AFL-CIO and ETUC Release Joint Principles for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

(July 10, 2014 Washington, DC) – Today, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) released a Declaration of Joint Principles on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), calling for an agreement that “puts shared prosperity and sustainable social and economic development” first.

Some of the key provisions of the declaration include calls for the TTIP to:

  • Ensure sustainable development by requiring parties to protect fundamental labor rights and the environment;
  • Include recourse to dispute settlement and trade sanctions to enforce labor and environment commitments;
  • Preserve the right to legislate and regulate in the public interest, including the use of the Precautionary Principle;
  • Exclude rules that would undermine domestic economic development, national security, environmental protection, workplace health and safety and social justice policies.

“The TTIP is an opportunity to get trade and globalization policy right, but only if it is negotiated in an open manner that puts people before profits,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We have an opportunity to create a new gold standard for international trade, but that will only be the case if the agreement results in higher standards and better jobs for working people.”

Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the ETUC, stated that the ETUC “opposes ISDS—corporations should have no more favorable treatment than other groups in a society.  In addition, it is critical that TTIP not require public procurement decisions to be made solely on the cheapest price, but also respect collective agreements, social rights, and environmental standards.”

The AFL-CIO and ETUC also agreed that any final TTIP must not, among other conditions:

  • Include an investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), which grants special legal rights and privileges to foreign corporations
  • Threaten the provision of important public services, such as education, healthcare, water, postal services and public transportation

The full Declaration of Joint Principles on TTIP can be found here: http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/132421/3553131/AFL-CIO+TTIP+Report_6+%282%29.pdf

Contact: Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018