On January 23 2014, 12.00h-13.00h, Room for Discussion organized a special session around theTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We discussed the implications of TTIP withTyson Barker of the Bertelsmann Foundation, and Roos van Os, researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, SOMO .
Since July 2013, the two largest economies of the world are negotiating a treaty to create a massive free-trade zone. The European Union and the United States of America, already responsible for about 47% of world trade, seek to create a new area where products, services and capital can be freely traded. Some studies claim the EU’s economy will benefit by €119 billion per year, while the USA will gain €95 billion per year, amounts that cannot be ignored.
However, critics have argued that these benefits will mainly go the large multinationals, rather than the people of Europe and the US. The negotiations are completely secret, so the public does not know how far exactly both sides are willing to go and give up. Furthermore, there are large fears that, due to specific parts of the pact, multinationals will be able to sue governments and countries when they do not agree on certain regulations.
Will TTIP be the goose with the golden eggs, or will we bring in a disaster for the European economy? We will find out with Tyson Barker and Roos van Os. Mr. Barker is director of Transatlantic Relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit foundation tied to the German Bertelsmann group.
Justus Cohen Tervaert and Elwin van Rooijen