Laboring the Point

Gabriel Defends Free Trade Deal

Gabriel DPA TTIP
Sigmar Gabriel is working to get TTIP accepted by his party and the unions.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Powerful labor unions in Germany, and many members of the ruling Social Democrats, are skeptical about the impact of TTIP on public services.

  • Facts


    • Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has drawn up a 20-page rebuke to TTIP critic Frank Bsirkse, who heads the Ver.di labor union.
    • Mr. Bsirkse is a member of the TTIP advisory panel established by Mr. Gabriel.
    • The minister has to win over skeptics within his own center-left SPD party.
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When Frank Bsirske thinks about the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, worry lines form on his brow.

The head of the services union Ver.di, Mr. Bsirske is convinced that the agreement between the European Union and the United States will fundamentally damage the common good.

He warns of negative consequences for public services, especially at the municipal level, where he fears American corporations will make a full-scale attack on water supplies, local public transportation, hospitals and social insurance systems. All of which could have detrimental effects on employees and consumers, he argues.

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