The twelfth round of negotiations for TTIP, the biggest trade deal of them all, starts today in Brussels. The impacts of TTIP are disturbing and well documented elsewhere on this site, but we are seeing signs of panic setting in on the pro-TTIP side of the fence. They’re right to panic.
1) TTIP is hugely behind schedule. It should have been signed off by now, and well into the ‘legal scrubbing’ stage where the lawyers tie up the legal loose ends and smooth of the rough edges. These negotiations are not open ended. Every delay, every extra month taken up at this stage is a threat to the entire project. We have the US elections looming, two of the frontrunners are against the new generation trade deals like TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). There is no secret about the desperation of the Obama machine as they try to get the deal done and signed off before he vacates the White House at the end of the year. Obama is due to visit Germany in April to plead with all concerned to get a move on with the project. It is not impossible for the ratification vote in the European parliament to be held in 2019, after the next elections. That would make ratification in Europe very uncertain indeed.