TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is a free trade and investment protection agreement between the United States of America and the European Union. Negotiations began in June 2013 and the process has been heavily criticized for being non-transparent. Negotiations are not expected to conclude in 2016. The main aim of the agreement is to reduce tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in order to generate economic growth. This, however, is highly disputed, as it is impossible to forecast the influence of the agreement on the countries’ economies.
The EU-Commission has published research concluding that only positive effects are to be expected from TTIP, whereas critical research concluded that with a rise in transatlantic trade, inter-European trade will drop, European wages will decrease and macroeconomic instability increase. Further criticism include that industrial standards (e.g. DIN norms) and legal standards in the areas of environmental protection, consumer protection, health, labour and social welfare have been classified as non-tariff trade barriers and could thus be subject to drastic changes, in many cases against public interest.
CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) is a trade agreement negotiated between the European Union and Canada. It encompasses broad trade and customs facilitations and is widely considered as the blueprint for TTIP. Non-public negotiations began in 2009 and were concluded in 2014. It has already been approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Currently it is uncertain whether ratification is needed by all national EU parliaments. According to the European Commission, CETA falls solely into EU competencies and thus does not need to be ratified by the member states. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs doesn’t expect CETA to come into force before 2017.
Even if CETA was declared as a mixed agreement, it would enter into force right after the EP vote. And even if a national parliament would vote against, ICS will stay in place for at least 3 years. According to the Canadian trade minister, almost 90 % of CETA would be implemented before any vote at national parliaments
TiSa (Trade in Services Agreement) is an international trade agreement between 23 parties, including the EU and the USA. The agreement aims at the global liberalization and removal of trade barriers in the services such as the banking, health care and transport sector. Negotiations on the agreement’s terms were already begun in 2012. Since then, several negotiating meetings have taken place behind closed doors. On aim included in TiSa is the opening of labour markets for foreign service providers. With TiSa it will be possible to send foreign contract workers for temporary assignments to other signatory states. In this context, it is highly disputed whether under TiSa labour standards of the deployment country apply for foreign staff members, in particular whether staff will be remunerated according to local labour agreements.