The agreement has been controversial in both the EU and the US due to fears that TTIP will lower safety standards and negatively impact jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans, in particular, are 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 is 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 is 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.
In 2016, the U.S. exported 270 billion dollars worth of goods to the EU and nearly 227 billion dollars worth of services in 2015. The U.S. imported roughly 173 billion dollars of services in 2015, and over 416 billion dollars worth of goods as of 2016. Models on future trade between the two economies if TTIP were implemented project a growth in EU exports to the U.S. of 15 to 27 percent and a growth of U.S. exports to the EU of 22 to 36 percent over baseline estimates. By 2030, the U.S. GDP is estimated to grow by an additional 0.3 to 0.5 percent and the EU’s by an additional 0.2 to 0.4 percent.
Public opinion on TTIP has been mixed, at best. A recent survey of U.S. and German residents showed that most people either had a negative impression of TTIP or simply had not learned enough about it to have an opinion. The lack of public involvement is another oft-cited criticism of the agreement's negotiations which have taken place in secret and under very strict security measures to prevent leaks to the public.