Theme Week: What Does TTIP Mean for Food and Environment?
A main goal of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the reduction of non-tariff barriers to trade. Among these barriers are differing food safety and environmental standards. Critics argue that harmonizing regulations would inevitably lead to the degradation of these standards, while proponents see TTIP as a chance to set global standards and eliminate unnecessary divergence.
From November 10 to November 15 we will be publishing expert articles about TTIP's effects on individuals and households in the US and EU. TTIP has a potential to impact individuals in a number of ways. The most contentious areas in which TTIP could have consequences are food and environmental standards. Though both EU and US decision makers have said that they would not sign an agreement that degrades these standards, critics maintain their skepticism. This week several experts make their cases as to why we should or should not be concerned.
- Nov. 10: Dr. Claudia Schmucker of the German Council of Foreign Relations discusses why TTIP is a chance to establish high global standards. Critics fear the changes that would come with TTIP, but she claims that there is no evidence that the European Commission plans on compromising food safety standards for TTIP.
- Nov. 11: Sabine Ohm, an Economics and European Policy Officer at PROVIEH makes the case that TTIP's planned harmonization of standards and mutual recognition of control systems jeopardize the EU´s agriculture and animal welfare, environmental and consumer protection standards.
- Nov. 12: Dr. Elvire Fabry of Notre Europe questions the idea that the European Union is a generally more precautious regulator than the United States. She writes that while the EU is more cautious in certain areas, the EU and US are, in the aggregate, very similar in how frequently they make use of the precautionary principle.
- Nov. 13: Debbie Barker with the Center for Food Safety argues that regulatory harmonization or convergence often has a downward tendency, and the the US perception of the precautionary principle as being unscientific is inaccurate.
- Nov. 14: Lawrence Kogan, LLM with the Institute for Trade, Standards, and Sustainable Development and Lucas Bergkamp, LLM with the law firm Hunton & Williams take an in-depth look at what already existing regulatory frameworks TTIP can use in order to set good administrative procedures that would allow for the creation of safe and scientific regulation.
You can look at the overview for our first theme week here. We also wrote about our preliminary conclusions regarding increasing transparency and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
Our second theme week discussed the economic results that TTIP might have and resulted in some of the most interesting discussion so far. Our conclusions so far were about the importance of non-tariff barriers for the success of the treaty and the necessity of clear and honest communication about the results of technical economic forecasts.
Join the Discussion!
We urge all our members to contribute to the discussion and keep the debate going not just for this week, but the first two as well! You can do so by posting in the comments, or you can also find us on facebook or on twitter @atlanticcom. It is the goal of atlantic-community.org to foster constructive discussion and thought-provoking debate. Having a multitude of comments not only makes the debate more enticing and democratic, but also provides the basis of our conclusion, as the most thoughtful and constructive comments will be featured in our final report on the state of the debate regarding TTIP!
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We look forward to an exciting debate and all your contributions!
This project was made possible with the generous support of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Germany. See our Governance Rules
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