Arab Today, arab today eus malmstroem pleads for support in us trade deal fight
Last Updated : GMT 08:26:46
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

EU's Malmstroem pleads for support in US trade deal fight

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today EU's Malmstroem pleads for support in US trade deal fight

European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem
Brussels - AFP

The EU's top trade official urged European governments to "do more" to defend a controversial free trade deal between the US and European Union that has faced fierce hostility in key countries, especially Germany.

Sweden's Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU's outspoken trade commissioner, is faced with the immense task of giving life to the so called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, as a new round of talks -- the ninth since last year -- begins in New York on Monday.

"The member states should do more, because this is not my project, it's not my TTIP," Malmstroem told AFP in an interview two days after tens of thousands of protesters marched in European cities railing a project they see as a sop to US multinationals and a greedy business lobby.

"It's not just up to me to sell it, it is not my project, I work night and day ... but member states, governments, ministers and parliaments must contribute," Malmstroem said in her office high up in the commission headquarters that overlooks the heart of the European capital.

If concluded, TTIP would be the biggest trade deal ever concluded, linking about 60 percent of the world's economic output in a colossal market of 850 million consumers, creating a free trade corridor from Hawaii to Lithuania.

-- 'Anti-Americanism' --

Malmstroem took on the trade portfolio in November and has since painstakingly defended TTIP to a dubious Europe, often braving an extremely loud and persistent opposition, much of it through social media.

"There's an anti-globalisation wave, some countries are caught in a feeling of anti-Americanism, especially after Snowden," the commissioner said.

According to polls, recent revelations by security contractor Edward Snowden of US spying, including the tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, have fuelled anti-US sentiment in Germany, but Luxembourg and Austria as well.

"All this enters the debate, but it surprises me a bit that the resistance is so strong in a country like Germany, where the benefits will be the greatest," Malmstroem said.

"The opposition is very vocal, but the silent majority is not in the streets," she added, hoping that support in Europe would grow as a final deal drew closer.

The most controversial element of TTIP is a plan to let companies have legal disputes with governments heard by supra-national tribunals, which campaigners say would undermine national sovereignty and favour big business.

The so-called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, allows firms to sue national governments if they feel that local rulings -- such as health and safety regulations -- violate the trade deal and threaten their investments.

The courts are a critical issue for US negotiators, who underline that these types of panels have existed for decades and are already included in thousands of trade deals worldwide, including about 400 in Europe.

-- 'Opportunity for abuse' --

But activist-led resistance to the courts has been huge and Malmstroem said change was needed.

"The system needs to be reformed, because when it was created (in the 1950's) the focus was more on companies than on a government's right to regulate," she said.

This leaves an "opportunity for abuse that could put a government's right to protect its citizens into question."

In face of the anger, Malmstroem said the EU would use this moment "to see whether we can establish a new more modern system," she said.

"Will ISDS be in the final deal with the Americans? We'll see," she said.

In some ways, the negotiation for TTIP shouldn't be so difficult, Malmstroem said.

"Today, we already are exchanging services, products every second with the United States," she said.

"This is our biggest partner. Thousands of jobs in Europe depend on it already."

But Malmstroem dampened expectations of any breakthroughs at the week-long talks in New York, nor at a tenth round expected in July.

"We agreed with the Americans... that things will remain very technical before entering a more political phase after the summer," she said.

Malmstroem ruled out a deal by the end of the year, but hoped the two sides could achieve a "skeleton" of the final deal.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today eus malmstroem pleads for support in us trade deal fight Arab Today, arab today eus malmstroem pleads for support in us trade deal fight

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Hezbollah commander killed by own men

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Hezbollah commander killed by own men
Arab Today, arab today Tunisian media host praises her new experience

GMT 12:35 2017 Wednesday ,15 March

Tunisian media host praises her new experience

GMT 10:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Bags carry Hermes to record profit

GMT 09:49 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Khamenei fleshes out 'Made in Iran' vision

GMT 08:46 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Cooperation with specialised British companies hailed

GMT 07:35 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

David Rockefeller Dies at Age 101
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemeni official warns education is under threat

GMT 12:03 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Yemeni official warns education is under threat
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Palestinian police wage war

GMT 07:53 2017 Friday ,17 March

Palestinian police wage war
Arab Today, arab today Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"
Arab Today, arab today Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 07:39 2017 Monday ,20 March

Dalia Mustafa believes in the presence of ghosts

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection

GMT 16:41 2017 Monday ,20 March

Preserving the memory of glaciers

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 13:11 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure

GMT 17:08 2017 Saturday ,18 March

Reveals secrets of tourism flights to space

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 22:39 2017 Thursday ,09 March

Zuhair Murad presents his new collection "Resorts"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday