Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, called on her colleagues in the European Parliament to support the amendment she tabled with like-minded MEPs demanding the outright exclusion, in EU-US trade talks, of any form of parallel legal recourse for multinational companies to claim compensation for lost profits due to government action.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s vote on Parliament’s position on the current state of transatlantic negotiations on a new trade and investment agreement between the EU and the US, which was debated today, Ms. Childers said:
“Parliament will have the final say on the overall ratification of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
“This is an opportunity to send a strong message to the Commission negotiators, to shape their work towards an agreement that is acceptable to us and reflects the concerns of the citizens we represent.
“Many grandiose claims have been made about the potential growth in jobs, exports and ultimately growth that will accrue from this trade deal, so as to pressure us into accepting it at any cost to our regulatory standards.
“In fact, serious estimates from sources that have no vested interests in the approval of the deal paint a very mixed picture about its economic impact.
“They certainly do not justify that we bend over backwards to accept a compromise on parallel and exclusive access to justice for multinational corporations, irrespective of who appoints or sits on these arbitration panels.
“Certain sectors will exploit the possibility to claim compensation in yet another forum to pressure public authorities to refrain from taking action in the public interest, as they have done in the past.
“The trade Commissioner can pile on safeguards against this sort of tactics and yet she still won’t explain why we need this sort of mechanisms between two trade blocs that have perfectly adequate and developed legal systems.
“Differing approaches to how we deal with matters such as food safety and risks to the environment and human health must also not be steam rolled in a rush to open up as many sectors to trade as possible.
“We have come to a state of trade integration with the US where tariffs and duties are marginal issues in the trade talks, so we must ensure that public services and adequate consumer protections are safeguarded from a rush to open new frontiers for big business across the Atlantic.”