What will the new transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) mean for the European consumer? Will it change what you put on your dinner tables and what you will find in the aisles of your local supermarket? At the recent European Liberal Forum Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable in Warsaw on 14 April the panellists broke the issue down to three reasons why TTIP is good for European consumers and agriculture; consumer choice, lower food costs and greater EU competitiveness in agricultural exports.
Representing the ALDE-CoR was Ossi Martikainen (FI) who sees a definite chance that consumer choice will increase but cautioned against making too concrete predictions on TTIP’s effect on consumer choice until the agreement has been negotiated. The TTIP agriculture debate continued with a discussion on reducing transaction costs. Ossi Martikainen came with a crystal clear message to the roundtable audience: TTIP will not lower agricultural standards either in the EU or in the U.S. For this the agricultural production chain in each market is too different. Instead, both will strive to agree on shared, high standards.
Discussion on TTIP is rife, not least on the supposed ills the agreement will mean for Europe’s agricultural sector and EU consumer choice. What Ossi Martikainen stressed was that the TTIP chapter on agriculture is still being negotiated and that it is difficult to make detailed predictions on the outcome of the agreement.