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Parliament ignores dangers in dire EU-US trade vote

After a majority of MEPs regrettably backed the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz:

 "Despite a promising name, all the 'EU-US high level working group on jobs and growth' came up with was a proposal for a comprehensive FTA between both regions. There is not a word about joint public investment initiatives, about cooperation in research or about measures to strengthen the welfare state in times of crisis. There is a general disregard in this resolution for the deep differences between the USA and Europe in our political culture when it comes to GMOs, cloning, data protection, or the handling of the banking crisis."

Amendments pointing out potential areas of conflict were voted down earlier, as was GUE/NGL's alternative resolution.

As the origins of the global financial and economic crisis lie in the contamination of European financial markets by US subprime practices, as well as ongoing speculation from Dollar holders against the Euro, Scholz regretted that "instead of changing the Europe's failed austerity policies, the Commission and Parliament now want to launch EU-US FTA negotiations in 2013, hoping to be lead to the promised land".

"This will not create a single job in the EU or the US over the next decade. For many US scholars we are not in a financial market crisis, but in a crisis of the welfare states. So what pressures will they put on European regulations during the negotiations?"

GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer expressed concern about the lack of consultation of civil society in the preparation for negotiations, as well as the absence of a social and environmental impact study. "Our Group regards FTA negotiations as impossible without consultation of all EU stakeholders, in particular the social partners, SMEs, environmental organizations, research and innovation sector, as well as civil society. So far consultations have been limited to the Transatlantic Business Roundtable".

GUE/NGL calls on the Commission to strengthen the multilateral dimension of its economic and trade relations, and to combine improved EU-US economic and trade relations with better relations between the EU and other partners who often show grater compatibility with its values and greater respect for international law.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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Konföderale Fraktion der Vereinten Europäischen Linken/Nordische Grüne Linke (GUE/NGL)