Plenary speech on EU trade and investment agreement negotiations with the US

Marietje
Please find my press release about the mandate for the negotiations on a trade and investment treaty with the US (TTIP) here. The complete text of the motion for a resolution on the negotiating mandate can be found on the website of the European Parliament. The adopted text will be updated shortly. This FAQ answers the main questions and sets out my priorities for TTIP. Madam President, this perspective and the ambition to break down barriers that remain in the trade and investment flows between the world’s largest trading blocks is historic. Besides the opportunity to create jobs and economic growth – and all this without governments needing to invest – the scope is wide and ambitious in an unprecedented way. The road ahead will be long and rocky, but the goals of setting common standards and boosting competitiveness together in a rapidly changing world are persuasive. The Liberal Group supports a green light to start negotiations on a comprehensive agreement. We do not need any red lines now. But let there be no confusion. A green light for the mandate is not a carte blanche for the negotiators. This Parliament has a key role to play, and we expect to be closely involved: to represent all interests, those of consumers, citizens, small and medium-sized enterprises, businesses and civil society. Stakeholders are eager to be involved, to share their hopes and concerns. I would say to the Commissioner that it is essential to ensure that benefits are not only measured in spreadsheets and studies, not only for shareholders or in boardrooms. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should lead to a win-win situation, to fewer bureaucratic burdens, and to high standards of fundamental rights, environmental standards and consumer protection. This should be an agreement for and by people, and macroeconomic figures alone are not enough to gather political support. We – and you, Commissioner – must do all you can to gain trust in the process. Transparency is essential, and while we share concerns over the gap between, for example, the federal level and the state level on the American side, and over the independence of regulators and how that should figure in the negotiations on our side, we must also guard against being too fragmented. Let us work together to ensure that local communities, specific sectors and constituencies can share their concerns and hopes, but that we also keep in mind the bigger picture and the ambitions that we share. Let us make sure that the bigger picture trickles down and translates to the individual level. I believe we have an opportunity which we must take. But we cannot be naive about the challenges of making it all work in a world that is rapidly changing in the meantime.