TTIP: The Truth About the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
By Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel Siles-Brügge
Polity, 2015, 160 pp.
The failure of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which began in 2001, has led to a proliferation of smaller multilateral and bilateral talks aimed at reaching narrower agreements. The United States is involved in two major ones: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region that agreed to terms late last year but have yet to ratify the deal, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which Washington is hashing out with the 28 members of the EU and hopes to complete later this year. This book provides a reasoned analysis of the TTIP in mid-negotiation, critically examining arguments made by its advocates and its critics, most of whom are in Europe. The authors’ sympathies lie mainly with the detractors, although they find the claims of both sides exaggerated. They are especially doubtful that the deal will add 0.5 percent to Europe’s GDP by 2027, as its proponents predict, or that it will establish new “gold standard” trading rules for the rest of the world. They are troubled by the way that international trade has taken priority over other worthy objectives and allege that a successful TTIP negotiation will actually impinge on democratic decision-making in the future.