German Chancellor Angela
said Thursday at a joint press conference with U.S.
Barack Obama that
negotiations over the corporate-friendly
TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
between Europe and the United States "will not be
concluded now" that Donald Trump has been elected
to succeed Obama.
It is a victory for the
millions of people on both continents who voiced
opposition to the massive deal. But social justice
campaigners across Europe refuse to give the credit to
saying that thanks to public outcry, the TTIP was
"already dead" long before November 8.
Indeed, a coalition of
European civil society groups and trade unions just this
week warned that Trump merely exploited economic unease
in order to win the presidential election, and that,
"[d]espite his rhetoric,
Trump fully believes in deregulation, privatization,
and putting profit before people."
"Trade deals like TTIP
Comprehensive Economic and Trade
Agreement (CETA) between the European
Union and Canada] have given oxygen to Trump," read
an open letter signed by groups including Global
Justice Now and various chapters of the anti-neoliberalist
"The best way to defeat
him is to remove that oxygen—to stop these trade
deals and build a democratic economy that works for
Such deals, the campaigners
said, only fuel the inequality that's led to the rise of
Trump in the U.S. and far-right populist groups in
Europe—and the "politics of racism and hatred" that they
argued economist Thomas Piketty in a piece published
at the Guardian:
"The tragedy is that
Trump's program will only strengthen the trend
For example, Piketty wrote,
"intends to abolish the
health insurance laboriously granted to low-paid
workers under Obama and to set the country on a
headlong course into fiscal dumping, with a
reduction from 35 percent to 15 percent in the rate
of federal tax on corporation profits, whereas to
date the United States had resisted this trend,
already witnessed in Europe."
In turn, he said:
The main lesson for
Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of
urgency, globalization must be fundamentally
The main challenges of
our times are the rise in inequality and global
warming. We must therefore implement international
treaties enabling us to respond to these challenges
and to promote a model for fair and sustainable
[...] From this point of
view, CETA, the E.U.-Canada free trade deal, should
be rejected. It is a treaty which belongs to another
age. This strictly commercial treaty contains
absolutely no restrictive measures concerning fiscal
or climate issues.
It does, however,
contain a considerable reference to the "protection
of investors." This enables multinationals to sue
states under private arbitration courts, bypassing
the public tribunals available to one and all.
[...] It is time to
change the political discourse on globalization:
trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable
development also demands public services,
infrastructure, health and education systems. In
turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems.
If we fail to deliver
these, Trumpism will prevail.
Social justice groups agree,
warning that politicians who,
"are now more fearful of
opposing deals like CETA" are making a mistake.
"This is exactly the
wrong lesson to pull from Trump's election," read
Wednesday's open letter.
"To defeat the politics
of racism and hatred represented by Trump and the
far right in Europe, we call on politicians to
support economic policies which will benefit the
majority of people, which eradicate poverty, which
create decent jobs, good quality public services,
and which halt climate change.
The first step they must
take is to vote to stop CETA in the coming weeks."
Trump's election also seemed
to put a nail in the coffin for the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP), though advocacy groups
similarly argued over the weekend that grassroots
efforts were instrumental in the deal's defeat.
"Donald Trump didn't
kill the TPP,"
said Evan Greer, campaign director
for digital rights group Fight for the Future. "We
Added Arthur Stamoulis,
executive director at Citizens Trade Campaign:
"Trump's vision of
internationalism is not one of human rights, worker
rights, sustainability, and improving standards of
The President-elect is a man
who, among other things, thinks that workers are
overpaid, is hostile to unions, denies climate science,
and embraces authoritarian regimes."
"We've all got a lot of work
to do," Stamoulis said.