Saturday, May 17, 2014
European Election Issues: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
· The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aims to tackle market access issues and technical barriers to transatlantic trade. It has been estimated that the deal could bring an extra £10 billon to the UK annually. That is equivalent to an extra £400 to every UK household. This would both help to restore living standards, badly squeezed during the economic downturn, and make more money available for schools and hospitals.
· Creating new opportunities for British business. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will create new opportunities in both the United States and the EU. These opportunities will be especially valuable for SMEs, given that trade barriers tend to disproportionately burden smaller firms, which have fewer resources to overcome them than larger firms.
· TTIP is not intended to open the NHS, or any other European health service, up to competition from American multinationals.
· Robert Sturdy MEP, Vice Chair of INTA and UK Conservative trade spokesperson, has been contacted by the British Medical Association and made aware of their concerns with regard to definitions of the scope. The BMA recognises the significant economic benefits of this agreement and welcomes the positive impact that such developments may have upon the health of the UK’s population. It has requested assurances from the negotiators that they will not allow the commercialisation of the NHS, as well as requesting clarification of specific definitions. We very much welcome this initiative and fully support open consultation between all sectors to ensure that our public interests are represented throughout this process.
· It may also be reassuring to know that neither the EU-South Korea FTA nor the North American Free Trade Agreement included or resulted in the opening of publicly funded health services.