The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said today (March 27) there are “significant and very strong reasons” to oppose the planned Transatlantic Trade & Investment Pact (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States. Speaking at a seminar on the proposed deal, Congress General Secretary Patricia King said that unions were not opposed to trade but that TTIP was “different to any deal that had gone before” and could result in a serious erosion of rights and standards across the EU.Patricia King said: “The proposed deal will change regulations and standards across a whole range of areas and could see workplace and consumer rights driven down to the lowest common denominator.”“We also have the spectre of secret courts being established to satisfy the needs of corporations and investors, courts whose findings could not be subject to judicial review and that ultimately would privilege investors over citizens.“That is plainly wrong and is an alien concept. They do not need these extra powers,” Ms King said.“Congress is also fearful that the deal could have a negative impact on the Foreign Direct Investment sector (FDI), which employs over 150,000 people in Ireland. From our reading of the research, this could be the untold story of TTIP and the FDI sector could experience significant levels of turbulence and job displacement,” she concluded.Patricia King was speaking at a seminar on the proposed TTIP deal organised by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.The event was also addressed by Minister Richard Bruton and EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom, along with business and farming community representatives.