France Threatens to Block TTIP After Leak

Corporate interests have been dealt a fresh blow as France threatened to halt talks of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

There’s been some dramatic developments following last nights leak of the secret TTIP trade deal between the US and Europe. France has signaled that it intends on halting talks altogether, leaving the future of the trade deal in doubt. From The Guardian:

François Hollande said on Tuesday he would reject the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership “at this stage” because France was opposed to unregulated free trade.

Earlier, France’s lead trade negotiator had warned that a halt in TTIP talks “is the most probable option”. Matthias Fekl, the minister responsible for representing France in TTIP talks, blamed Washington for the impasse. He said Europe had offered a lot but had received little in return. He added: “There cannot be an agreement without France and much less against France.”

Many are pointing out that the TTIP negotiations have become less stable in recent months. Some observers point to the leaked documents as evidence that there were deep cracks between different sides forming – leading to an impasse on certain topics. Now that France has threatened to block the deal altogether, the future of the deal remains uncertain.

The development is being seen as a major victory for citizens as the deal would have meant more power for corporate interests at the expense of every day people. In one example, the trade deal was rumored to have undermined user privacy for the purpose of enforcing copyright.

The move might also be seen as a major blow to multinational corporate interests because if TTIP falls apart, that puts the pressure on the other remaining trade agreements to get through the laws they demand should be in place in these regions. It also complicates the politics of these trade deals because if one is seen as unacceptable, why would these other similar trade deals be acceptable?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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