Why worry about TTIP? (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)
|Note added to this article by editor on 23 Aug:
On Sat 30 Aug there will be a TTIP day of action organised by 38 degrees around the UK. CEL is supporting campaigning on TTIP. Find out if there is an event near you Barbara who wrote the article below will be at the leafleting action in Bexhill.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is being negotiated between the European Union and the USA. If agreed it will transfer power from national democratically elected governments to multinational corporations in a number of important areas. CEL’s Steering Committee has decided to sign up to the growing coalition of partners opposing TTIP.
Several CEL members took part in the World Development Movement TTIP action day in Bexhill on Saturday 12 July. Around the country, in at least 20 different towns, other groups also handed out information to raise awareness of this new free trade deal.
To give just a few examples why we should be worried about TTIP.
- If agreed TTIP would give corporations the power to sue governments over decisions that could harm their future profits, undermining democratic decision-making made in the public interest.
- TTIP would see EU environmental regulations being harmonised and reduced to US levels, allowing a US-style fracking boom in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
- With strong investor rights, TTIP would allow corporations to sue governments for bringing in new policies to leave fossil fuels in the ground.
- Through a harmonisation of food safety regulations, EU food safety standards would be lowered to US levels. This would remove EU restrictions on genetically modified organisms , pesticides and hormone-treated beef.
For more information on TTIP go to www.noTTIP.org.uk
(Ed: also More debate on TTIP )
Comments on "Why worry about TTIP? (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)"
Looking on an EC Q and A website http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/questions-and-answers/ explaining the relationship between the EU and TTIP I see an explicit refutation of the claim above concerning the removal of EU restrictions on GMOs - thus: Will the EU be forced to change its laws on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? No, it will not. Basic laws, like those relating to GMOs or which are there to protect human life and health, animal health and welfare, or environment and consumer interests will not be part of the negotiations. Under EU rules, GMOs that have been approved for use as food, for animal feed or for sowing as crops can already be sold in the EU. Applications for approval are assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and then sent to EU Member States for their opinion. So far, 52 GMOs have been authorised. The safety assessment which EFSA carries out before any GMO is placed on the market and the risk management procedure will not be affected by the negotiations. The EU and US already exchange information on policy, regulations and technical issues concerning GMOs. Cooperation of this sort helps minimise the effect on trade of our respective systems for approving GMOs. We see the TTIP as an opportunity to support this cooperation. Would you comment?
Is this something we should be writing to our MPs about? Why doesn't the every day person get to hear about this sort of thing? Would the likelihood of this going ahead increase if we stay as a member of the EU or would it not matter? Whatever the answers I would join the anti campaign. Can I have more info please?
TTIP is currently being negotiated in secret between the US and EU, proceeedings will not be made public for 30years. It is one of the worst threats we face to our democracy. Beware ISDS's ( investor-state dispute settlements) which would give large corporations the ability to sue national governments in secretive offshore courts. Within similar treaties worldwide, these (ISDS) rules have already been successfully used by corporations to sue governments in cases where they feel they have not had “fair and equitable” treatment. For example the French owned multinational Veolia sued Egypt for raising the minimum wage. This could be likened to countries losing part of their sovereignty and being unable to do things for the benefit of its people and the environment. Do join the campaign if you haven't aleady.