Ireland’s interests are defended, particularly in sensitive areas such as beef and agriculture, which even the Government concedes are under threat from TTIP.

“The Irish Government must also make the exclusion of an ISDS mechanism a red line issue to the continuation of talks and make clear commitments that it will stand firm on Environment and Worker’s rights.

"The Government must use the ongoing period of TTIP negotiations to ensure that the interests of the Irish people are protected rather than acting as the PR agent for the European Commission."

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