Nessa Childers MEP accused the EU Commission of undermining financial regulation in its negotiations with the US on a transatlantic trade agreement.
A leaked document reveals that, in last March’s round of negotiations with the US, the European Commission tabled ‘regulatory cooperation’ proposals that would weaken financial regulation.
The Commission proposals are meant to ensure that regulation on either side of the Atlantic is mutually recognised. Future rules would thus not affect market operators from the other side, allowing a European bank to operate in the USA under European rules, and vice-versa.
Speaking from Strasbourg today, Ms. Childers – who has raised serious concerns about the lack of transparency in the transatlantic trade deal negotiations – criticised the leaked proposal:
“This proposal from the Commission will give a competitive advantage to those hailing from the side with the lighter touch, which may well lead us down a regulatory race to the bottom.
“Interestingly the US authorities are the ones who have so far resisted this idea, out of concern that it will make it more difficult to regulate banks and tie their hands on future reforms.
“This is quite telling of the extent to which the Commission has been pandering to the European banking sector’s interests, with Wall Street also in favour of this approach over the American position.
“This leak does not bode well for what is being put on the table at the secretive transatlantic deal negotiations. If the Americans are rightly resisting this bad idea, what is the Commission willing to concede to persuade them?
“We know how the US multinationals would profit from the downgrading of EU labour, environmental and data protection standards.
“Such a bad deal will not pass muster with the progressive forces in the European Parliament”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The leaked document can be accessed through the link below: