by Julian Rose
September 21, 2016
One knows to be on one's guard immediately one hears that
the USA and
European Union are negotiating some
'big deal' on transatlantic trade.
Sure, big deal - in trading terms -
But when one also hears that it's all
being done in secret, then one has to add 'big
The designers of the trade agreements claim that they will bring
greater GDP and more jobs at both ends; a view which has been widely
challenged by those likely to be on the receiving end.
So let's spell it out:
stands for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
It's the big brother brokering of new trade deals between
the USA and the European Union.
for Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. It is pretty
much the same deal, but is being brokered by Canada and the
TISA, Trade In Services
Agreement, also involving the USA and EU, with some other
Countries also in on the act. Here, it is 'services' that
are under the spotlight.
Now common to all these is the fact that
we 'the people' are being kept entirely out of the picture.
All negotiations are being hidden from public scrutiny, with special
'secret courts' being established in off-shore venues, where
national governments can be sued, if deemed to be protecting the
right to prohibit certain imports or maintain trade tariffs.
For example, the majority of Countries in the EU do not allow most
genetically modified seeds and
plants which the US seeks to export. This would raise an immediate
dispute under the protocol of TTIP.
Such a position will be re-scrutinized under the terms of these new
trade agreements. US hormone enriched beef and chlorine
washed chickens are another example of products currently
blocked by the EU, and for good reason.
There are many such controversies which
all find their place as part of a negotiating time table designed to
get a comprehensive new trade package into law as soon as possible,
with no parliamentary intervention and therefore no public vote.
Pause for breath... Just what is going on here?
Let's call a spade a spade:
it's a massive and fraudulent
attempt by multinational corporations to wrest a further degree
of control over global trading, thereby undermining the ability
of Nation States to operate their own trading laws, enabling a
wide range of business enterprises to function in relatively
stable and competitive environments.
TTIP, CETA and TISA can, for the sake of
this summary, all be seen through the same lens.
In each case, multinational's extensive role in creating new
regulations, opens the door for setting in motion a race to the
bottom in standards of quality set for foods, the environment and
public services. In the case of TISA, governments are being pushed
into accepting a mandatory privatization of public services.
An overt way of giving big business the
say so in all matters of public interest.
In the UK, the national health service would be particularly
vulnerable. But so would thousands of government backed, or
supported, social enterprises throughout Europe.
Under TTIP/CETA we would see the end of such individual delights as,
the Cumberland sausage
the Cornish pasty
the Parmigiano Reggiano
Black Forest Gateaux
Alsace Grand Cru
No domain names would be allowed in this
free trade free-for-all.
Fighting to save these products is slated to be a major uphill task.
The defenders would need to familiarize themselves with 'ISDS',
Investor State Dispute Settlement procedures.
Procedures which could be heard in
normal courts of law, but under TTIP are slated to be heard by a
jury composed of corporate trained lawyers and specialist
international 'experts', deliberating their cases in secret courts.
In other words, a neat bypassing of any
recognized legal system.
A complete scam by any standards.
THE GOOD NEWS
The TTIP negotiating process has been ongoing for a number of years
However it is presently bogged down by
disputes at both ends and looks close to collapse. France has
recently called for an end to negotiations and a dropping of the
Other European Countries are joining
this call, with Germany's economy minister Sigmar Gabriel
"The negotiations with the USA have
de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it."
CETA and TISA are still ongoing, with
CETA being the closest to ratification by Canadian authorities.
It will then move on for ratification to
The Council of the European Union and European Parliament. It
appears that this agreement contains less contentious trading terms,
as France is broadly accepting the current outline.
However, it still smacks of a regime
that will go over the heads of the people and simply fuel the
coffers of the most canny exploiters of the global market place.
What both the EU and USA actually need is the antithesis of these
monster 'free trade' agreements. They need to reinvest in local and
regional forms of production and consumption, carried out on a
genuine human scale. Work as though people mattered.
We have seen quite enough destruction at
the hands of multinational and transnational corporations busting
their way into foreign countries and ruining their internal trading
In the end it's just another type of war. Who needs it.
The planet is already saturated with