The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade deal between the EU and the US, which seeks to make trade easier between the two. To do this however, they would have to remove ‘barriers’ such as labour rights, food standards and environmental regulations.
Why say no to TTIP? Here are just some reasons...
The Global South
The prospects for countries in the global South are bleak. Many enjoy most favoured nation status in trading with the European Union, but this is threatened by TTIP. TTIP will become the global standard for trade deals in the future. The power shift to corporations will be echoed across the planet.
Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This mechanism gives corporation the power to sue governments if policy is put in place that negatively impacts the corporation’s profit. When a corporation sues a government the case is heard in a corporate court, which is outside of the national court system and it is not open to citizens.
The European Commission last year announced ICS (Investor Court System) to replace ISDS, which is essentially the same thing par a few amendments. It will still give corporations the power to sue the state.
Regulatory Cooperation, Living agreement and Mutual Recognition
Once you know what Regulatory Cooperation, Mutual Recognition and living agreement are it won't suprise you that corporate lobbyists are pushing for them more than the ISDS mechanism. Regulatory Recognition will allow corporate lobbyists to effectively co-write policies and regulations along side policy makers. This situation at the very least will slow down the implementation of new safety regulations that could save lives and introduce dangerous and environmentally damaging products into europe.
Living agreement is the most dangerous aspect of regulatory cooperation. This means that the most contentious aspects of TTIP will be removed and continue to be negotiated when media attention has died down. This could mean that even if public services such as the NHS were exempt from being privatised and eroded (which it isn't) the approval of new drugs and regulations could be more open to corporate influence.
Mutual recognition means that any company complying with US standards would be allowed to trade in the UK and visa versa even if they violate local rules. For example if a lipstick with lead in (which is banned in the EU) was produced in the US and approved in the states they can export those goods to the EU.
Attack on Democracy
TTIP negotiations are happening behind closed doors. Members of the public are not allowed to see the negotiation text. MEPs (members of European parliament) access is restricted. These are the people that represent us. MEPs must go into a guarded reading room, are not allowed to take notes or pictures and sign a confidentiality agreement, which prevents them sharing what they have read, which includes the people they represent.
These are just some of the implications of TTIP. To find out more click here.
We can win!
We can beat TTIP. We did it before in 1996 when leading industrialised nations pushed for agreement on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The campaign against TTIP is gaining huge support and great momentum. A year ago, very few people had heard of TTIP. Now, over three million people have signed petitions against the deal in the UK, and the French government has declared that any deal containing ISDS is unacceptable.
If we educate ourselves and those around us about the contents and the impacts of TTIP, if we continue to campaign in every quarter of society at every opportunity, we can beat TTIP.