How TTIP would affect you
TTIP could benefit people in Europe, the US - and the rest of the world, too.
But to get the deal right, we need to understand people's concerns – and take them into account.
TTIP could create jobs at growth at home, give global trade a shot in the arm, and boost our influence outside Europe too.
Jobs and growth at home
America is still the EU's top export market.
And the jobs of over 10 million Europeans already depend on exports to the US.
A trade deal between us would make it easier and cheaper for EU companies, especially smaller ones, to:
- export to in the US
- get investment from the US
- import the goods and services they need ('inputs') to make their final products and services.
In fact over inputs make up 30% of trade between the EU and US. And the jobs of 31 million Europeans already depend directly on exports.
An independant study suggests TTIP in turn would build on this to:
- generate growth in our economy
- create more, better-paying jobs
- help EU firms compete abroad
- encourage them to innovate.
More investment, more flexibility
A closer partnership with the US would benefit us in other ways, too.
For example, permanent, stable rules for EU-US trade would give:
- potential US investors in Europe the certainty they look for
- us in Europe more secure, more diverse sources of energy.
Doing so would in turn US investment in the EU, and in the new infrastructure our economy needs.
A shot in the arm to trade around the world
In TTIP we want to:
- work with regulators internationally to develop new regulations
- get EU and US regulators working closer together on standards
- update existing regulations for today's context
- set high standards that can serve as a basis for international regulators.
These regulations would apply to trade between the world's two largest economies – which together account for more than 40% of world trade.
That could encourage other countries to adopt the same, or similar, standards and rules.
Partnership with the US to project our shared values
The EU and the US share many common values. In practice that means:
- upholding and promoting human rights
- governing in a transparent way that holds to account people in positions of authority
- having markets which are:
- open to free and fair competition
- well regulated
- protecting people's rights in the workplace, and the environment.
TTIP gives us the chance to develop rules based on these values.
And to include areas linked to trade but which the World Trade Organisation (WTO) - the body which sets global trade rules - hasn’t yet covered, such as:
- access to energy markets
- competition policy
- the role trade can play in promoting sustainable development.
Protecting people and planet
For example, we want the EU and US to commit in TTIP to international trade rules that protect:
- people's health
- their well-being at work
- endangered species
- the environment as a whole
We also want a rule that stops either side weakening its standards to make it cheaper to produce there.
Better value, more choice
Scrapping customs duties and cutting red tape would help generate more competition in the EU and US.
As consumers, we’d benefit from cheaper:
- in the shops
- when buying online
And companies in Europe would pay less for the goods and services (‘inputs’) that go into making final products.
That would help them compete globally, too.
TTIP could also mean more choice for:
- us as consumers when we shop on the High Street or online
- firms, when they buy the goods or services they need to:
- make their final products
- deliver their services.
People naturally have concerns about TTIP – things like standards, public services, or investors' rights. We're doing what we can to understand and address them all.
Both the EU and the US have rules that set strict standards in areas like:
- food safety
- people's health and rights at work
- environmental protection.
We want to cut the costs EU exporters face when:
- standards are the same in the EU and US, but
- EU and US rules differ.
But we're also committed to:
- protecting our high standards
- safeguarding EU regulators' independence
- upholding the precautionary principle
- ensuring governments' right to pass new laws in future to protect people
Public services, like hospitals and schools, are a central, important part of life in Europe.
So after we sign trade deals, governments can still run these services as they wish, for example by:
- maintaining a broad definition of what constitutes a public service
- not accepting any commitment to open up public services to other providers
- maintaining the freedom to decide when only the public sector should have the right to provide a particular service.
Investors' and governments' rights
EU countries have more than 1,400 agreements (or 'BITs') to encourage foreign firms to invest in them.
They give overseas investors certain rights. One is 'Investor-State Dispute Settlement', or ISDS.
An investor can ask an international arbitrators to judge if a government has treated them unfairly. If the tribunal decides the government has, it can make it pay compensation.
Clearer rules, a fairer process
With TTIP, we want to improve this system by:
- defining 'unfair treatment' more clearly and narrowly
- strengthening EU governments' right to regulate.
TTIP could also help by:
- opening up the ISDS system - so that, for example, cases take place in public
- requiring arbitrators to sign up to a code of conduct.
We recently asked people to comment on comment on our proposals online. Their comments will help us develop our approach in TTIP.