International law attorneys frequently hear stories like this: “My husband is Swedish, I was born in England, but we met in France. For a while, we lived together in Italy because of his job. We got married in Ireland because my mother was there and she was excited for us. Then we went to live […]
A few days before the San Fermín festival, world-famous for its “running of the bulls”, the media spread the news of a decree issued by Judge Victoria Rubio, presiding over Pamplona Commercial Court No. 2. This court was the scene of the final confrontation between Kukuxumusu and Mikel Urmeneta, one of the company’s cofounders and […]
The current conflict in Syria, as well as the various wars that have been going on for years in different parts of the world (Iraq, South Sudan, Ukraine, etc.) have led to the significant growth and acceleration of forced displacement. At the same time, many long-standing conflicts remain unresolved. In these circumstances, children are typically […]
The EU’s new Data Protection Regulation, which entered into force on May 24, involves numerous changes on the subject. At ICN LEGAL, we’ve paid special attention to the changes involved in this new regulatory framework. The text itself establishes that it will not be applicable until two years after it has entered into force in […]
The “Panama Papers”, confidential documents leaked from the firm Mossack-Fonseca by an anonymous source, have sparked public outrage at the tax practices of the elite and have directed the general public’s attention to an aspect of finance and taxation which, despite seeming dubious, had until now been virtually unknown except to a small group of […]
When we leave our country in search of a better life and work, we usually feel lost and confused at the beginning of this new stage in our lives. At the same time, we also have to deal with difficult procedures required to legalize our status in the destination country. ICN LEGAL has many years […]
Since 2008, visitors to São Paulo (Brazil) have been surprised on their walks through the city by enormous photographs, black-and-white portraits of anonymous people, which appear on common structures of urban geography such as the pillars of a viaduct or the dividing wall of a building. They are part of “Giganto”, a project by photojournalist […]
It’s clear that the world continues to be in crisis. Eighty percent of the global population lives in poverty, unemployment rates continue to rise in Europe, and chronic unemployment in Spain is worrisome, as is job insecurity. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re now facing a serious humanitarian refugee crisis. It has become clear, therefore, […]It’s clear that the world continues to be in crisis. Eighty percent of the global population lives in poverty, unemployment rates continue to rise in Europe, and chronic unemployment in Spain is worrisome, as is job insecurity. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re now facing a serious humanitarian refugee crisis. It has become clear, therefore, that the current international trade rules, created in the eighties and nineties, are completely outdated for modern trade ruled by the internet. Responsible political leaders have noticed the situation, which is why more energy has been put into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) recently.
But what is this agreement, and how could it affect us in terms of international trade?
Let’s start at the beginning. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the United States, with the fundamental aim of eliminating barriers that hinder trade and investment, thus establishing the so-called Transatlantic Free Trade Area. It is based on the idea that current international trade policies must be made more dynamic in order to bring the world out of this alarming economic crisis, since tariff and geopolitical policies are still hindering economic growth.
In general, it is believed that the future application of this agreement will considerably increase international trade, leading to the creation of new companies and, consequently, the jobs desired.
However, it doesn’t go unnoticed that the intention is to create a union of northern countries to compete with new powers such as China, India, Brazil and Russia. Of course, with the difference that we would combine the dogma of capitalism, i.e. maximizing benefits for economic growth, with the principles of the social economy (respect for human rights, consumer protection and environmental concerns). There is little value in growth at the expense of lowering the standards we’ve worked so hard to achieve in Europe in terms of labor rights and environmental protection.
What does the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) consist of?
The agreement focuses on three main areas in terms of trade and investment.
First, in order to ensure market access for goods, services and public procurement, the proposed free trade agreement includesthe elimination of tariffs on bilateral trade, with the aim of achieving a high level of liberalization in terms of services and investments. In addition, another priority of the agreement is to establish a true transatlantic public procurement market, so that companies on both sides of the Atlantic can compete on equal terms.
The second area deals with essential regulatory aspects such as technical standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. The agreement pays special attention to harmonization of the various regulations on both sides of the Atlantic that, on numerous occasions, result in excessive costs and loss of competitiveness.
Finally, the agreement establishes a set of global rules on intellectual property to ensure greater protection in a diverse range of areas that includes sustainable development, SMEs, competition and energy trade.
How will the TTIP affect us, and what is the current state of the negotiations?
Last January, the Institute for Economic Studies (IEE) published research addressing the impact that signing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States will have on Spain. The main conclusions of this report indicate that over a period of 3 to 5 years, the TTIP would lead to an annual increase in wages and private consumption for Spain, in addition to encouraging the creation of new jobs.
Other studies that also show the TTIP having positive results for Spain are Reducing Transatlantic Barriers for Trade and Investment by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) from March 2013, and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership by the Bertelsmann Foundation (a think tank with over 20 years of experience in Spain) from June 2013.
Since the launch of the initiative, there have been no less than 13 rounds of negotiations on the TTIP. The last round took place in New York at the end of April, and a new round is expected to take place before summer.
However, there are numerous detractors who believe that implementation of this agreement would increase the power of large businesses and market deregulation; and as a result, would decrease levels of social and environmental protection in the signatory states.
We hope that this agreement doesn’t end up fulfilling the old adage “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
We’ll see what the future holds for us.
As lawyers specializing in family law (we’re sometimes called “custody lawyers”), we know that during the divorce or separation process, much to our dismay, children are the ones who suffer most from disputes that arise between parents, and tend to be the ones who pay the price for their parents’ disagreements. In many instances, member […]