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Briefing on the life cycle of EU trade agreements

The following briefing explains the procedure for the negotiation, signing, and conclusion of the EU’s international trade agreements (Free Trade Agreement (FTA)), based on the legal provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)[1], part of the Lisbon Treaty. The briefing provides a detailed step-by-step analysis of important aspects of the life cycle of EU trade agreements.

Published on March 3, 2016 - 12:31

Keystone lawsuit shows TTIP’s threat to climate action – report

A $15 billion lawsuit by the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline against the US government shows the serious threat to democracy posed by special privileges for investors, a new report has said. TransCanada is suing under investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to demand damages following rejection of the controversial pipeline due to its climate impact.
Published on February 26, 2016 - 14:59

TransCanada’s $15 billion lawsuit demonstrates trade threat to democracy and environment

Countries around the world have reached a critical moment in the fight against climate change. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets demanding climate action, more than 190 countries reached a climate agreement in Paris, and renewable energy became more affordable and accessible to communities across the globe. Meanwhile, in sharp contradiction to that, countries negotiated new trade deals that would empower fossil fuel corporations to undermine the exact climate and conservation policies that are needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Published on February 22, 2016 - 17:29

TransCanada’s $15 billion lawsuit demonstrates trade threat to democracy and environment

Brussels/Washington, 22 February 2016 – Special privileges for corporations in major trade deals are a serious threat to democracy and the environment according to a new report released today by Friends of the Earth Europe, Sierra Club and Transport & Environment (T&E), as EU-US trade talks resume in Brussels.

Published on February 22, 2016 - 16:42

Briefing: ‘Trade for All’ – Balancing environmental protection and trade promotion

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström released her five-year ‘Trade for All’ strategy in October 2015, which acknowledges growing public concern over the EU’s trade policies. We identify five areas that need revision in order to more equitably distribute the benefits and costs of the EU’s trade policy: global value chains; energy imports; sustainable development; investment protection; transparency.

Published on February 11, 2016 - 11:47

Trade negotiators won’t face the truth: investors don’t need special treatment

It was a long year for EU trade negotiators who, when posed with the question of why deals with Canada, the US and others needed risky investment protection, pointed to thousands of outdated and abuse-prone precedents. Who would have thought that the negotiators would try to get away with a half-hearted reform exercise, instead of facing up the truth that investors don’t need special treatment?
Published on January 6, 2016 - 15:00

Trade and energy – looking beyond hydrocarbons

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) that, if completed, would be the largest bilateral FTA in the world, and transform transatlantic commerce. Trade volumes between the EU and US are very high, energy remains an important exception, largely due to the US ban or limit on crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Unsurprisingly the focus of EU negotiators is to end these limitations, but if the hope of cheap energy is one side of the coin, there is another: cheaper fossil energy means higher carbon emissions from increased consumption while crowding out renewable sources, all of which runs counter to the EU’s ‘40/27/27’ climate and energy targets for 2030.

Published on November 24, 2015 - 13:09

Same old, same old for ‘new’ Investment Court System to rule on EU-US trade deal

The European Commission’s proposed Investment Court System for the EU-US trade deal is a largely cosmetic rebranding, civil society groups have said, giving special privileges to foreign investors and undermining national and EU legal systems. The ‘new’ proposal keeps these major flaws of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) intact – while the court’s establishment and running would be paid for by European taxpayers, according to sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) and environmental law organisation ClientEarth.

Published on November 12, 2015 - 13:06

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