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Campaigners say this would lead to the erosion of laws that deliver public benefits, notably those that protect consumers’ and workers’ rights and the environment. The announcement of a consultation will slow down progress towards an EU-US deal, or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as it is being called. European and American car makers are particularly keen to see the trade deal happen, as they could expect some cost savings if vehicle safety tests and standards were recognised in both countries. But with France and Germany both indicating they would not support an ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ clause, some commentators say the deal will only happen if this provision is dropped.