ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

US trade deal is under fire

BRUSSELS -- The European Union made public its negotiating mandate for a free trade deal with the U.S. in a bid to quell growing opposition to the proposed accord.

BRUSSELS -- The European Union made public its negotiating mandate for a free trade deal with the U.S. in a bid to quell growing opposition to the proposed accord.

The 18-page document, which had been widely leaked, says what cannot be included in a trade deal, such as audiovisual services, and what the European Commission should push for, such as an opening up of U.S. public tenders to EU companies.

The U.S. and the EU want to seal a free trade deal encompassing half the world's economic output, which advocates say could bring economic gains of around $100 billion a year for both sides.

But environmentalists and consumer groups have criticized it as a sellout to big business. They say it threatens to undermine EU standards, particularly on food and agriculture.

They and EU lawmakers have also complained about a lack of transparency. Even the European Commission, which handles negotiations on behalf of the EU states, says it would be better to prove it has nothing to hide.

ADVERTISEMENT

The European Council, the grouping of the 28 member states, says it decided to declassify the negotiating directives following a proposal by Italy, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht says that he is delighted with the decision.

He says it allowed everyone to see the kind of deal the European Union wanted: boosting growth and jobs while preserving high levels of protection for the environment, health, safety, consumers and data privacy.

The mandate also sets out a plan to include Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions, allowing companies to take cross-border legal action against governments.

Critics, which now include Germany, say it gives multinationals too much power and could undermine laws on labor, the environment or food standards.

What To Read Next
Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions says its pipeline project will help ethanol plants. The project aims to capture greenhouse gas emissions and pipe the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.
The number of cows going to slaughter is far above the five-year average. Attendees of the annual Cow Calf Days tour in Minnesota heard the latest on cattle trends.
As Mikkel Pates approaches his retirement from Agweek after 44 years in journalism, he talks to Rose Dunn about learning TV, covering ag's characters and scandals and looking toward the future.
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.