tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 13, 2016 7:00am-7:31am PDT
♪ talks turmoil. hope or fear? that is our topic today on "quadriga." negotiators from the u.s. and europe working around the clock, trying to finalize a transatlantic trade agreement. they thought they were working in secret until a large chunk of the negotiating found its way onto the internet. could that spelled the end of tpp? the planned agreement is bringing more onto the streets in protest.
europeans are worried about consumer protection and environment all standards, especially after greenpeace leaked damaging information from the talks. investors and companies are eager for a deal. the german chancellor and the u.s. president both stand behind tpp, saying it will encourage economic growth and trade. votes orraise all benefit only wealthy corporations and the elite? that is what we want to talk about with 3 experts following it. the head of the apartment of external economic -- of the end of external economic policy. she says german industry giveves that tpp will committees better access to the u.s. market. but it's aborted that it remain -- it's important that it remains ambitious. editor of the opinion page.
he says tpp will most likely boost economies on both sides of the atlantic and strengthen transatlantic ties. european fears about decisively lower food environmental standards are overblown. the head of greenpeace's political unit in behind last week's major-league. he says tpp has to be stopped because in the agreement, consumer and environmental protections are less important than business interests. >> aren't business interests pretty important for europe at the moment? growth here is lacking. unemployment is drastically high. can europe afford to walk away from an agreement that would create the biggest free-trade zone in the world?
>> negotiations have so far been completely behind closed doors. even elected members of parliament could not talk publicly about it. we just opened the floor for public debate. if europe decides whether to continue these talks or to skip them, i would not say this is the moment. this is up to europe. >> clearly greenpeace is of the opinion that what is at stake certainly does not justify an agreement of the kind that is shaping up. >> yes, we are critical towards ttip. we think this is the kind of trade deal which we don't need. there has been a lot of ongoing relationships between the u.s. and europe in terms of economic trade. we don't think that, as is his set up, it can really boost standards. to the contrary, it will probably lower the standards we already have in europe. and some that are higher in the u.s.. end, we don't expect very
good things to come out of this. >> we will take another look at the standards. but isn't slightly lower standards perhaps a justifiable price to pay for getti more jobs? >> i do't think so, no. we suld not wer conser protection and environmental protection standards. these are things we have worked for hardly over the last decade. these are hard standards worldwide. i don't think we should put it at risk just because some corporations need a bit more money. >> according to classical theory, it only brings prosperity for all if the gains from opening markets are used to compensate those that lose out -- those seeing their wages fall. that almost never happens, which is why trade is an issue on major size of the atlantic. what is the experience we have se with angreement like nafta? doesn't it indicate that, in fact, those gains rarely get
redistributed? >> no, we don't agree with that observation. if you look at the history of germany or european union, we see clearly that trade has boosted economic growth. it has boosted income. it is a very important foundation of our wealth. i would say also for the north american area, for canada and the u.s. and mexico. looking at germany, every fourth job in this country depends on trade. in industry, it is every second job. trade to gp is almost 86% -- to gdp is a most 86%. that is massively important for our wealth. we depend on open global markets. we believe that ttip is something we we should not walk away from, especially looking at some of our european neighbors who have not experienced such sound gwth as wdid in t pastears. they need a new growth impulse.
this is a chance we should take. ttip is not just important because of economic growth and jobs. we believe that trade agreements are much more today than just about opening markets. it is about how we want to trade with each other. it's about global rules, really. >> let's come back to that in just a moment. we have one con voice, one pro voice. you can be the tie-breaker here. you said in your opening statement that you thought ttip would probably boost the u.s. and european economy. a somewhat conditional statement there. the u.s. is already germany's greatest trading partner. terrace already pretty low. already pretty low. would this justify the risks? >> i don't know that it would justify the risk. countries that already have agreements don't need another
agreement. we have a european union. we had agreements between germany and spain, and other countries, and we still think the european uni, forming hugeunit of cmon tradnd lel res is a good idea. i think that it is in principle a good idea. the gains are dependent on if we have ttip light, for the -- or the originally planned reement. let me make twoore points. one, eopeans havekepticis it is geany, atria, an luxeourg. other 2member stes of t european union have a majority for ttip. the next point is secrecy. does green priest -- does greenpeace -- are agreements on the summit paris done in public?
no it's not even made a political afr that, which is done with ttip. do the two coalition parties have open discussions about how they form agreements? no. all this is me behind closed doors to make secrecy the top. -- i think to make secrecy the top point of ttip, i think that is overblown. >> i think you said under your breath that you don't internally agree in terms of the dissolution of opposition. >> first of all, let me at one point. growth so far isn't the promise of ttip has been delivered. the european commissioner says the growth rate would be 0.5% over 10 years. it is practically nothing. that is not growth. on terms of transparency, nobody is expecting politicians sitting at the market place in brussels and disclosing it publicly. i followed the climate
negotiations. they are much more transparent than ttip has ever been. host: even now? the european trade commission has set up rooms. they said this is the most transparency they are provided on diplomatic negotiations. >> sorry, but a reading room were a member of parliament can only enter under gardens is not -- under guidance, and is not allowed to take copies, or take an expert with them, and should not talk about anybody afterwards -- has to sign a paper on this -- this is not the high stage. >> so that means you have official russian and chinese docunts saying what kind of point they are going into? >> of course. if y ou know them, that is another point. can they even participate in the negotiations as observer?
