Matt Carthy MEP Sinn Féin
MIDLANDS NORTH WEST MEP Matt Carthy today launched a discussion document produced by Sinn Féin which outlines concerns in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations currently taking place between the US and EU.
TTIP is the most significant free trade agreement of modern times but elements of it have been shrouded in secrecy.
Speaking at the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin this morning, Matt Carthy said it is important that a comprehensive public debate takes place in relation to the impact TTIP will have on Irish interests.
Criticising the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and highlighting how MEPs only became aware of the mandate for negotiations via a leaked document, he told An Phoblacht that his party has major concerns surrounding the establishment of an Investor State Dispute Settlement Procedure.
"It operates outside of the rule of law and allows investors to sue member states as a result of potential loss of revenue. It is the mechanism by which tobacco giants are currently suing Australia as a result of that country’s public health measures against smoking."
Representatives from a number of trade unions, NGOs and pressure groups attended the launch and outlined their concerns in the areas of employment, workers' rights, agriculture and the environment.
Matt Carthy called on more organisations to evaluate the potential consequences of TTIP and to raise their concerns with public representatives.
"It has become increasingly apparent that there is a clear need for public engagement and debate on the consequences of TTIP for Ireland, particularly as we have lost our veto to block this agreement as a result of the Lisbon treaty."