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EU Commission continues to ignore concerns with US trade deal - Carthy

13 November, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has criticised the European Commission after it this week formally submitted a 'new' proposal to the US for a chapter on investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the TTIP trade agreement. 

Mr Carthy said,

"The Commission has officially presented its proposal on the Investment Court to the US. This 39 page proposal expands on the key elements of the original announcement on 16th September however; it is simply a new version of ISDS cosmetic reform.It still effectively provides corporations with a taxpayer underwritten risk insurance should governments feel the need to protect labour rights, the environment, vital public services or vulnerable sectors such as agriculture.

"The Commission cites the 15 permanent judges as the main big change. However the dangers of the whole system for the public haven't changed. This ‘new’ system retains almost all of the major problems with ISDS.  The Commission also cites the fact that this is a specialised court as a big difference. This is also a hollow promise as there will be no oversightwhatsoever of this court.  It will remain exclusively available to corporations.  Our existing courts are a lot more qualified to deal with conflicts of interest between an investor and the public than a tribunal of specialised investment lawyers.

"There has also been a rhetorical shift by framing the new structure as beneficial "particularly where the claimant is an SME" but the Commission describe a SME as any enterprise with up to 10,000 employees. Hardly "small"!

"The European Commission received the biggest ever response to one of its consultations when it asked the people of Europe whether they wanted ISDS. The response was unequivocal: 97% of people rejected the system.

"By regurgitating old schemes and branding them as 'new', the Commission is just emphasising its lack of respect for European citizens and consequently losing whatever creditability it had left."

ENDS

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