European Parliament delays transatlantic trade talks


MEPs postpone debate on controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between US and EU

PARIS – The European Parliament on Wednesday postponed the debate on transatlantic trade talks that had been due to take place.

A vote on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was delayed by MEPs on Tuesday, and on Wednesday a debate on a non-binding resolution was also put off.

The delays came amid growing public concern over the EU-U.S. deal, which aims to reduce regulatory barriers for multinational businesses to boost the U.S. and European economies.

Opponents argue it would seriously limit countries’ sovereignty and their ability to hold corporations to account while supporters say reducing the cost for businesses to export would boost growth and employment.

European politicians are divided on the merits of the agreement.

Trade Committee Chairman Bernd Lange, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said: “We will use the additional time we gained to work towards reaching a stable majority for the TTIP resolution.”

However, Irish MEP Sean Kelly said the postponement was a response to the “enormous pressure from civil society” — a reference to an anti-TTIP petition that has been signed by 2 million Europeans.