Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has triggered a dispute with the coalition partner Union with his departure from the EU-US FTA TTIP. In addition, he is the top representatives of the German economy crosswise. Union leaders accused the SPD chairman, acting for partisan reasons, when he says that the negotiations with the US are practically failed. Business representatives demanded from him to continue to work in the interests of German companies for TTIP.
Gabriel had triggered the dispute over TTIP with the interview remark: “In my estimation, the negotiations with the US de facto failed, even if no one admits so right. ” This position confirmed a spokeswoman for the SPD leaders, in the party of opposition to the agreement are still being felt, again explicitly.
Especially Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) sees different. “Still, the negotiations do not end,” said a government spokesman. While it is true that there were still major differences of opinion on important issues between the negotiating parties European Commission and United States. “It is right to continue negotiations,” said Merkel’s spokesman.
For more than three years, the US government and the European Commission on a comprehensive free trade agreement negotiations. In 14 rounds of talks have been found no common positions in most of the up to 30 chapters. Yet Merkel as well as US President Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed the hope that still manages an agreement this year.
While proponents to promise on both sides of the Atlantic by TTIP more growth and jobs, critics fear a dilution of environmental, food and social protection rules. In Germany, tens of thousands of hand took to the streets.
FTA TTIP detailed info box
The Economic Nato
is already since the nineties discuss a transatlantic free trade agreement. It had many names: The Süddeutsche Zeitung called it economic NATO; the official names are Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) or – currently the most common – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Concrete negotiations on the treaty have been around since 2013. Planned is a free trade zone between the US and the European Union, but also Canada, Mexico and other European countries could join. As a model of the proposed Agreement is the Multilateral Agreement on Investment MAI, which should strengthen the rights of investors abroad already in the nineties. It was then heavily criticized by anti-globalization groups. Because of their resistance, the MAI was never resolved.
Pro: prosperity through trade
proponents of TTIP Agreement hope to from free trade welfare gains. Behind this is the central argument of all economic liberals: If customs and other trade barriers fall, each country focusing on the business that dominates it best. Because everyone does what he does best, more things can favorably and may also produce better quality will be as before. To foster innovation, because they pay off more quickly to larger markets. At the end everyone benefits: Consumers have more choice at lower prices. The companies sell more. The economy is growing, new jobs. Model calculations of the ifo Institute, for example, come to the conclusion that the TTIP, real per capita income in Germany could be long-term higher by about five per cent as at present, and that the country 45000-180000 new jobs could be created.
Cons: Contract for companies
Each trade opening produces losers who can not keep up with the new competition from abroad. In Colombia, for example, last year the farmers went to the newly completed free trade agreements with the United States on the road, because they saw a threat to their economic existence. Even if net new jobs are created: Presumably there will be European industries that get into trouble by liberalization. But the criticism of the TTIP goes much further: Until recently, the European Commission held its negotiating position secret, and it is debatable whether the national parliaments of the Member States must approve the agreement at the end. How democratic can such a method be? In addition, the Agreement corporations that invest abroad admits, wide-ranging special rights. Do they see their business interests affected, they can sue in arbitration courts, which do not make public their decisions and outside democratic control are subjected. Behind this is a huge business.
Also in the Union Group was criticized Gabriel operate with its TTIP utterances party politics. “I expect the Minister of Economy of the largest European economy that until recently for TTIP it advocates,” said the deputy faction leader Michael Fuchs. “You have to formulate so hard: Gabriel has not here the country’s welfare in mind, but party politics I find that really irresponsible..”
CDU general secretary Peter Tauber criticized Gabriel in his ministerial function. That he “coordinates are been lost as economy minister, one has already seen in his lonely decision on the merger of Edeka and Tengelmann,” he said – which is granted by special permission Gabriel had a court conceded. The Green-environmental politician Baerbel Hoehn demanded Gabriel must give up its support for the European-Canadian Trade Agreement Ceta. She wrote on Twitter when he TTIP declare a failure, he must also be against “the blueprint” Ceta.
The contentious issues: growth and arbitration
The TTIP treaties enhanced trade with the US. Thus, the economy is growing, there arise new jobs – the European Commission as recruits. Critics argue, these predictions are exaggerated. On the contrary, the increased competition will destroy jobs.
TTIP it is American Company must ensure, in private to sue arbitration when they see endangered wrongly investment . Opponents fear levered democracy advocates hope for more investment in the EU.
Standards, Cooperation & amp; Future
There is no Genfleisch and not hormone chicken in the supermarkets. We will not reduce our demands on products and processes by TTIP says the federal government. Wrong, critics argue it threatens a race to the bottom: in a single market automatically the one with the fewest restrictions.
The authorities should coordinate future on both sides before new rules issued for products. The find opponents undemocratic. The EU argues that the manufacturers reduce costs.
The enemies want to stop TTIP, the EU Commission wants the negotiations to spring 2016 complete – even before the US election campaign starts.
From the economic Gabriel has been criticized. Foreign Trade Minister Anton Börner called TTIP a historic opportunity that we must not squander. As “politically questionable” designated Industry president Ulrich Grillo Gabriels approach. Who declare TTIP actually a failure, spot huge advantages of such an agreement in jeopardy.
The President of the Automotive Industry Association VDA, Matthias Wissmann, called on the federal government to support the European Commission in the TTIP negotiations. “Instead of abandoning the agreement of party tactical reasons, it is important to intensify efforts for a successful conclusion,” he said. DIHK President Eric Schweitzer called the TTIP negotiations a challenge. But he said: “TTIP has the potential to trade with Germany’s largest export partners That’s important, especially against the background of increasing protectionism in the world..”
The European Commission made it clear that first and foremost on the progress of the TTIP negotiations they decide. “The ball still rolling,” said a spokesman for the authority. Let there be further negotiated. The calls came in a crucial phase. As before, we hope to reach an agreement later this year, but not at the expense of European interests protection.
Only from his own party and from the union camp Gabriel received support. IG Bau chief Robert Craven said, everything was known about TTIP, contradicts “our idea of living together in Europe.”