The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP), is a trade agreement arranged by the United States and the European Union. The talks are expected to minimize or get rid of the obstacles involved while trading with goods and services, guarantee investor rights in accordance with the law and encourage regulatory cooperation.

Background

The TTIP negotiations started off in July 2013 and ever since, 10 rounds of talks/negotiations have occurred. The last round occurred between 13-17 July 2015 in Brussels. The basic work for the negotiators kicked off in 2011 when the US and the EU created the Higher Level Working Group on Growth and Jobs. Its purpose was to identify the potential advantages and feasibility of a trade agreement that covers all sectors. The working group achieved its mandate when it suggested the introduction of formal talks.

On 8 July 2015, a clear majority of the European Parliament(EP) adopted its TTIP recommendations. Drafting the recommendations was the responsibility of INTA, the Committee on International Trade, but actually the process involved 14 other committees. Later, on 28 May 2015, the INTA’s draft recommendations were adopted.

What TTIP Covers

The TTIP is meant to be a comprehensive and broad investment and trade agreement that covers all sectors and every way of providing a good or/and service beyond the borders. The TTIP focuses on minimizing or getting rid off tariffs on agricultural and industrial products and restrict the use of regulations and subsidies that impede trade.

Moreover, the agreement is also expected to apply to every service sector including sensitive areas such as education and health care. Also, the deal focuses on offering the investors with legally-binding protections which could restrict public policy space.

TTIP’s wide scope also means that public services such as education could directly and indirectly be affected. In trade agreements, education is still the least-covered sector since there’re legitimate concerns that legally-binding trade rules can limit the ability of designated authorities and the governments to make sure that good quality education is accessed.