Alert on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

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Liberty Leading the People – Eugene Delacroix, 1830

How did we reach a point where treaties such as the TTIP are presented as “done deals” – where democracy is bypassed and agreements are made in secret? The TTIP is the European/US equivalent of the US Pacific Rim ‘free trade’ agreement. It’s important to know that both ‘partnerships’ are actually binding treaties.

Some of the consequences for the people of EU and the US with the TTIP include:

  1. The “investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) rules.” These Rules will enable corporations to sue governments in cases where they feel they have not had “fair and equitable” treatment. Corporations can sue EU/US governments whenever national regulations are changed in any way that impede a corporation’s “right to make profits” – INCLUDING labor standards.
  1. The ISDS courts takes away the ability of member states to decide what should stay in the public sector and gives the power to decide this to unelected and unaccountable corporations. Such dispute cases are usually heard in secret and “arbitrated by a relatively small group of unaccountable specialist lawyers whose impartiality has been called into question.” [2]
  1. The “regulatory exchange” proposal within the TIPP will force laws that are drafted by democratically-elected politicians to go through an extensive screening process. This process will occur throughout the 78 States, not just in Brussels and Washington DC. Laws will be evaluated on whether or not they are compatible with the economic interests of major companies! Responsibility for this screening will lie with the ‘Regulatory cooperation body’ a permanent, undemocratic, unaccountable and unelected group of European and American bureau/technocrats
  1. The European Commission promises up to one percent GDP growth and massive job creation as a result of the trade deal. But this is not supported –even by its own studies!

As was shown in a leaked EU document, the EU-US Regulatory Cooperation Council as part of the TTIP deal was organized as a permanent structure to ensure the rights of corporate free trade. So where is the permanent structure for ordinary people” to ensure their rights from encroachment from corporate power?

Who is protecting the animals, the air, the plants within consideration of what is best for all? How can we actively challenge words like “free trade” which sound fair but are in fact the opposite? What can citizens do to enhance Freedom of Information laws in their countries? How can we further this type of legislation and enhance transparency?

Some links from the left, right and in between



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