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Press review about TAFTA

[EmbassyNews] CETA optimism souring as talks drag on

Trade watchers are worried that pushback over European Union trade negotiations with the United States could be spilling over into the EU’s trade talks with Canada. [...]
But as EU-US talks got into full swing, the European public “woke up” to the possible inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement section, which was already included in CETA. That part lets companies seek compensation from states if government policies hurt their business interests.

[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XXIV

In an early update, I wrote about the leak of the European Commission's communication strategy for "overcoming public scepticism" about TAFTA/TTIP. The key section was probably the following: "Making sure that the broad public in each of the EU Member States has a general understanding of what TTIP is (i.e. an initiative that aims at delivering growth and jobs) and what it is not (i.e. an effort to undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment)." [...]

[HuffingtonPost] Talks on Liberalizing Services: Disaster in the Making

Having efficient and solid services infrastructure is vital for any economy. But what a powerful group of countries is trying to do at the Trades in Services Agreement (TISA) talks, currently being negotiated in outside of WTO rules, goes beyond "just" trade issues. Current talks include the opening of important public policy issues like financial regulation, immigration, privacy and healthcare. […]

[TechDirt] Meet TISA: Another Major Treaty Negotiated In Secret Alongside TPP And TTIP

[...] TISA: the Trade in Services Agreement. If, like me, you've never heard of this, you might think it's a new initiative. But it turns out that it's been under way for more than a year: the previous USTR, Ron Kirk, informed Congress about it back in January 2013 (pdf).

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XXIII

Why the European Commission's consultation on ISDS is a sham, and fails to provide the promised "draft"

In my last update, I noted that the problems with investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) are multiplying, as lawyers latch on to the fact that it is an extremely efficient way of extracting large sums of money for very little cost (for example, I mentioned one case where an investment of $5 million led to an award of $900 million for "lost profits".) In fact, things are so bad even the European Commission has noticed. [...]

[TechDirt] Revolving Door: MPAA Hires Chief USTR Negotiator Behind ACTA And TPP's IP Chapter

For the past five years or so, the USTR's [Office of the United States Trade Representative] chief intellectual property negotiator has been Stan McCoy. McCoy has long positioned himself as an intellectual property maximalist, repeating talking points from lobbyists regularly, while condescending to anyone who questions the legitimacy of those claims.

[CorporateEurope] Still not loving ISDS: 10 reasons to oppose investors’ super-rights in EU trade deals

At the end of March, the European Commission launched a public consultation over its plan to enshrine far-reaching rights for foreign investors in the EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated. In the face of fierce opposition to these investor super-rights, the Commission is trying to convince the public that these do not endanger democracy and public policy. See through the sweet-talk with Corporate Europe Observatory’s guide to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). [...]

[Zeit] Sigmar Gabriel lehnt Investorenschutz im TTIP-Abkommen ab – und akzeptiert ihn im Freihandelsvertrag mit Kanada. Glaubt er, dass keiner den Doppelstandard bemerkt?

[...] Besonders beim umstrittenen Investorenschutz schafft die EU-Kommission mit großen Tempo Fakten. Ein offizielles Dokument der Kommission dazu liegt ZEIT ONLINE vor (siehe unten). Es belegt, dass die Ceta-Regeln schon in großen Teilen fertig ausgehandelt sind. Sollten sie in Kraft treten, werden kanadische Unternehmen künftig die EU oder Deutschland vor internationalen Schiedsgerichten verklagen können – und damit genau das tun, was die Bundesregierung im amerikanischen Fall ablehnt.

[TechDirt] USTR Claims 1,200 Meetings With Congress Just As Good As Actual Transparency

[...] Businesses that stand to benefit from the agreement have better access to both the documents and our representatives, and yet, the USTR continues to protest that it's open and transparent.

[...] [USTR Michael] Froman listed IP as the top priority for worldwide trade agreements: “[...] the Obama Administration is committed to protecting intellectual property (IP), [...] encouraging the free flow of information across the digital world, and ensuring access to medicines, particularly by the poor in less developed economies.”

[TechDirt] USTR Starts To Panic Over Calls To Take Corporate Sovereignty Out Of TAFTA/TTIP

Glyn Moody takes to task the recent publication by the USTR on the ISDS included in TAFTA.