Regarding the two negotiating mandates of the EU Commission with the USA, the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (BAK) considers the reduction of the originally comprehensive TTIP agenda to an agreement on the elimination of tariffs as a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, we do not approve the agreement on conformity assessment due to the missing sustainability impact analyses and no conclusive limits to the scope of the agreement.
Therefore, before the decision on trade negotiations is taken, we call for a comprehensive sustainability impact assessment, which must also be published immediately. Regarding the differences in the scope of the contract, the BAK calls for basic parameters and the protection of sensitive interests (e.g. public services) which must be excluded from the scope of the agreement. Besides that, all areas open for negotiation must be listed exhaustively in the negotiation guidelines.
In the opinion of the BAK, the ratification, implementation and application of ILO core labour standards is an essential factor for concluding further trade agreements. The BAK also supports the European Parliament's resolution on climate diplomacy and demands the ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement for all trading partners, including the USA. Furthermore, we demand the revocation of the TTIP negotiating mandate that dates back to 2013.
Finally, before and during negotiations transparent communication of the EU and US negotiating positions must be ensured. Trade unions and civil society organisations must be fully informed and included in the progress of negotiations with the same rights as other special interest groups.
Under these circumstances, the BAK rejects the trade negotiations between the EU and the US and calls to vote against the mandates.