If the US and EU agree on a new trade deal in the works — the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — it would be very difficult for one watchdog on either side of the Atlantic to have the same life-saving impact.
Instead, business interests would wield far greater influence on the quality of our food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides, and the presence of toxic chemicals in our environment. It would be very difficult for any regulator to resist that corporate influence, or to buck the collective judgment of more compliant regulators in other countries.
How corporations will wield that influence is suggested in the fine print of trade proposals advanced by the US Trade Representative (USTR) and strongly endorsed by the international business community.
The proposed trade deal would affect 820 million consumers, and thousands of the corporations doing business in the 28 EU countries and the United States.
It should come as no surprise that the agreement has been largely shaped by business interests. As The Washington Post reported in 2014, 85 percent of the individuals serving as trade advisors to the USTR represented either corporations or business trade groups.