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EU Concerned TTIP Deal to Lower Labor, Eco Standards - Ex-UN Advisor

© REUTERS / Fabrizio BenschConsumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), mass husbandry and genetic engineering, in Berlin, Germany
Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), mass husbandry and genetic engineering, in Berlin, Germany - Sputnik International
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European policymakers fear that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement will weaken labor and environmental standards, former UN advisor on human rights Susan Aaronson told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) — The TTIP agreement seeks to liberalize trade between the United States and Europe and create the world's largest trade zone, encompassing more than 60 percent of global production.

"Many Europeans, including policymakers, fear labor standards will be undermined, not raised by the [TTIP] trade agreement," Aaronson, who is also a professor at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs, said on Wednesday.

A sign reading Democracy is no trading good, Stop TTIP is lifted in front of the US embassy during a protest against the proposed US-EU free trade pact or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Berlin on April 18, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The eleventh round of TTIP talks is set to take place from October 19 to 23 in Miami, Florida. During this round negotiators will seek to address issues like regulatory coherence, free flow of information and privacy, Aaronson explained.

TTIP, she added, will actually raise US labor and environmental standards because Europe’s are much higher.

Aaronson also said that critics have a point about the lack of visibility into the TTIP negotiations process.

"It’s disgusting that USTR [US Trade Representative] hasn’t figured out a way to be more transparent," she asserted.

Anti-TTIP demonstration - Sputnik International
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Despite these issues, Aaronson claimed, the Trans-Atlantic trade pact would still be a "huge win" for Europe especially at a time of massive upheaval driven by the immigration crisis.

Russia could also benefit from the TTIP, Aaronson observed, although it might be difficult in light of Moscow’s feud with the EU over economic sanctions.

"[TTIP] could be very good for Russia if it leads to economies of scale and lowering of prices," she argued.

Anti-TTIP Flashmob in Hamburg, Germany - Sputnik International
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TTIP has stirred controversy around the world, with opponents saying it has been negotiated in secret and undermines environmental, health, safety and labor standards, while proponents argue it will spur economic growth.

On Saturday, about 100,000 people rallied in Berlin, Germany to protest the TTIP free trade pact.

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