According to a report released by the European Commission (EC), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has significant potential for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). “These companies will channel the benefits of TTIP back to their local communities. That’s why the EU and the US are working to deliver an ambitious agreement that meets their concerns,” Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade said about the results of a survey of SMEs carried out in 2014 on challenges they face when exporting to the United States. This EC report, yet interesting, participates in a communication strategy that seems to focus on delivering general information about the TTIP step by step instead of first tackling the issue as a whole, and then going further into this kind of “sectorial” studies. As a result, concerns within both the public opinions and some political circles are growing as the TTIP is increasingly becoming the EU’s most polarizing issue ever.
After reviewing stacks of open source data, Cyceon identified two main reasons for this. First, a majority of the Europeans – a YouGov poll confirmed it – are questioning the relevance of reaching such an agreement with the USA while there are so many other important – many wrote “priority” – issues – or “existing dysfunctions” – to address in the EU before starting anything new. Second, many ask why such important treaty is being exclusively negotiated in Brussels, somewhat shrouded in apparent secrecy, without the full cooperation and active participation of member countries’ national legislatures. Another fact may draw one’s attention since the popular movement, like the one observed in recent days in Germany that’s asking for clearer answers from the EU, has been inexistent so far in the USA, further adding to what can now be assessed as “developing suspicion”. Lastly, one didn’t read similar analysis on the part of the SMEs or their representatives about the TTIP, but rather strong concerns, which could limit the reach of the EC’s report.