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MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Trans-Atlantic Trading and Investment Partnership project (TTIP) will in the first place benefit the United States, which hopes to play the dominating role in the newly-created association, so it is quite natural the Europeans are against this prospect by and large, polled specialists have told TASS.
Last weekend tens of thousands of Europeans took to the streets to protest against the conclusion of the TTIP deal between the United States and the European Union. Rallies against the agreement were held in 700 cities. Its critics point to the risk of soaring influences of trans-national corporations on the policies and economies of the European Union countries.
"The Barack Obama Administration is pushing Brussels towards finalizing the wording of the document by the end of 2015. The US president has two hobby horses - Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic cooperation. He would like to push through the TTIP project before leaving the White House, hoping these two global projects would help him go down in history. But the stronger Washington’s pressures on Brussels, the firmer the resistance from the trade unions and the public at large in all EU countries," the chief of the international development directorate at the Institute of Modern Development (INSOR), Sergey Kulik, told TASS.
"The White House’s official stance is the TTIP will yield extra benefits for both parties. No details are disclosed, though. The agreement has three versions, but all of them are kept secret. Last year the European Commission unveiled some details of the project on the agenda, which concerns a new regulatory agreement in trading and economic ties between the European Union and the United States. The Europeans are really scared about the possibility the EU market may be flooded with genetically-modified foods of US origin. Ecologically clean products are a matter of worship for EU farmers," Kulik said.
"Moreover, the new industrial standards proposed by the United States will force industrial managers in the EU countries to dismiss personnel. The participants in the second tide of mass protests against the TTIP in the EU are perfectly aware of that. It is not ruled out that the TTIP project will be delayed and eventually postponed till 2018-2019," Kulik forecasts.
"The TTIP has poured more fuel onto the fire of internal political struggle in the EU countries and the accusations Brussels is too secretive and nontransparent in making decisions," the chief of the European Political Studies at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations, Nadezhda Arbatrova, has told TASS.
"The idea of Trans-Atlantic Trading and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union has both supporters and opponents. The project’s advocates at the head of state and head of government level within the EU and the European Commission proceed from the understanding that trans-Atlantic relations in the 21st century cannot be confined to military security considerations, contrary to what was observed in the past. Still greater attention is paid to the economic agenda: economically motivated foreign policy initiatives and the determination of potential risks," Arbatova believes.
"Neither the United States’ turn towards Asia, nor the EU’s trade with China can conceal the fact that the volume of trade between the European Union and the United States constitutes one-third of world trade, and of services, 40% of world trade. The US and the EU account for a quarter of all world markets of finance. According to the European Commission, the zone of free trade between the United States and the European Union will encompass 820 million people. The project has already been dubbed as an ‘Economic NATO’, conceived as a counterbalance to China and its ambitious plans," Arbatova believes.
"The critics of that idea in Europe say that the project will benefit the United States first and foremost, for that country will be playing the dominating role in this yet-to-be created association. For instance, they argue that the lifting of trading and customs barriers between the United States and the EU would ruin the mechanisms that enable individual European countries to defend the strategically important sectors of the national economies from foul foreign competition and dumping policies, which would cause the erosion of social, ecological, technological and other norms effective in the EU and result in the dictating of US concerns," Arbatova said.
The chief of the Globalization Problems Institute, Mikhail Delyagin, a member of the discussion club Valdai, sees the TTIP project as a threat to the deindustrialization of the EU countries. "The TTIP project - in fact the establishment of a free trade zone between the European Union and the United States, will eliminate the barrier protecting Europeans from being taken over by the United States. The European economy is not competitive against the American one. The United States will just ‘cleanse’ the European market with its so-called ‘advanced management’. As a result Germany and France will be converted to the condition of today’s Poland, and many less prospering countries, such Italy and Spain, will plummet to the level of Bulgaria," Delyagin told TASS.
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