Will TTIP have a negative effect on UK SMEs?
Titus Sharpe, the 2015 entrepreneur of the year, predicts that the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal will force SMEs into unfair competition with US firms and could cost at least 680,000 jobs across Europe.
Jonathan Russell, partner at UK200Group member firm ReesRussell, commented:
“Most people will not have heard of TTIP but we should be worried as in effect it is an agreement which means that the regulations to be followed are generally adopting the lowest standard either in Europe or the USA. Let us be clear, the USA, when it comes to trade, has a track record of only entering agreements which benefit the USA. In most cases, banking regulations being the exception, the controls and regulations in the USA are lower than in the EU. Lower regulations and controls generally mean lower production costs and potentially a lowering of safety standards. This means that US suppliers might be able to undercut EU suppliers, which opens up more of the EU market to the USA businesses. This suits large corporations who are only interested in their profit across the world and therefore have little care which jurisdiction it is created in. For smaller EU businesses, this agreement could be yet another problem for them to overcome. To understand the difference in standards between US and EU, it is said that McDonalds during the BSE crisis started making the burgers for the UK in the USA and to meet our standards the production line had to be slowed considerably. Under the TTIP agreement, if it is signed, this would no longer be the case.”