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par Roslyn FULLER
Unbeknownst to the wider world, two enormous trade deals have been in the works for the past several years. Shrouded in secrecy, talks on these deals, which will cover over half of world trade in goods and services and which include such sensitive topics as intellectual property rights, flew under just about everyone’s radar. That is until WikiLeaks revealed part of the first deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, late last year. Their example was quickly followed by three German MEPs (Ska Keller, Rebecca Harms and Sven Giegold) who leaked the EU’s position paper on the second deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership last month.
Keeping these two agreements apart, not to mention reconciling them with the rest of the world trade regime, can be difficult. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is being negotiated between the United States, the European Union and its member states, and is usually abbreviated "TTIP", although it’s sometimes also called "TAFTA" (for Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement). Negotiations started in 2013, although pre-negotiation talks have probably been ongoing for much longer. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated between nations of the Pacific Rim : Canada, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Vietnam, Peru, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. Negotiations started in 2010, and this agreement is usually abbreviated "TTP".