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Merkel’s doubts on TTIP ‘hugely significant’ – Quinlivan

17 November, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan has said that comments today from Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) cannot be concluded are “hugely significant”.

TTIP, a free trade deal being negotiated by the United States and the European Union, is a cause of huge concern owing to the potentially catastrophic consequences for Irish jobs and exports. 

Deputy Quinlivan said: 

“TTIP is not a good deal for Ireland. It was shrouded in secrecy from the beginning and today’s comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel should be a wakeup call to the Irish Government that their efforts to support both TTIP and CETA and denigrate those of us who are opposed to these bad deals are clearly failing.

“The Government, Fine Gael in particular, and many business organisations are unfortunately some of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders of these proposed deals. They championed the supposed benefits whilst scaremongering to deflect from the very real concerns that people in Ireland and across Europe have. 

“Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes a few months ago called on US and EU negotiators to finalise TTIP ‘as quickly as possible’ before what he termed ‘populists’ influenced the debate on the controversial trade deal.

“Sinn Féin, along with many trade unions, farmers’ organisations, and other interest groups, have had huge concerns about TTIP and its implications for wider Europe, but particularly for Ireland.

“A European Commission impact assessment study on the TTIP trade agreement with the US confirmed fears many people had the about the devastating impact of TTIP on the Irish beef sector, jobs across Ireland and the EU, public health and climate change.

“The Irish state was specifically warned in this report to expect a severe decline in our beef industry, with associated job losses, due to the unfair competition from industrial-scale US agriculture that TTIP would bring about.

“The report also stated that human right to health in Europe would be threatened by TTIP, particularly for the most disadvantaged communities and individuals, which is also gravely concerning. 

“Sinn Féin will remain vigilant on both TTIP and the similar CETA deal with Canada. The Seanad recently rejected CETA and we will ramp up our campaign in the coming months, to ensure both these deals which have brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets across Europe are defeated.” 

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