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Oireachtas Members need to be more vigilant in relation to TTIP – Carthy

29 January, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking today at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy has called on members of the committee to increase their vigilance as the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks continue.

Carthy said:

“The Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations are an area that I have made a priority since becoming elected as an MEP.

“Unlike many countries across Europe, Ireland is quite unique in that it has not included an ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) mechanism in any of its bilateral trade agreements.

“However, even in countries that have previously included an ISDS mechanism, there is considerable opposition and concern regarding the ISDS proposal contained in TTIP.

“In light of the fact that there is such concerns and the fact that Ireland has relatively little experience of ISDS it is of concern that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, along with 13 of his European counterparts, signed a letter supporting the ISDS mechanism without recourse to the Oireachtas.

“It is ironic that we bemoan the fact that the European Institutions are not answerable to Irish Parliaments yet it appears that in some cases even the Minister can limit the level of his accountability.

“In my view, there are two key aspects to Trade negotiations in general – tariffs and standards. There are relatively little tariffs in place between the EU and the US and therefore it would appear, despite reassurances from the Commission, that standards will be the focus of negotiations.

“In light of this, it is important that we work to ensure that critical sectors to Ireland, such as Agriculture and employment are not negatively impacted and that the best possible deal is secured.

“I welcome the fact that the Chairperson of this Committee has committed to further discussions on this issue as the talks progress, with the inclusion of the Irish MEPs and I look forward to engaging with the Committee to ensure that the interests of Ireland are protected.”

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