The European Consumer Organisation is closely following the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations where our aim is to ensure consumer interests are at the heart of the agreement.
A free trade agreement could benefit consumers by upping market pressure to improve products and services, lowering prices, increasing consumer choice or heightening cooperation on product or food safety on both sides of the Atlantic. But this should not take place at the expense of impairing the existing regulatory environment from which EU consumers derive their trust in, among others, food, medicines, consumer goods and internet sales.
TTIP is not a standard trade deal lowering tariffs. This agreement is about regulatory issues and non-tariff trade barriers.
Significant bodies of legislation and regulation have been built up over the years giving US and EU citizens considerable protections in diverse areas including health, safety, the environment and consumer and worker’s rights. The focus on reducing non-tariff barriers inevitably raises concerns about the deal being used as a backdoor mechanism to reduce protections, or to harmonise by levelling down.
To learn more on TTIP and the way it may impact consumers, take a look at our Factsheet.