What is TTIP?

What is TTIP?

TTIP stands for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, sometimes called TAFTA – the Transatlantic Free Trade Area.

It is a free trade deal between the US and Europe, currently under negotiation, which would cut tariffs and lower regulatory barriers to make trade easier between the two markets.

It would be the biggest trade agreement of its kind, affecting one quarter of global trade.

That sounds simple enough.

I’m afraid it’s not. MEPs in the European Parliament have just postponed a vote on it and left-wingers have stuck on a raft of amendments to hold it up.

There has been a huge amount of public backlash and organised campaigning against it

So how does it affect me?

Supporters of TTIP say that lower European tariffs will benefit shoppers by making goods cheaper and creating more choice.

The Government claims the average household could benefit by up to £400 a year, and that TTIP could boost the UK economy by as much as £10bn. The deal could provide a £100bn boost to the whole EU.

TTIP would reduce trade tariffs, which stand at over 20pc on some food and drink products (for example, orange juice, tuna and mackerel).

That sounds great for the consumer. So why are some people against it?

The trade deal has seen a huge public backlash across the EU and, notably, online. 38 Degrees, a pressure group, has carried out a sustained campaign against it, and has gathered more than two million signatures on its petition.

Opponents argue that it could lead to the privatisation of the NHS because the treaty includes ‘market access’ which bans state monopolies – including public services run by the state.

Part of the agreement would allow big companies to take the government to court – in secret. Many argue that it represents a threat to democracy

Download the helpful fact sheet TTIP FAQ

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