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When you look at the News on your TV you hear little or nothing about one of the biggest Trade deals between the USA and The European Union. Afficher l'image d'origine

TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business.

You would think that when you elect people to office they would represent you as a citizen and not negotiate deals that have far reaching implications for the environment and the lives of more than 800 million citizens in the EU and US.

Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labour rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned.

This deal has being going on behind closed doors for months and months (The 13th round of TTIP negotiations in New York finished this April.) and only thanks to Greenpeace Netherlands have some have some of the classified documents represent more than two-thirds of the overall TTIP text come to light.

Greenpeace identified four main issues of concern:

  • Long standing environmental protection is dropped

The “General Exceptions” rule, enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is absent from the text. This nearly 70-year-old rule allows nations to restrict trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health“, or for “the conservation of exhaustible natural resources

  • No place for climate protection in TTIP

If the goals of the Paris Summit to keep temperatures increase under 1.5 degrees are to be met, trade should not be excluded from CO2 emissions reduction specifications. But nothing about climate protection can be found in the obtained texts.

  • Precautionary principle is forgotten

The US wants the EU to replace the EU’s hazard approach with ‘risk management’, disregarding the precautionary principle, [3] which is enshrined in the EU Treaty but is never mentioned in the consolidated text.

  • Open door for corporate lobbying

The leaked documents suggest that both parties consider giving corporations much wider access and participation in decision-making.

“The effects of TTIP would be initially subtle but ultimately devastating. It would lead to European laws being judged on their consequences for trade and investment – disregarding environmental protection and public health concerns.”

The negotiations about the free trade treaty TTIP take place behind closed doors. The documents about the meetings are not public. That creates mistrust. Nobody knows which positions are talked about in what way. Are citizens losing against corporate interests? Does the lobby industry undermine our democracy? What does the US and what do the European states really want to accomplish?

At the center of public concern stands the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS). ISDS allows foreign investors to bring a claim against the government of their host State if TTIP investment protection standards are breached, for example in the event of discriminatory treatment or direct and indirect expropriation.

The EU and most of the free world is in a state of profound uncomfortable quagmire due to Capitalism Greed.

God forbid we allow or agree to a trade deal that puts profit before people.

One must note that previous attempts to establish such a mechanism have failed and that currently there seems to be little appetite for such a mechanism internationally.