TTIP : The killer trade deal?

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  • Last Post 28 August 2016
pap posted this 12 October 2015

There has been a lot of noise on social media about TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Here's an article from the Indy enumerating six major issues that the bill could introduce.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html

This part is probably what has people most worried though:-

TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments.

ISDSs are already in place in other bi-lateral trade agreements around the world and have led to such injustices as in Germany where Swedish energy company Vattenfall is suing the German government for billions of dollars over its decision to phase out nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Here we see a public health policy put into place by a democratically elected government being threatened by an energy giant because of a potential loss of profit. Nothing could be more cynically anti-democratic.

There are around 500 similar cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment and they are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”

There isn't a great deal of public awareness on this issue, but TTIP seems like a further assault on democracy by big business.   I cannot understand why any government looking to be able to serve the needs of its people would take it on.

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CB Saint posted this 12 October 2015

This is plain daft. I could understand it if a government change policy in favour of a domestic company to the detriment of a foreign incumbent but even then that should be down to the government to decide how to conduct business.

the example above is ridiculous, maybe they should introduce a law which fines s company of up to 5% of turnover if they bring a frivolous case. That ought to check some of the more stupid cases.

God bless the United States of Europe and America.

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pap posted this 12 October 2015

Business already has so many advantages already, whether that is corporate welfare, amount of cash to spend on lawsuits, or the simple fact that they persist in a way that transient governments do not.   It seems that where privatisation was an attempt to turn public assets into private ones, TTIP seems like an attempt to replace democratised processes with corporate-friendly ones.

The problem is that these corporations are accountable to no-one save their shareholders.   

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KRG posted this 12 October 2015

Isn't it amazing how the defenders of our national soveriegnty, clad in purple have made no noise about this? It's almost as though they are far more concerned with them people that talk funny coming here, than they are about actual issues of sovereignty. 

pap posted this 12 October 2015 - Last edited 12 October 2015

Originally posted by KRG

Isn't it amazing how the defenders of our national soveriegnty, clad in purple have made no noise about this? It's almost as though they are far more concerned with them people that talk funny coming here, than they are about actual issues of sovereignty. 

Good point.   Fundamentally, the EU and TTIP are both about removing sovereign powers and placing them into the hands of the unelected.   You'd think, with all the caterwauling over the UK being independent and all that, Comrade Nige and co would be barrelling into this.   Precisely the same principle, except with private sector mandarins calling the shots instead of the public sector lot.

That's alright then, Nige lou_facepalm2

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KRG posted this 12 October 2015

Originally posted by pap

Originally posted by KRG

Isn't it amazing how the defenders of our national soveriegnty, clad in purple have made no noise about this? It's almost as though they are far more concerned with them people that talk funny coming here, than they are about actual issues of sovereignty. 

Good point.   Fundamentally, the EU and TTIP are both about removing sovereign powers and placing them into the hands of the unelected.   You'd think, with all the caterwauling over the UK being independent and all that, Comrade Nige and co would be barrelling into this.   Precisely the same principle, except with private sector mandarins calling the shots instead of the public sector lot.

That's alright then, Nige lou_facepalm2

I know I'm vaguely pro-EU, so I don't know if that blinkers my view on TTIP. But in my view, this is a much more worrisome proposition.

Big companies suing governments, behind closed doors? Nah, fuck that noise. Despite my pro-stance, I can accept there are problems with the EU. I think it's intentions, whilst misguided at times, are generally good. I cannot see any good coming of TTIP, 'cept for the richest of the rich on the boards of these companies. Once again, change for the 1%. Everyfuckingthing is for the 1%.

pap posted this 12 October 2015 - Last edited 12 October 2015

 When put to her, Malmström acknowledged that a trade deal has never inspired such passionate and widespread opposition. Yet when I asked the trade commissioner how she could continue her persistent promotion of the deal in the face of such massive public opposition, her response came back icy cold: “I do not take my mandate from the European people.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-didn-t-think-ttip-could-get-any-scarier-but-then-i-spoke-to-the-eu-official-in-charge-of-it-a6690591.html

pap posted this 25 April 2016

Obama is in Germany at the moment trying to sell TTIP.

Amazingly, he wants it signed by the end of his term.   Can't ever seeing it getting the oversight it so clearly needs.  

