Can the TTIP trade deal survive the Greenpeace document leak?

Last week, Greenpeace Netherlands leaked documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, citing concerns over the erosion of environmental law, regulation, and consumer protection within the document. The negotiations have thus been thrown into further doubt now that the public has seen what is being proposed on both sides.  

Hogan Lovells partners Warren Maruyama (DC) and Markus Burgstaller (London) have been following the news closely. Maruyama served for seven years at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), including as USTR General Counsel under President George W. Bush, and participated in the U.S.-Canada, NAFTA, Uruguay Round, Doha Round, and Peru, Korea, Panama, and Colombia FTA negotiations. Burgstaller has extensive experience in public international law at the highest level of government advising and representing states, international organizations, and businesses.

“The comments from Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Friends of the Earth seem like a huge overreaction and one that’s based on a basic lack of understanding of the negotiating process,” commented Maruyama. “What was leaked is a ‘consolidated text’ that sets out the US and EU positions in various chapters. A consolidated text is not the same thing as an agreement between the parties, instead, it uses brackets to identify each party’s positions that have not been agreed to by the other. The unbracketed text is what’s important as it shows areas where there’s agreement between the U.S. and EU.”

Both Maruyama and Burgstaller agree that the idea of wrapping up TTIP this year is unrealistic and that negotiations are going to drag on into the next U.S. and EU administrations, probably for several more years, particularly over concerns from European countries.

“Given the profound differences over agriculture, government procurement, regulatory cooperation, food safety, GMOs, meat hormones, chicken anti-microbials, ISDS, cross-border data flows/privacy, and the difficulty of bridging different and incompatible regulatory systems, which hasn’t been tried before, TTIP is far from a sure thing,” said Burgstaller. “The Regulatory Chapter is full of brackets, and indicates that there are still huge differences over most of the key regulatory issues.”


Orla O'Donovan

Senior Public Relations Adviser

Direct: +44 20 7296 2815


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