you cannot contribute to the discussion. you can follow the negotiations point by point. that is a different scene of transparency. i don't understand why a trade deal needs this type of complete secrecy. i prefer the understand there needs to be competent between the parties negotiation. -- be confidence between the parties negotiating. host: let's get back to the geographic issue. she is shaking her head now. clearly you don't quite agree on the point about growth or transparency? [laughter] >> actually both. with approval ratings, a new poll done twice a year. the last one in november should pretty clearly that for europe as a whole, the support wave is still pretty high. the majority of europeans support ttip. it's actually four countries where the majority are against ttip.
one is slovenia, if i am not mistaken. the debate we are having in germany is pretty specific. host: we do have a report about that. but give us your view on the growth point, and the point about transparency. >> we believe we already trade a lot with the u.s. uldre is a lot of gain we co utilize by getting rid of excess in trade barriers. he said that tariffs are already pretty low. taking into account how much we trade, even removing those barriers with the two quite an impact. -- barriers would lead to quite an impact. i'm not talking about environmental standards, but technical barriers to trade. t issue oransparey, transparency is really vital for
the legitimacy of the negotiations. we always have supported that the negotiation dates with the public. --negotiation mandate would be public. we believe the needs to be room for negiators tet together and negotiate. i am pretty sure you wouldn't like us to be in the room in the negotiators, breathing down their necks. i think there needs to be a room of protection for them. host: what do you say to the charges that there might be opposition in some european countries, but it is strongest in germany. it has brought tens of thousands onto the streets. why is that? >> there is a strong consumer and environment or movement in germany. germany's environmental policy has a high respect in the population. it's a growing skepticism all over europe. seeing reactions in france, for
example. chancellor merkel did not say the same thing as president hollande. there is much stronger opposition growing. specifically in germany, we are very sensitive if environ mental standards are put at risk. and also consumer protection -- these are important issues. thear as ttip stands, in regulatory corporation, these are not put at stake. host: let's look at some of the things worrying german consumers. ♪ >> many germans have fears about ttip. they are scared in the future they will have to eat chlorinated chickens, or gm corn. two symbols for what many view as lower consumer safety standards in the u.s. others are worried about social dumping. that's good jobs in germany with social benefits would be replaced by more precarious once with longer hours and lower wages. some are afraid of environment a
live next --environmental impacts. fracking, a controversial method for obtaining oil and gas, could be extended. or renewable energy could be viewed by the u.s. as a trade barrier. then there are fears involving culture. the u.s. is against book price fixing and film subsidies. it says cultural fields distort competition. are the fears justified? will ttip bring europe more problems than solutions? host: is this just another case of german and, or is there much would -- german angst, or is there more to it than that? >> it is the perception of ttip. it is combined with perception of america in general. the greedy companies who wait for class action to be taken. we have w in for mentaand food standards. -- low environmental and food standards.
reality speaks the opposite. if we look at the fifa schedule, or all that is brought up, it is in the united states. host: it is begotten states that brings these -- the united states that brings these scandals to light. >> yes, and car manufacturers, things like that. host: interesting that you make that point. it seems that many americans believe their own standards are higher than european ones. you lived in the u.s. for 5 years. what is your impression of the standards there? >> the standards are quite high. and the punishment for companies that violate these standards is even higher. if you have bp exxon petrol scandal, they paid billions and damages for that. the volkswagen scandal, they will tell -- will pay billions for that. the punishment is high if you violate standards. the other point, why is it that
in germany -- germans do in fact have high expectations towards ecological standards. but something else happened in the past. the nsa, the national security agency scandal. the fear they need some kind of revenge. they think it is more in the interest of the americans than the europeans to have this kind of deal. there is this kind of perception. it's that perception that says no. if we say no, we teach the americans a lesson. issue.o the standards let's start with chicken. the u.s. chicken colored with chlorine. european chicken often injected with antibiotics. is that much better? why shouldn't consumers be permitted to choose whether they want a chicken poisoned by
chlorine and poisoned by antibiotics? [laughter] >> it's not being against america or anything coming from there. i may remind you, this was founded by americans and canadians. even some standards are higher in the u.s. take the logic and oxide emissions, for the simple. we would be happy to have them in germany. -- the nitrogen oxide emissions, for example. it is all about the same problem. the problem is, if an industrialized agriculture with gmo food, with hormone treated some chickenay be and chlorine -- this might not be the biggest problem, but this type of our culture taking over, -- type of agriculture taking over, we have a problem. we have big profits, but also small regional producers. the standards in europe,
especially the ecological standards, are quite higher than they are in the u.s. so we should keep them. standards mean higher cost. the system you advocate is a paternalistic system. not all consumers can and want to pay more for their food. isn't it somewhat presumptuous to say that those of lower income should not have the right to choose cheaper food that is not quite at the same level? >> well, we don't say that. people can do that today. we don't need more imports from the u.s. to do that. we don't say that everyone has to buy eco food and no other food will be allowed. what we say is that the industrial eco-culture has a lot of flaws. it has a disastrous impact on the environment. it is the number one problem in terms of biodiversity, in terms of water pollution. we all know that. we should strive to get a better agriculture.
