The concerns that new trade agreements can raise are – just like the accords –
a mix of classic and new issues. First is rising pressure on import competing
industries and fears of potential job losses.
Second are concerns about potential
weakening of standards, e.g. On labour, health and environment, resulting in
lower levels of consumer and worker protection. This often goes together with
fears about trade agreements limiting the ability to regulate, an issue, which also
looms large in the debate about investment dispute resolution. Third, the
process of negotiating trade agreements has been criticized for its lack of
transparency. The first point is about the classic (re)distributional effects of
The other issues are essentially about trust in government / EU / elites in
general (or the lack thereof).