By Ryan Gellert, Patagonia EMEA
This past week Greenpeace leaked 248 pages of negotiating texts and internal position papers that reveal a deep rift among the 28 European governments, the European Union and the U.S., involved in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The Greenpeace report has caused an uproar here in Europe, including an announcement of opposition by the French government to the pact as it stands. Negotiations, which have already stretched out over three years, now appear to be in jeopardy.
Everyone for and against the pact acknowledges that TTIP has little to do with removing trade barriers, which have long fallen. The focus instead is on harmonizing environmental, health and animal welfare standards, which are generally stronger in the E.U. than in the United States.
Above: Organic cotton field in Texas. Since 1996, Patagonia has used only organic cotton, which uses nature-based solutions to manage pests and build healthy soil, instead of the synthetic pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, fertilizers and GMO seeds used to grow conventional cotton. Photo: Tim Davis