European Parliament postpones transatlantic trade talks

MEPs delay vote on controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between EU and US

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The European Parliament on Wednesday postponed a debate due to take place regarding transatlantic trade talks.

A vote on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was delayed by MEPs on Tuesday, and on Wednesday a debate on a non-binding resolution was also put off.

The delays came amid growing public concern over the EU-US deal, which aims to reduce regulatory barriers for multinational businesses to boost US and European economies.

Opponents argue the agreement would seriously limit countries’ sovereignty and their ability to hold corporations to account, while supporters say reducing the cost for businesses to export would boost growth and employment.

European politicians are divided on the merits of the agreement.

Trade Committee Chairman Bernd Lange, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said: “We will use the additional time we gained to work towards reaching a stable majority for the TTIP resolution.”

However, Irish MEP Sean Kelly said the postponement was a response to the “enormous pressure from civil society” - a reference to an anti-TTIP petition that has been signed by 2 million Europeans.