ControversiesThe agreement was controversial in both the EU and the US due to fears that TTIP would lower safety standards and negatively impact jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans, in particular, were concerned about the U.S. desire to have the EU follow its guidelines for chemical use which takes an innocent until proven guilty approach, rather than the EU’s practice of banning chemicals until they are proven safe.
Another main issue in contention was the U.S. desire for the EU to accept investor state dispute settlement provisions which would allow investors to sue governments for alleged violation of their investment rights due to legislation and regulation and would prohibit government courts from deciding the case. They would instead be decided by arbitrators in closed-door tribunals. The fear was that this process would effectively allow corporations to usurp the sovereignty of EU nations any time they made a law or regulation that impacted corporate profits, for instance laws with the aim of curbing climate emissions. In Germany, nearly half the population feared that TTIP would lead to weaker consumer protection and environmental standards. In the same country, voters of the Liberal and Conservative parties were most optimistic about the agreement, but also among these, a higher share of the respondents were negative than those who were positive.