by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
October 13, 2016
The TTIP is Alive?
This article was
originally published on September 26, 2016.
The ratification of the CETA agreement is imminent, with
far-reaching economic and social implications. France's
Prime Minister Manuel Valls is currently in Canada for
meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
CETA is the object of protests in both Canada and the
EU. It was also the object of a legal procedure in
The logic of the agreement must be understood. It
constitutes the first step towards the integration of
NAFTA and the EU. This integration would create an
Atlantic political entity broadly coinciding with NATO.
NAFTA-EU integration would modify the political
architecture of the European Union.
EU-NAFTA integration is a part of Washington's
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE RATIFICATION OF THIS
AGREEMENT BE BLOCKED.
October 13, 2016
* * *
In less than a month from now, an important and far-reaching "trade
agreement" between Canada and the European Union is slated to be
signed and ratified by the House of Commons in Ottawa and the
The Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and
Trade Agreement (CETA)
is described by the media as,
"a high quality agreement that
reinforces Canada's fundamental relationship with the European
But there more than meets the eye.
The CETA agreement - presented to public opinion as an innocuous
"bilateral" EU-Canada trade deal - constitutes a TTIP in disguise.
It includes the entire neoliberal policy gamut:
...all of which are contained in the US
It is a de facto "carbon copy" of the
controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
(TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, which has
been temporarily "blocked" by both the European Parliament and the
is part of an Imperial Agenda
In turn the TTIP, CETA, TISA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
are the building blocks of a global "imperial" trading structure.
The NAFTA-Asia Pacific Trading Block
hinges upon the adoption of
controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
"Regulatory convergence" is the talking
point of global trade negotiations.
It has nothing to do with free trade...
Quite the opposite:
it requires conformity and
similarity in the formulation of national rules and provisions,
on behalf of powerful multinational conglomerates: regulatory
convergence implies "removal of impediments" to trade and
investment coupled with homogenous and "friendly" provisions,
curtailment of social programs
the toning down of labor laws
corporate friendly environmental
clauses and consumer protection laws
"national treatment" for foreign
no subsidies to farmers, etc.
Needless to say, national sovereignty is
seen by Washington as an impediment to "regulatory convergence".
CETA and the
While the devastating economic and social consequences of the
Transatlantic US-EU trade deals (TTIP and TISA) including the loss
of national sovereignty of EU member states have been the object of
persistent public protest,
the CETA agreement (which has
similar neoliberal underpinnings) is going ahead largely unopposed,
without debate, minimal protest, no firm opposition at the political
The [EU] ministers themselves are
expected now to convene an extraordinary meeting on October 18,
allowing the [CETA] deal to be signed during the visit of
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Brussels on October
It could enter force next year.
But as CETA came closer to approval, the Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Program (TTIP), a free-trade agreement with the US,
suffered a new blow ahead of the meeting when Austrian Economy
Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner urged his EU counterparts
to end the talks.
... "TTIP has become a metaphor
for the exuberant dealings of big corporations. That has a
negative connotation. We hope for a good deal, but it has to
be approached differently," he added.
Mitterlehner echoed comments by
French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl last month that he
would request a halt to TTIP negotiations after German Economy
Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that talks were "de
Fekl said the United States had demanded too much and not
"A crazy machine is moving here,
the negotiations are a failure, nobody believes that they
will come to a successful conclusion," he told the German
business daily Handelsblatt.
TTIP would create the world's
biggest free trade area with a market of 850 million consumers
stretching from Hawaii to Helsinki.
But the deal, under negotiation since 2013, has become a hot
potato as key elections approach in the United States, France
and Germany. Washington and Brussels are officially committed to
sealing the free trade deal before President Barack Obama leaves
office in January.
There are deep-seated fears in Europe that the deal would
undercut the 28-nation bloc's standards in key areas such as
public health and welfare.
(Deutsche Welle, September
The US-EU TTIP is viewed by the protest
movement as a mechanism of appropriation of Europe's economic
landscape by corporate America.
Atlantic TTIP Trade Deal Negotiated behind Closed Doors been
In this regard, it would appear that EU politicians are playing a
deceptive double game:
"Urged to end the talks", they have
reluctantly put the TTIP "on hold" in response to public
pressure and the protest movement, while pushing ahead the CETA
back-door deal with Canada.
The adoption of CETA would in practice
validate the eventual de facto implementation of the US sponsored
TTIP (or its formal adoption at a later stage and/or under a
different label, see below).
What analysts and politicians fail to acknowledge is that Canada is
heavily integrated (politically and economically) into the US.
The US-Canada corporate and financial
establishment is also integrated. A trade agreement by a NAFTA
member state, namely Canada with the European Union (EU) would
inevitably lead to de facto integration of the EU into the trading
structures of NAFTA which are controlled by Washington and Wall
This US-Canada integration does not solely pertain to trade and
investment under NAFTA, it also encompasses,
law enforcement and Homeland
oil and gas pipelines
immigration and national borders
strategic waterways and maritime
Washington's Backdoor Mechanism
The TTIP would be imposed de facto rather than de jure "via Canada".
At the outset, instead of launching a single process of trade
negotiations between NAFTA and the EU which would have been the
object of widespread opposition, Canada and Mexico were called upon
by Washington to launch parallel "bilateral" trade deals with the
EU, which would eventually create conditions for the integration of
NAFTA and the EU, constituting thereby the core of the US empire's
Atlantic Trading block.
Trade and militarization go hand in hand. The proposed Atlantic
Trading Block would also coincide with the structures of NATO and
the Atlantic alliance (which in practice are also controlled by the
CETA is a "copy and paste":
it was formulated during the Harper
government, starting in 2009 in close consultation with
Washington and Brussels.
The Harper government was entrusted by
"to expedite resolution of the
agreement [CETA] talks to avoid losing the European's focus to
the TTIP, and to prevent delay due to increasing debate
surrounding contentious elements."
While the US, Canada and Mexico are
member states of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
Washington's ultimate endgame is to create an integrated North
American Union: i.e. the United States and Provinces of North
The latter is in many regards already
The CETA agreement is a back-door initiative
which was developed in close coordination with the TTIP. It's
adoption would trigger the de facto (rather than de jure) adoption
of the broader TTIP agreement, leading to the eventual integration
of the trading structures of the "North
American Union" and the European Union.
It would create a fait accompli which
would contribute to furthering the TTIP negotiations most probably
under a different label.
It is a corporate take-over, in both the EU and North
it will serve to destroy and
undermine the economy at the local level, destroy the family
farm, precipitate small and medium sized enterprises into
bankruptcy, undermine social programs, etc.
It is important that people in the US,
Canada and the European Union, across the land firmly oppose the
signing and ratification of The Canada and European Union (EU)
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
In Canada, Hon Paul Hellyer, former defense minister and
deputy prime minister during the Pierre Trudeau government is taking
the lead in the campaign against the signing of the CETA agreement
by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.