17th January 2016

EP to vote on TiSA negotiations recommendations

A bit in the shadow of big bilateral trade agreements such as TTIP (USA) and CETA (Canada), the European Commission is negotiating a new multilateral Trade in Services Agreement. Altogether 22 countries from all over the world, plus the European Union, are negotiating liberalization of trade in services since March 2013. Up until now, 15 rounds of talks took place. The negotiating countries cover around 70% of global trade in services, the EU being the global leader. In an interview, MEP Viviane Redding, the EP rapporteur of the negotiation file, welcomed the transparency with which the European Commission communicates with the MEPs. The EC is negotiating on EU´s behalf, but MEPs will have the final word once the deal is ready. Although the Treaty only gives them a final yes-no power, they are active along the way, demanded and got access to negotiating documents and try to actively shape the EC´s positions. According to MEP Redding, there is a number of red lines TiSA must not cross – as well as any EU trade agreement. Consumer protection, environmental regulatives, data protection, labor standards, culture or public services – these are some of the things TiSA must not in any case endanger. The EP will vote on its TiSA recommendations on 18 January. MEP Redding made it clear that the EP will bury any agreement which fails to protect EU´s standards in the above-mentioned areas – not only TiSA.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic