Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

Daily Post Article

This month I have had lots of calls and emails to my office about TTIP and I appreciate people taking the time to raise their concerns and clarify my position. We are still in the early stages of negotiation, and if there is a TTIP it won’t be agreed for several years. However, this is a really important issue, and it certainly is not one that I take lightly. There are some myths being circulated about this trade deal, however there are also some issues that I am concerned about too; some red lines that I am not willing to cross.
 
Wales benefits a great deal from trade within the EU and also from countries which have trade deals with the EU. A recent report from British Influence shows that one in seven British jobs are directly linked to EU trade, and with around half of the UK’s exports going to the EU, it is clear that this partnership is very important for our economy.
 
Customs duties, red tape and restrictions on investment can make it difficult to buy and sell goods and services between continents. Getting rid of these barriers to trade between the EU and the US has the potential to boost our economy, create jobs and widen choice and lower prices for consumers. Our manufacturing industry, particularly our automotive industry would benefit from gaining uninhibited access to the US market. It has been estimated that TTIP could add £10 billion to the UK economy.
 
However, any trade deal we enter into must be in the best interests of Wales, and I am firmly committed to ensuring this is the case.
 
A vote due to take place in the European Parliament on TTIP has been postponed. However, Labour's policy position on TTIP remains unchanged. Labour MEPs oppose the inclusion of ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) in TTIP, have demanded security for our NHS and public services, and the maintenance of high labour standards and environmental protections. This will be our position regardless of when the vote will be held and I will not support a TTIP that doesn’t meet these standards.
 
I want to see a trade agreement that means Welsh people have more choice in the shops at lower prices and cheaper goods and services, which would also bring savings for businesses. I want to see the high tariffs set on UK exports to the US lowered, to make it easier for farmers and firms to export and grow their businesses. But, of course, any US goods sold in the EU would still have to comply with our high standards of environmental, consumer and health protection – just as they do now.
 
I will continue to work towards the best possible trade deal, one that has the potential to boost our economy and bring jobs to the UK, without abandoning my principles as your Labour MEP.

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