David Martin and his fellow Labour MEPs voted today for the exemption of public services, protection of workers' rights and greater transparency and data protection in the EU Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
The European Parliament was voting on a resolution setting out a series of demands from MEPs to the European Commission, which is negotiating TiSA on behalf of EU national governments. These include the full exclusion of all public services; strong safeguards for workers; a new binding clause to guarantee data privacy; and greater transparency.
TiSA is currently being negotiated between 23 World Trade Organisation (WTO) parties, including the EU. It is intended as a tool to reform the rules surrounding global trade in services, which have been in force since 1995 through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
David Martin MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on international trade, said:
"The trade in services is a significant and growing part of the EU economy and the current rules are grossly outdated. Creating a level playing field and opening global markets to European service providers is long overdue and crucial to the protection and promotion of jobs in the European Union.
"In no EU country are jobs so linked to the services sector as in the UK - more than half the UK workforce are employed in this field. The Trade in Services Agreement is an opportunity to boost our economy and to update trade rules for the benefit of all.
“Positive reform must ensure the protection of public services, workers’ rights and the ability of governments’ right to regulate.
"Preventing social dumping and ensuring strict data protection is also vital as e-commerce grows, and we will continue to work for this."
David Martin and his fellow Labour MEPs voted today for the exemption of public services, protection of workers' rights and greater transparency and data protection in the EU Trade in...
Following the first negotiations between the European Parliament, the Commission and the 28 national governments represented in the Council on a draft 'conflict minerals' law, David Martin and his S&D colleagues pushed for a mandatory system but faced strong opposition from the Council, who favour a voluntary arrangement.
The extraction and trade of minerals from conflict regions throughout the world is fuelling wars and causing unspeakable suffering.
Scottish Labour MEP David Martin, spokesperson on international trade for the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament is pushing for a mandatory regulation of thorough supply chain checks to establish if the mineral components used widely for electronic goods are being sourced responsibly.
"The position of the European Parliament is clear. We want fair and responsible trade. This is why we defend a mandatory regulation that will be applied not only to raw materials, but also to manufactured products which we consume in Europe.
“Consumers should be able to buy products safe in the knowledge that they are not fuelling conflict, slavery or child exploitation.
“Natural resources have been a boon for some countries, but a curse for Africa. We must take this opportunity to stop the exploitation of workers and the widespread human rights abuses which are caused by conflict minerals.
"Voluntary schemes have not worked and we urge national governments to take their responsibilities seriously and put into practice the EU's commitment to conflict-free minerals."
"We have an opportunity with this draft law to correct the mistakes of the past and introduce an effective mandatory system which will make a real difference on the ground.”
Following the first negotiations between the European Parliament, the Commission and the 28 national governments represented in the Council on a draft 'conflict minerals' law, David Martin and his S&D...
Scottish MEP David Martin has called on the European Commission and the UK government to use China's rise to market economy status (MES) by the end of 2016 as an opportunity to pressure the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to demand Beijing plays fair and stops uncompetitive practices like the dumping of steel, which is devastating Britain's steel industry.
Speaking at the plenary of the European Parliament yesterday (1 February 2016) he said:
"The Commission has had 15 years to address this problem and we are now running out of time.
"We are demanding real engagement from the Commission to reassure European industry and workers that the EU will be properly equipped to deal with global overcapacity and dumping on our market after the end of this year.
"We cannot allow China to solve its overcapacity by dumping on the European market. Steel is capturing the headlines at the moment, but the Commission presently has 52 on-going investigations into dumping. The dumping of large quantities of steel and other goods into the EU market is having devastating effects on industrial communities across Britain, including my own constituency.
"The EU has the ability to protect our economy against this unfair trade, but sadly our own UK government is blocking any strengthening of current EU trade defence instruments, and is even contemplating giving China a permanent permit to dump.
"Europe can't be a soft touch for unfairly subsidised imports from China. It's not protectionist to want adequate protection from unfair competition - we urgently need updated trade defence instruments to ensure this."
Video link of Mr Martin speaking in Parliament yesterday can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JMuntdsFQ0
Scottish MEP David Martin has called on the European Commission and the UK government to use China's rise to market economy status (MES) by the end of 2016 as an...