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European consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), austerity and poverty in Brussels, Belgium October 17, 2015

New Study Unable to Outline Benefits of TTIP

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A new report focusing on the economic opportunities and key aspects of the hotly-contested Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement seems to simply repeat the awkward predictions of a 2013 study.

A study on the TTIP, published in 2013 by the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) on behalf of the European Commission, forecast that the controversial trade deregulation deal currently in negotiation between the EU and the US, would significantly boost the economies of both parties. But the projected figures (€119 billion for EU and €95 billion for US) turned out to correlate only with an absolutely best-case scenario, and that forecast extra 0.5 percent boost for the EU economy was worked out to to be an extra GDP growth of a miniscule 0.05 percent per year.

The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU) recently sponsored a new report entitled "TTIP and the EU Member States: An assessment of the economic impact of an ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership at the EU Member State level." The new study, according to contributing policy editor at Ars Technica, Glyn Moody, writing in an op-ed for the technology news website, simply mirrors the apparent bias of the earlier CEPR research and does not provide evidence strong enough to justify ratifying the TTIP.

The most telling evidence that the new study is merely a rehash is its prediction of EU and US economic boosts at exactly the same levels as the previous report. Moody notes that the new AmCham EU report used the same assumptions and methodology as the previous study. According to the editor, the only significant difference in the creation of the report is the lengthening of the time scale, from ten to 14 years, a change that makes the average additional GDP per year even less, at about a 0.035 percent annual increase, a number so small as to render the data point inconsequential.

After analyzing the report, Moody concluded that it unsurprisingly highlights the pretty aspects of the deal but ignores the many uncomfortable issues. Included in the biased fact-finding, the report suggests that exports will increase for all TTIP member states. But a core assumption in the methodology adopted by the AmCham EU study is that any increase in exports must be exactly matched by a corresponding increase in imports, an important point neglected by the deal's negotiators. Accordingly, the AmCham EU report doesn't find imports a topic worth discussing.

"So far, the AmCham EU report has mirrored CEPR's work, both in terms of its results and its problems-one of which is that neither report considers the costs of TTIP, only the benefits," Moody wrote.

Moody cited a description in the report of a 2014 consultation held by the European Commision (EC) on investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), an attractive corporate liability enhancement feature which would allow companies to sue nation-states over regulations and sovereign laws that could be interpreted by that company as potentially causing a net loss of profit. The new study briefly mentioned the "overwhelming" negative reaction from the public, which forced the EC to identify four topics requiring further discussion.

"The "negative answers," according to Moody, are portrayed as little more than trivial nuisances that the EC has dealt with in addressing the four topics, all of which completely ignored a key point: millions of Europeans signed a petition stating that they did not want ISDS in any form. Moody noted that, "there is no discussion of that fact in the new study."

The recent CEPR report contains many of these kinds of peculiarities, he said. For instance, fully 80 percent of the tiny best-case scenario projected annual GDP boost is assumed to come from the removal of "non-tariff barriers," which include regulations protecting the environment and the online privacy of European citizens. If the barriers are not removed, the profit from the implementation of the TTIP will be even less than the annual 0.035 percent.

In Moody's view, the report proves that even in the most favorable circumstances, the "ambitious" deal will bring only vanishingly small economic gains for both the EU and US, while simultaneously presenting a clear and present danger, not only to the rights of ordinary citizens, but also to the laws of sovereign nations.    

Related:
TTIP Unacceptable Due to Secrecy of Negotiations - UK Official
TTIP, Tax Havens Contribute to Extreme Global Inequality, Says Oxfam
Lobbyists Love TTIP: Big Business Already Exploiting New Trade Deal
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  • Ann
    The TTIP IS NOT about people, it's about giving CORPORATIONS free reign to make profits - at the expense of the people and the planet. RESIST THE TTIP. It's nothing but a corporate/government grab of our humanity and freedom.
  • JPH
    TTIP is no mere free trade agreement, but aims to cement a military economic US/EU alliance. See PDF in link from semi governmental Dutch Think Tank:
    www.clingendael.nl/publication/geopolitics-ttip
    The current EU Vice Chairman Timmermans when fishing for this job as then still Dutch Foreign Minister on May 1st 2014 in Washington:
    "Let me finish on this. We have taken each other for granted for too long, the Americans and the Europeans. We will be able to set a course for the future of this world if we stick together.
    It is very simple, if we are able to see the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for what it is: not a free trade agreement. TTIP is a geostrategic agreement. It is a political agreement. It should not be left up to people who know everything about the way you slaughter chickens. It should be something our political leaders should take up and decide on soon. When you have TTIP in place, it will change the nature of the game globally. Because then the United States and Europe will set the rules of the game, and the others will follow suit, including China, Japan and others. "
    Source:
    www.rijksoverheid.nl/do...
    Clearly Timmermans' statement landed him the job as EU vice Chairman.
  • vendor
    Why do you need anyone to conduct a study on this deal? We all know there are no benefits for people but for large corporations. W T F in the most sincere way?
  • Linda
    We all know that this trade deal is as bad as a tradedeal would be with Satan himself
  • vendorin reply toLinda(Show commentHide comment)
    Linda, Satan is a good chum in comparison to TTIP.
  • Lindain reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, This trade deal has until now more than 1000 pages were every page have to be analyzed by lawyers. And if it is analyzed the devil will have seen to it that much of the criminal intent will be unseen. and difficult to interpret
  • vendorin reply toLinda(Show commentHide comment)
    Linda, yeah I've heard but even good Lord himself, as well as Satan himself won't be able to have a sneak peak as the info is confidential. Should we call Santa in?
  • innocappuccinno
    As our Dear Lord is still hardly accessible by any means, we turned to one of His Archangels, Michael. He said: wha-iiiiiii don't know. You ask why allow TTIP, but you see, if TTIP is blocked, then they will broke in another deal, in which they will put all the bad things again. Now imagine us blocking every piece of sheet they make! Trust our Dear Lord, He knows best! Be assure that the order is protected. The Divine Order. As of that of man, that is always sacrificed to keep the divine one. They must taste all that is wrong, as always, and see by themselves the true value of things they make. And there is no much value when you see none.
    We left Michael. His answer brought impressively little light into our trouble. We found Satan some kilometer away, in a bar. We asked him, but as a good connesseur he asked us to tell him what the other guy said. Darn, he knew! We told him all in detail. The Satan exploded: I told you so!
  • Abinico Arts
    Much of TTIP is super secret - no one knows what's in it, yet politicians are demanded to approve it. People need to know such conditions make any TTIP rules invalid.
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