Greenpeace has obtained a report that suggests the European Union would weaken environmental regulations if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was adopted.
The leak cover the 12th and 13th round of trade talks between the EU and US, which were held in New York City last week.
The TTIP agreement aims to remove existing trade barriers between the EU and US, and proponents argue it would lead to higher economic growth.
But Greenpeace has accused both sides of damaging environmental regulations.
The documents suggest that there are ‘irreconcilable’ differences in key policy areas on trade and environmental protection. Greenpeace suggested the European Union was willing to lower its protection standards in order to secure a trade agreement, but this was quickly denied.
“I am simply not in the business of lowering standards. I have a clear negotiating mandate for the negotiations given to the Commission by 28 EU governments, that clearly spells out what a successful agreement has to look like, and what our non-negotiable red lines are,” said Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade.
In addition, Greenpeace accused the US negotiators of watering down European protections covering human health, animal welfare, public safety and others – saying that the US views these regulations as “trade distorting”.
Greenpeace said “trade should not be excluded from climate action”, and that there were no provisions that aimed for a reduction in global temperature increase.
TTIP has been fraught with controversy since its inception, with thousands protesting Obama in Germany recently, and many voicing concern over the secrecy of the negotiations. On the other side of the Atlantic, weariness toward another trade deal is increasing at a time when presidential hopefuls are heavily criticising US free trade deals already in place.
You can read the full 248 page leak here.