Free Trade Treaty will let corporations bypass national law.
TTIP Free trade deal will free corporations from restrictive laws and allow their greedy tentacles to reach everywhere.
As most of the media today squabbles about David Cameron’s ‘deal’ with European Union leaders to obtain better terms for Britain’s membership of the wannabe Federal European Superstate, the political establishment see another ‘good day to bury bad news’ opportunity.
The bad news (for us punters, it’s great for bankers and corporate business, as Germany’s Die Welt English Edition reports) is that the EU bureaucrats intend to push through the ‘free trade’ deal with the USA, the Trans – Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership before Barack Obama, whose neo – con administration are the main supporters of the treaty that will create an environment that is anything but free.
The Investment part of TTIP you see, will give corporate business the ability to sue the elected governments of sovereign nations and thus overturn laws their lawyers feel will inhibit the businesses ability to ‘protect its investments’ (make profits). As most corporate profit these days is derived from the plundering of government funds you can see why this promises to be bad for working people on several levels.
Under the TTIP jurisdiction, although existing laws could not be overturned, any news laws or amendments to take account of changing conditions would enable the whole law to be attacked. Thus laws pertaining to worker’s rights, minimum wage levels, equal opportunities and consumer rights would be vulnerable. And inevitably power would shift from elected representatives to global businesses and corporate lawyers. The treaty, much of which has been kept secret, would also threaten Europe’s socialised healthcare systems.
Things have been quiet on the TTIP issue for a while the migrant crisis has diverted attention in Europe while Syria has preoccupied The White House. Today however Reuters reported The European Union now plans to conclude free trade negotiations with the USA by this summer, so that a treaty can be signed before a change of president in the United States.
While the EU and The White House maintain TTIP could deliver economic benefits of more than $100 billion for both economies, many senior politicians, trade union leaders and finance experts believe it will cost thousands of jobs, facilitate the dumping of cheap goods from low labour cost economies and exert downward pressure on earnings. There is also concern about the effect on democracy.
“We have to be approaching the endgame by the summer,” European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström told a press conference following a meeting of EU trade ministers. Further talks will be held in February, April and July, with a view to having a consolidated text on almost all issues, leaving out the most sensitive topics such as agricultural quotas.
In February, the partners will discuss the services sector, opening up public tenders and the European Union’s proposal for a new court to settle disputes between investing companies and states, one of the most controversial parts of a would-be deal.
Investor-state rules aim to protect foreign companies from unfair treatment by host governments and provide compensation if assets are appropriated or profits are affected. The EU’s idea of a new court is designed to answer critics who say the private (i.e. US dominated) arbitration system gives multinationals the ability to usurp national government.
The commissioner also stated a slimmed down deal, an option leaders of some EU member states have suggested in case talks become deadlocked will not be considered.
“Everything is interlinked, you can’t really take out this part and deal with it later,” she said.
I will probably be writing more on this in the coming weeks and months.
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