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US, EU bishops weigh in on TTIP trade agreement

June 17, 2016

The presidents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community have issued a joint reflection on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret between US and the EU.

“History provides evidence that increased trade and investment can be truly beneficial, provided that they are structured in a way that helps to reduce, not exacerbate, inequality or injustice,” the bishops stated.

“Trade policies must be grounded in people-centered ethical criteria, in pursuit of the common good for our nations and for all people around the world,” they said. “The negotiation or implementation of trade agreements must abide by principles which promote and defend human life and dignity, protect the environment and public health, and promote justice and peace in our world.”

The bishops offered several principles for evaluating trade agreements, including labor and environmental protections, respect for indigenous people and small farmers, and transparency.

“We question the merits of requiring sovereign parties to international treaties to agree to binding international arbitration as the forum for dispute resolution, whether through the mechanism of investor-state dispute settlement structures (ISDS) or by means of the recently proposed international investment courts,” they added.

 
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  • Posted by: Travelling - Jun. 19, 2016 8:00 PM ET USA

    Thank God a statement has been made, even at this late stage. Any "agreement"made behind closed doors is not part of God's plan for us. Here in the UK many are unhappy with the TTIP and don't want it.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Jun. 18, 2016 6:10 AM ET USA

    Finally, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community have issued a "reflection" that the average person can only applaud. Let's pray that governments on both sides of the Atlantic will take this "reflection" into account in deciding what action to take with regard to TTIP.