Thursday, March 24, 2016

TTIP “Trade” Regime Would Let EU Meddle in U.S. Policy

In addition to imposing an expanded transnational regulatory and judicial regime that would further erode U.S. national sovereignty and self-government, the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would give Big Business cronies even more power over U.S. and European Union policy. If approved, it would also allow the European Union to meddle in U.S. governance, and vice versa. That is according to an explosive section from the negotiating TTIP agreement that was leaked last week obtained by an establishment-funded anti-cronyism organization. It has since been released by the EU. Outrage quickly ensued.

Virtually all of the press so far has focused on the implications for Europe. However, the scheming will have major effects on the U.S. regulatory regime as well. Among other changes, the relevant section of the agreement would force the EU to consult the U.S. government before adopting “legislative” or regulatory proposals. It would also commit U.S. authorities to consulting with Brussels before moving forward on legislation or regulatory schemes across a wide array of subject areas. The U.S. Congress and elected European bodies would then be further sidelined as the two executive branches increasingly rule Americans and Europeans by lobbyist-influenced decree.   

Under the scheme, the insatiable regulatory bureaucracies of the EU and the U.S. government agree to “aim at achieving common or compatible regulatory measures." "To this end, regulatory authorities of either side will have the opportunity to propose to the regulatory authorities of the other side particular steps to deepen existing cooperation or to start new cooperation,” the draft scheme explains. When it comes to providing notice of new decrees and providing “cooperation opportunities,” U.S. regulatory bodies would have to alert European bureaucrats, also known as “eurocrats,” before even alerting the American people.

When either side is amending existing policies or making new ones that might affect the cooperation between Washington, D.C., and Brussels, they must “provide each other opportunities for cooperation and information exchange, at the earliest possible stage to allow for the responsible regulatory authorities of both parties to discuss regulatory objectives and options and any other related issue.” The document also purports to commit both sides to taking into account the other party's regulatory schemes when adopting or planning their own. In the EU, eurocrats regulate everything from the shape of agricultural produce and your table at a restaurant to the steps at your apartment and the content of your speech.

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