The European Union will not agree to lower consumer protections or standards on food safety or the environment in free trade negotiations with the United States, says the bloc's top trade official, noting that Monday's leaked documents do not represent the final deal.
"No EU trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers, or food safety, or of the environment," EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom writes in a blog post.
The texts published by Greenpeace "reflect each side's negotiating position," she notes, adding that differing views should come as no surprise. "In areas where we are too far apart in a negotiation, we simply will not agree," she adds.
Malmstrom notes that the most recent EU texts make reference to the precautionary principle - a level of consumer protection that Greenpeace sees under threat in the trade talks - and argues that industry is not getting favourable treatment in the negotiations.