Transatlantic trade deal talks
Sir, – The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations bring with them the promise of a new era of growth and prosperity for the citizens of the EU and the US. The aspiration to increase integration between two economies that together account for over 50 per cent of global GDP is ambitious, but long overdue. The potential increase in GDP in Ireland of at least 1.1 per cent, or about €2 billion, will rapidly convert into jobs growth, further improvement in government finances and the opportunity to invest in infrastructure and reduce personal tax and universal social charge rates.
An agreement will result in smarter, more effective and common regulation standards, a reduction in unnecessary red tape and facilitate ease of access for small and medium businesses. TTIP will be the gold standard for any future international trade deals and will cement our economies’ role in setting and raising international standards in areas such as consumer safeguards, environmental protection and employee welfare. Ireland in particular is well placed to benefit from this agreement given our strong ties to the US and our position in the value chain of many US companies.
The greatest obstacle to Europe, and Ireland, in reaching agreement lies in the misinformation that permeates much of the opposition to this agreement. For example, there has been much discussion around the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) elements of the negotiations. ISDS has long been a component of bilateral trade agreements, many involving EU member states, and provides an equitable means for investors and states to resolve disputes. Transparency of negotiations is enhanced through press conferences after each round, stakeholder meetings during each round, civil society dialogue and a very comprehensive, easily found, European Commission website.
Public debate on TTIP is to be welcomed, and we urge all stakeholders to access the array of information available in the public domain and engage in this important debate with an open mind. – Yours, etc,
Lower Mount Street,
Dublin 2 .