On Sunday, Lori Wallach, director of the Global Trade Watch project for Public Citizen in the U.S., said that the two leaders should reconsider their positions on the agreement.

"President Obama and Chancellor Merkel should continue efforts to deepen the friendship, cooperation, and yes, trade, between our countries," said Wallach, "but the deeply flawed, pro-corporate process and agenda of the TTIP must be rejected."

Wallach further explained:

Two decades of U.S. "trade" agreements becoming delivery mechanisms for extreme investor protections, new monopolies that increase medicine prices and deregulation of food safety and environmental safeguards is fueling the bipartisan revolt against more-of-the-same trade agreements now occupying center stage in the U.S. presidential election.

Unfortunately, the same secretive negotiating process – that is dominated by the interests of 500 corporate advisors, that was used by the Obama administration to conclude the highly unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now drives the TTIP negotiations.

When talks were launched in 2013, many hoped TTIP would finally break the U.S. “free trade agreement” model that sets a ceiling on consumer and environmental safeguards and exposes our laws to attack in corporate arbitration tribunals. Instead, the TTIP is shaping up to roll back superior European food safety, chemical and consumer privacy safeguards and climate policies that many Americans would like to see here.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/24/calling-corporate-backed-deals-indisputable-good-obama-makes-pitch-ttip

pap posted this 25 April 2016

Barry Sanchez posted this 25 April 2016

Obama the great socialist, TTIP is a race to the bottom, i salute the German workers who are fightng this, make Obama see the real trade unions.

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pap posted this 03 May 2016

As more details start to emerge about what a shitty fucking deal this is for everyone except the US, the deal's chances of getting done look slimmer.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/ttip-leaks-shocking-what-are-they-eu-us-deal-a7010121.html

pap posted this 19 May 2016

Some potential good news on this.  Corbyn is forming an alliance with Tory rebels to ensure that the NHS is protected in the event of TTIP.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ttip-trade-deal-jeremy-corbyn-and-rebel-tory-mps-to-form-alliance-to-protect-nhs-from-transatlantic-a7037381.html

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CB Saint posted this 19 May 2016

They should be torpedoing the entire thing no just carving out an exemption for the NHS

PhilippineSaint posted this 19 May 2016

Originally posted by CB Saint

They should be torpedoing the entire thing no just carving out an exemption for the NHS

 So your in favour of Trident then CB Saint?

pap posted this 28 August 2016

Killer trade deal killed?

Talks between the EU and the US on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, have essentially failed, German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said.

“In my opinion the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it,” the minister told ZDF broadcaster, according to a written transcript of the interview to be aired on Sunday. “[They] have failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands.

https://www.rt.com/business/357454-ttip-talks-failed-eu/

 

Cobham Saint posted this 28 August 2016

This is something worth having a referendum on.

Make no mistake, this is not in the interests of anyone in the UK or EU - apart from the usual top 1%.

You can almost guarantee that the subject won't get the prominence it deserves in the traditional media, unlike Brexit.

 

pap posted this 28 August 2016 - Last edited 28 August 2016

Originally posted by Cobham Saint

This is something worth having a referendum on.

Make no mistake, this is not in the interests of anyone in the UK or EU - apart from the usual top 1%.

You can almost guarantee that the subject won't get the prominence it deserves in the traditional media, unlike Brexit.

The US is attempting to build on and consolidate its empire this century.  

Project For A New American Century was a neo-conservative think tank created to work out how to bring this about.   Their document "Rebuilding America's Defenses" is widely posted as evidence that the US military agenda pre-dated anything happening in 2001, as many of the same people went into government.    The idea is that the US establishes itself as a dominant and unmovable force while it had no competing superpowers to deal with.

Deals like TTIP are the economic tools of the campaign.   They're not good deals.   Most have been conducted in secret.   We have the likes of Wikileaks and Greenpeace to thank for much of what we do know.   What we do know is not good.   I'm glad it has been dropped, but serious questions must be asked as to how it was ever a possibility.

The investor dispute settlements are so obviously harmful I cannot believe it wasn't laughed out of every office it landed in.

If the average man on the street can see the obvious problems with having cash-rich corporations being able to sue cash-starved governments, then it beggars belief that the average politician and / or diplomat could not.   

I'd say I suspect corruption, but if I looked it up I'd probably find out that it was "perfectly legal".