What the TTIP leaks mean for the on-going negotiations and future agreement?: Time to overcome TTIP's many informational asymmetries


European Journal of Risk Regulation

2016, vol. 7, n°2, pp.237 - 241

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: TTIP, international trade, FTA, EU, US, regulatory convergence, regulatory coherence, mutual recognition, equivalence, regulatory compatibility, risk regulation

One of the major merits of the TTIP leaks has been to highlight the underlying information asymmetry characterising the on-going TTIP negotiations. By systematically releasing its position papers before each negotiation, the EU actual disclosure policy contributes to a permanent yet overlooked information imbalance between the EU and its trading partner(s). The ensuing asymmetry does not only alter the overall negotiating environment, but also how the media, academics, and, in turn, the public actually perceive it. Moreover, it generates many other information asymmetries within the EU itself: that between the negotiators and the elected representatives, that between corporate and civil society interest groups, and eventually between the ‘TTIP circus’ and the general public. If the negotiators themselves have hijacked the rhetoric of fact-checking, academics have not yet had their chance to contribute to the discussion. As a result, only the EU positions have been studied, criticized and closely debated, with the US negotiating positions remaining largely a mystery. After briefly presenting the how’s of the TTIP leaks, this opening piece examines the what’s and why’s behind this unprecedented revelation of negotiating texts. It is against this backdrop that the other contributors to this symposium explore which are the most immediate consequences of the TTIP leaks on the on-going negotiations and future agreement.