Saturday, 6 June 2015

TTIP - Treaty To Increase Profiteering

Green MP Caroline Lucas and anti-TTIP protestors

The TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership plans for a massive free trade area between the European Union and the USA reach a critical stage next week with a vote in the European Parliament. Negotiated in secret, with MEPs having to go pre-booked into a special room to quickly read updates on the talks, the treat masquerades as a wealth-expanding, job-creating measure. In truth, it delivers what is left of democracy and public services into the hands of profit-seeking multinational corporations, unaccountable to anyone and disinterested in anything other than the company's bottom line. The environment, the people who work for these companies, the people who buy from them and the communities they live in - what protections they have now will be either stripped away outright or whittled away by a process of attrition in the years to come.

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Few free trade schemes have worked to the genuine, lasting benefit of the populations they cover - and this one is no exception. It will reduce public income from taxes by reducing and removing tariffs on imports; it will push governments to privatise public services, including the NHS in Britain, and open up those that do not to endless, costly law suits from companies seeking compensation for denial of profits in secret courts through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). US tobacco giant Philip Morris has just invoked similar free trade rules to sue the British Government for billions of pounds in compensation for plans to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packets - just a taste of what is to come if TTIP is adopted.

It is also likely to have a big impact by forcing down European standards on public safety, employment rights and consumer protection to the much lower US standards so that it is "fair" to big companies - no thought to European (or American) workers or consumers. Everything from safety protection in the workplace to food standards and mobile phone tariffs could be affected to the disadvantage of ordinary people.

In the European Parliament, and at Westminster, Conservatives, Lib Dems and most Labour politicians have signed up to the TTIP. Opposition has mainly come from the Green Party and, in the EU, its allies in the Greens/EFA, which includes SNP and Plaid Cymru, as well as from the Nordic Green Left. UKIP have been absent from most debates on it - they tend to favour free trade agreements in most circumstances though they may dislike this one purely because of its connections to the EU.

Millions of Europeans and Americans have been working to oppose TTIP, with international days of action in recent months and many previous demonstrations. Trade unions, including the AFL-CIO in the USA, have been vocal in their concerns. However, with the negotiations going on in secret and the Governments of nearly all member states signed up to the mantra that all trade is good trade, only the members of the European Parliament are likely to be able to put any block on its passage.

This week may be our last chance to stop this dangerous and potentially irreversible treaty. Green MEPs including England's Molly Scott Cato and Jean Lambert have produced a series of short videos outlining why TTIP matters and why we should be concerned.

If you agree,
- please share the videos (click through to Youtube on each video for the share button)
- please sign the petition on this link HERE (it is now close to the two million signature mark)
- and please write/email/contact your MEPs - details HERE

If you are on Facebook, take a look at Big Bad Law, a Green page taking a slightly satirical but urgent swipe at the TTIP.

Big Bad Law on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. It is strange that western media have been quite about the TTIP when it is the largest trade deal in world history. As the TTIP is a secretive trade deal behind closed doors also, the media apparently have made it a secret as well That is abnormally strange to say the least.

    But there is no doubt that in the UK the NHS in public hands will be over in a relatively short period of time and be destroyed by the TTIP once signed up, as MONOPOLIES cannot exist with the TTIP. The trade treaty makes this clear. So once signed and as it is irrevocable, that will sound the death knell of the NHS. No ifs or buts about it and where our political leaders are being deceitful towards the people in the UK.

    This corporate trade treaty and nothing more, will bleed the people and their taxation dry if it can once in place. As an example presently, similar but far smaller trade deals have corporations suing governments (the people's taxation will pay in the end) for $34,000 million for loss of profit at its baseline.

    The treaty is totally immoral.

    Politicians are Allowing Corporations to Kill us - The TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is so evil that our political negotiators are now allowing 'Cancer' creating carcinogenic crop sprays to be used in the European Union -

    The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) will be an Absolute Disaster for the People of the EU (European Union) and the People of America (USA) in the long-term - We simply have to Vote AGAINST this behind closed doors Transatlantic Trade deal before it is signed up and too late for the People to do anything about it -