Pictured: Liam Aylward MEP and Pat The Cope Gallagher MEP with President and Representatives of the Irish Farmers Association
Liam Aylward MEP for Ireland East and Member of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has welcomed the move by the European Commission to postpone negotiations on one key part of the on-going EU-US Trade Talks until a public consultation is conducted.
Negotiations were postponed on a section outlining how disputes between corporations and the governments of EU Member States over possible breaches of a future EU-US Trade Agreement would be settled.
After discussions today in the European Parliament in Brussels with Eddie Downey, the President of the IFA, the MEP for Ireland East clarified: “I am especially concerned that the proposed procedure for dispute settlement could potentially undermine the current high standards protecting animal health and welfare in Europe and the health and safety of Irish consumers, as well as standards on the environment and social protection.”
The proposed procedure would allow multinational corporations to by-pass Irish and European Courts and bring cases against the governments of EU Member States at international tribunals.
Multinational corporations would be able to exploit any loopholes or vagueness in an EU-US Trade Agreement and could gradually undermine the high European standards via this backhand route. This could potentially place unfair pressure on Irish farmers producing high-quality agricultural products in line with the EU standards.
An EU-US Trade Agreement respecting Europe’s high standards would be beneficial for Ireland. It could bring economic gains to Europe of up to €119.2 billion per year and increase exports to the US by 28%. Ireland will benefit most from such a deal as more than 14% of all US investment in Europe in the last few years has gone to Ireland.