The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – Chances and Risks for Developing Countries
„The Transatlantic Trade and Investment artnership (TTIP) - Chances and Risks for Developing Countries“ formed the focus of the panel discussion which took place at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels on 18 June. The Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia organized the event in cooperation with the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and Eine Welt Netzwerk NRW. Minister Angelica Schwall-Düren opened the discussion and demanded for considering the consequences of TTIP especially for developing countries. Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of DIE, focused on the possible conflict potential between TTIP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Also, the scientist accentuated possible improvement: There were certain parameters which could make TTIP, the world trading system and especially developing countries more compatible with each other. Hence, TTIP’s effects on third countries would need to receive systematic attention within the negotiations.
In the following discussion, Imme Scholz participated together with Ruth Bergan, coordinator of Trade Justice Movement, Martin Häusling, Member of the European Parliament (GRÜNE/EFA) and Mohamed Igueh Ofleh from the Permanent Mission of the African Union in Brussels. Although positive spill-over effects for third countries are expected, all disputants agreed that TTIP in ist current form will lead to negative economic consequences for developing countries. They concluded: To guarantee a fair multilateral world trade, the outcome of revived multilateral negotiations in the WTO are the best alternative to the TTIP.
In July 2013 the European Union and the United States took up negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The trade agreement is intended to join a market of more than 800 million consumers. It will cover roughly one third of global trade and influence around three quarters of the world’s value creation.
Trade agreements do not per se guarantee a fair multilateral world trade system. Predicting the effects TTIP might have on developing countries in particular is not an easy task. Faced with intensified trade relations between Europe and the US, a lot of developing countries fear the loss of market access for their products and a decline in income and employment levels as a result.
The lunchtime debate investigated whether TTIP can contribute to a fairer development of globalization or if it will pose a threat for the world’s poorest economies in particular.
The debate addressed the following issues:
- What kind of political and economic signals does TTIP send to developing nations?
- How can we ensure that the Transatlantic Partnership does not undermine the goals of the post-2015 agenda?
- Should the European Union’s negotiators be expected to include the interests of developing countries throughout the ongoing negotiations?
- Will TTIP contribute to a further weakening of the World Trade Organization, as it might, merely due to its scope, become a “blueprint for the world”?
- Angelica Schwall-Düren, Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
- Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn,
- Ruth Bergan, Co-ordinator, Trade Justice Movement, London
- Edouard Bourcieu, Deputy Head of Strategy Unit, DG Trade, European Commission, Brussels
- Martin Häusling, Member of the European Parliament
- Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn
- Mohamed Igueh Ofleh, Senior Economist, Permanent Mission of the African Union, Brussels
- Monika Hoegen (Moderator)
© German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
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