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Employment and trade MEPs quiz TTIP experts

02/12/2014

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiators and experts were quizzed on safeguards for labour standards and public services, and how a TTIP deal could help to create high-quality jobs, at a joint public hearing held by the Employment and International Trade committees on Tuesday.

During the debate, Employment and International Trade MEPs voiced concerns about the possible privatisation of public services and deterioration of labour standards and demanded concrete figures on possible job creation - or losses - due to TTIP.

The EU is looking for an ambitious agreement which should have a positive impact on Trans-Atlantic economy and create new jobs in addition to the 5 million that already depend on trade with the USA. The existing EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) should be a model for provisions on sustainable development and respect of International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, but the EU will make no commitments on public services and or the audiovisual sector in negotiations with Washington. When concrete proposals are presented to US counterparts, they will also become publicly available, said Commission chief negotiator Garcia Bercero.

Summing up, acting chair of the Employment Committee Marita Ulskvog (S&D, SE), said "There are four elephants in room: ISDS [investor-to-state dispute settlement]; the status of public services; whether there will be any new jobs; and if so what kind of jobs will be created”.

The debate followed presentations by Mr Ignacio Garcia Bercero, EU Chief Negotiator on TTIP; Ms Marva Corley-Coulibaly, Senior Economist at ILO Research Department; Mr Tom Jenkins, Senior Advisor at ETUC; Ms Luisa Santos, Director of International Affairs at BUSINESSEUROPE; Mr Conny Reuter of SOLIDAR and Mr Ralph Kamphöner of SME Europe.

Watch the debate (recorded)
 

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