What they don’t tell you about TTIP (libdemvoice.org)

Countless articles, emails and campaigns have expressed anger about TTIP. This is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would cover over 800 million people in the EU and US, as well as helping determine the shape of future agreements the world over. There are numerous concerns – some entirely misguided, some merely exaggerated – and from reading the literature of campaign groups like 38 Degrees it might be hard to know whether there are any benefits at all from this trade deal. So supporters of free trade need to straightforwardly spell out some of TTIP’s advantages.

In particular, lost among the scaremongering and obscure debates has been the very foundation of TTIP: an abolition of almost all the remaining import and export tariffs between the US and EU. It’s true, as both supporters and opponents of TTIP say, that tariffs are only a part of the deal: harmonising regulations (without lowering standards) is now often more important. But when the entire process is under attack, the scrapping of tariffs should not be glossed over. I hope it’s not too insulting to suggest that many of those attacking TTIP or signing petitions (not to mention those who haven’t heard of TTIP) may have no idea that it includes the scrapping of import and export tariffs.

So take a look at the list of example tariffs below and put opponents of the negotiations on the back foot by asking why they want to retain a 10.5% tax on imported babies’ clothing, 12% tax on jeans, or a 4.7% tax on teddy bears. If the government were to propose taxes like these, many of the same people shouting about TTIP would scream blue murder about heartless politicians hammering the poorest – yet they’re the ones fighting to retain these tariffs.

Cutting prices (and red tape) by scrapping tariffs is just one of TTIP’s benefits for Britain (and it works both ways – e.g. also ending the US’s 14% tax on British train carriages), but it’s a simple, meaningful change that’s hard to argue with. Even those who oppose specific potential aspects of TTIP must admit that ending tariffs would be welcome. So get the message out there!

Originally published at http://www.libdemvoice.org/what-they-dont-tell-you-about-ttip-47864.html

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