German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has said talks for TTIP has de facto failed. Mr Gabriel's statement is in contrast with the position of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who supports the deal. The fact that former British Prime Minister David Cameron, an outspoken proponent of TTIP, is no longer involved in negotiations is another major setback for the deal, which at this point is believed by many to be dead in the water.
US presidential candidate Donald Trump has promoted protectionist trade policies, while rival, Hillary Clinton also cast doubt on the TTIP deal. Congressional opposition has become steep. The lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have railed against free trade agreements as unfair to US companies and workers.
The opponents of the deal believe that in its current guise the TTIP is too friendly to US businesses. One of the main concerns with the TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively ''sue'' governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states...
In Europe, thousands of people supported by society groups, trade unions and activists take to the streets expressing protest against the deal. Three million people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped. For instance, various trade unions and other groups have called for protests against the TTIP across Germany to take place on September 17.
However, the debate in Europe surrounding relies on faulty critique on one side, and unsubstantiated promises on the other. Citizens on both sides of the Atlantic deserve better.
It is often easier to explain something by saying what it is not, rather than what it is. It should be clear that this article intends neither to champion nor to condemn . But since the debate has been raging, we can only sadly observe that the arguments on both sides do not live up to the issue at stake. What it reveals about us—Europeans—is disquieting.