this is not the agricultural model that is used in the u.s., which is the large-scale industrial model. we should strive for other models. i don't think that ttip will be any improvement here. host: it has been suggested that ttip will replace european social market capitalism with something more like the.s. sino capalist mel, puttg corpations ithe drivs seat, grepeace said wh it leaked theocuments is there an element of truth to that? >> we don't think so. first of all, i wanted to say something on the agricultural market in the u.s. i don't think it is correct to say that it's only industrial agriculture, which the u.s. has. it has a huge market for small and medium-sized firms, and also organic farming. the organic firming market in the u.s. is bigger than our market. the criteria for organic firming is just as high as here. they are even stricter with the use of antibiotics in meat
production. this painting of black and white, that is something we shouldn't do. the u.s. has higher standards in some areas, we have higher standards in others. will ttip lead to a lower standard, to a lower common denominator? we don't believe so. of course, most of our coomer -- consumer- most of our protection standards are under law. why should parliament ever agree to a ttip that will take away what they have fought for? on the other side of the atlantic, congress has fought, and president obama has fought for higher standards for the environment reduction agency. why, ever, should he agree on the lowest denominator and lowest standards? i just don't see that, not in a democratic system. host: let me take us into the future, the very short term.
the ttip negotiations are new moving into what the negotiators call the endgame. the rush is on to get the agreement settled by this summer. the big question is -- can the goat negotiators -- the negotiators come over one issue when it comes to arbitration? >> for four years, the international center for the settlement of investment disputes has been imitating -- been trading an explosive case. a swedish giant is suing germany. the company says it lost money because the country decided in 2012 to phase out nuclear energy, to force it to take nuclear reactors off-line early. the firm says it has been treated unjustly, and that investments are now worthless. it's demanding 4.7 billion euros in reparations. the case has heightened fears that if ttip comes under law, foreign companies could have national laws overruled by the
court at world bank in washington. do such course -- such courts pose a threat to national sovereignty? host: what do you think -- threat to national sovereignty? and if so, can a condi rice be -- can a compromise be found? these are commercial arbitrations. >> by the rule of law, they have laws. they follow up and they need to see if they were obliged to them. in the last 20 years, i think there were 17 cases that the americans brought like that. you can give these courts regulations that minimizes the risks we have justs een. the eu commission has made a counter proposal for the eu-u.s. trade court that would be the estate entity. can greenpeace live with that? >> we don't see it as a
compromise. we see it as a cosmetic attempt to get ttip down the road. it would also create a justice court in parallel to the already existing, democratically legitimized system. we don't need that between two very developed groups of states. if you do an investment in a country that has a bad government -- developing countries still have corruption -- i understand that investors want to have an assurance, some kind of possibility to make lawsuits against the government. but this is not necessary between the u.s. and europe. we have a perfectly developed system of justice. we don't need private arbitrators to do the job. forng no possibility ordinary people and ordinary courts to claim that position.
host: there has been u.s. suggestions to sideline the issue and go with a leaner version of ttip consensus where it can be found. you say you don't want ttip -lite. why not? >> because today trade is not just about shipping goods from one country to another, trade comes different from 20-30 years ago. it's about trade and services, it has something to do with data. trade has to come -- has become a different animal. so we need new rules, rules that we don't have yet. it would be great to have these through the world trade organization. but since 200-, they have not delivered these rules. we need to see how we can test them with partners close to us. a chance to as shape these rules. by the way, investment section
is one of these areas -- investment protection is one of these areas where it could be a good case. host: the window is closing both for the show and for ttip. negotiators want to get it done by summer, because after obama's term ends, there might not be any pro-trade person at the white house. will it happen? >> 60% yes. i might underestimate the recent -- the resistance in europe. host: do you think it will go though? >> i don't think so, to be honest. i don't think the european trade agreement should see light of day either. >> it will be tricky, for us, the content is more important than time. host: thanks very much to all of you for being with us. and thanks to all of you for tuning in. see you soon. ♪