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JEFTA is a Trojan Horse

18 April 2018

JEFTA is a Trojan Horse

Foto: SP

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur describes the 'agreement in principle' concluded today by the European Commission with Japan – JEFTA, or the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement - as a Trojan Horse. “The controversial chapters on investment protection (the ISDS – Investor State dispute Settlement) and the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes are for the moment being kept out of the picture,” she says. “This is in the hope that the removal of trade tariffs will persuade the European Council and the European Parliament to approve the treaty. That's a very underhand way to pilot a controversial treaty away from democratic control.”

Mineur points to the section on regulatory cooperation which also forms part of the treaty. “In this sort of treaty backroom talks are declared to be official policy, giving negotiators the opportunity to hammer out controversial policies,” she explains. “So the Commission can now say that there is as yet no agreement on ISDS, or on personal data - a subject on which Japan has very different views -  and postpone the negotiations until the trade treaty is already in force.”

The treaty has been described by European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström as “the greatest trade treaty ever”. But for Mineur “JEFTA is one more example of a treaty which only benefits multinationals. All of the criticisms made last year of the treaties with the United States (TTIP) and Canada (CETA) also go for JEFTA. The European Commission doesn't listen to the public's justified objections. On the contrary, they are even stepping up their efforts.”

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