Trade agreements have become an important battleground for tech companies to fight the regulatory pressure they are finally facing in the Global North. But allowing tech companies to capture digital trade talks to defang domestic regulation creates serious risks for privacy, fundamental rights, competition, social and economic justice, and sustainable development.
This scoping paper compiled by focuses on the potential risks for the EU from enshrining rights for Chinese investors in Europe in an inter-national investment treaty. It emphasises these “defensive” interests, because investment treaties by their very nature restrict the ability of a state to regulate or even restrict foreign investment.
While several key elements of the procurement chapter of the EU-Mercosur agreement have either not been negotiated or have not yet been made public, what has been released has the potential to undermine fair and sustainable development programs throughout the Mercosur countries.
Provisions in the EU-Mercosur FTA conflict with ambitious climate action. If enacted, the agreement would result in an increase in EU imports of primary agricultural commodities from a region critical for maintaining global biodiversity and regulating climate.
The EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is designed to increase the flow of goods among countries. In addition to reducing tariffs and quotas on meat and other goods, it includes measures to streamline food safety approvals in ways that could result in lower standards.
At the same time that the European Union is promising next-generation Farm-to-Fork policies and stricter pesticide regulations domestically, its support of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA) continues with policies that exploit the more permissive environmental and health policies of its trading partners. This double standard could further expose vulnerable populations and the environment to toxic chemicals and undermine the movement toward more sustainable agriculture in both the EU and the Mercosur countries.