News from the Committee on International Trade: June 2015
TTIP: The vote and the debate on the parliament's report on TTIP have been postponed
Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, has postponed the vote on a parliamentary report on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement `TTIP´. It created a stir in the plenary. Officially, the postponement was justified by the large number of amendments. In addition, at the request of the conservative Groups, the debate on the TTIP-report was also re-scheduled. Behind all of this, however, is the fear of the Grand Coalition that a majority would have voted against the private investor arbitration (ISDS). In that case, the whole report would have been rejected. We Greens criticize the postponement as an obvious manoeuvre to save TTIP.
Accession of Ecuador to the trade agreement between the EU, Peru and Colombia
The EU established a free trade agreement with Peru and Colombia in 2013. Now Ecuador requested to join this agreement and the European Parliament has to agree to the accession. The Greens have criticized the trade agreement from the start because it mainly benefits European businesses - who profit from easy access to the countries' resources. The South American countries, however, gain little from the agreement. For example, while banana exports to the EU have indeed increased in terms of volume, the price of bananas has simultaneously gone down. Hence, Peru and Colombia had nothing to gain from the free trade regulations. Also, experience shows that the sustainable development chapter of the agreement remains largely ineffective, i.e. the implementation of the workers' rights provisions still tarry and supervisory boards do not work. This has to change. A parliamentary report on the accession of Ecuador will likely be adopted after the summer break. The parliament's vote on the accession of Ecuador to the agreement is expected to take place in spring 2016.