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Official EU report on TTIP confirms fears on Irish beef and jobs – Carthy

14 May, 2016

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said the official European Commission impact assessment study on the TTIP trade agreement with the US confirms fears about the drastic impact on Irish beef and jobs.

The 394-page impact assessment, commissioned by the European Commission two-and-a-half years ago, was released on Friday.

Matt Carthy said:“This report confirms our worst fears 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 is 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 will bring about.

“The report states that the human right to health in Europe will be threatened by TTIP, particularly for the most disadvantaged communities and individuals.

“It expects TTIP to contribute directly to rising consumption of unhealthy products and consequent levels of obesity and diabetes and other health problems.”

The Sinn Féin MEP continued:

“Of extreme concern is the expected impact on the environment and climate change, with the report calculating that TTIP will lead to a major increase in carbon emissions, of over 21 million tonnes – flying in the face of the carbon emission reduction targets set by the EU and the climate conference in Paris last year.

“The study also predicts between one and two million jobs will be ‘displaced’ in the EU and US, with the majority being lost in the EU.

“Unfortunately it appears that the assessment continues to use the same flawed economic modelling on job losses that was used in the Commission’s CEPR and the Irish government-commissioned Copenhagen Economics report.

"The Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model contains the simplistic and false assumption that, after trade liberalisation, all growing sectors of the economy will absorb the job losses of the sectors that shrink due to international competition. That is why they use the term ‘labour displacement’ as opposed to ‘job losses’.

"Beyond the technical jargon, what this means is that the Copenhagen report and other pro-TTIP reports assume that an agricultural worker in the Midlands can just immediately step into a new job in an information technology company in Dublin, for example. Common sense, as well as the research on previous free trade deals, tells us that this is not the case.

“But impact assessments carried out using the alternative and more reliable United Nations Global Policy Model have alarming results that make it clear we are not talking about jobs being displaced, but lost.

“Leaving the flawed modelling aside, the fact is that this latest impact assessment predicts a much higher level of job losses or displacement in Europe than even the previous officially commissioned CEPR study.

“Overall this report is a damning indictment of the impact TTIP will have across Ireland and in Europe.

"The European Commission should put the interests of its own citizens first and immediately suspend these negotiation which will lead to disastrous results for our workers, industries, health and climate.”ENDS

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