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Seminar ‘The EU and US trade deal talks #ttip: should we be concerned?’

TTIP reading room protest, Oct 2014

News item

Wednesday 4 Mar 2015

Seminar hosted by Nessa Childers MEP – Friday 17 April 2015 – European Parliament Offices, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

This event is being held to bring trade unions, business, consumer and environmental groups together to discuss EU-US Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) and its many aspects.

Supporters of TTIP say the deal has the potential to bring inward investment into the EU and create jobs.    But many citizens’ groups believe the trade deal needs to be examined carefully before talks conclude – and that we need to ask who will benefit and at what cost.

Background

Hardly anyone seems to know anything about the details of the talks, which is not surprising because it’s being negotiated in secrecy by EU and US trade representatives.

There is widespread agreement that it is of utmost importance that existing EU standards for consumer protection and personal data be safeguarded in the negotiations. But there are concerns that the deal could involve compromising on European environmental and food safety standards, and open public services to private tender.

Most worrying of all is that the deal could involve a mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement.  This would allow big corporations to sue governments through closed arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which would by-pass domestic courts and parliaments.

The trade agreement is currently being negotiated, and the final deal cannot be concluded without the support of a majority of MEPs in the European Parliament.

Programme

10.30              Registration – Tea / Coffee

10.45               Nessa Childers MEP opening address

11.15               David Hammerstein, Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)                            focusing on consumer concerns

11.30               Corporate Europe Observatory –ISDS

11.45               Oisin Coughlan, Friends of the Earth Ireland – Food safety and                               environment

12.00              Irish Congress of Trade Unions – employment rights, protecting public             services (speaker to be confirmed)

12.15               Ian Talbot, CEO of Chambers Ireland – who will speak about the                            benefits of the trade deal for Ireland

12.30              Q & A

1.15                  Nessa Childers closing remarks

1.30                Finish and light lunch served

Speakers

David Hammerstein is a Senior Policy Advocate in Brussels for TACD working on access to health and access to knowledge issues. He is a former Green Party member of the European Parliament representing Spain

Ian Talbot has been Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland and Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Ireland since 2008. Prior to those appointments Ian held positions as a Director of Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase in Ireland for 18 years. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse where he spent several years working in their Dublin and Luxembourg offices. Ian also holds MA and BBS degrees from Trinity College, Dublin. Ian is a member of the National Economic and Social Council and was a member of the Local Government Efficiency Review Group in 2010.

If you would like to attend the seminar please info@nessachilders.ie to reserve your place a soon as possible.

(Programme may be subject to change)

Seminar is funded and supported by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socalists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

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