On 11 October there is taking place a decentralised European Day of Action against TTIP, CETA and TiSA.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (also called TAFTA – Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement), is being negotiated between the US and the EU since July 2013, CETA - The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement has already been negotiated between the EU and Canada and is now being finalised, and TiSA - The Trade in Services Agreement is now under negotiation among 50 countries including the EU
Why should we be concerned? The main issues can be summarised as follows.
While corporate lobbyists are playing an integral role in negotiations, the public have been shut out. All negotiators must sign non-disclosure agreements. There is no access to the draft text of the agreement – even for MPs and MEPs – so most of what we know is from leaked documents. Democracy is incompatible with the rule of secrecy!
With the excuse of improving trade between the countries, regulations designed to protect the environment, workers’ rights, public services and consumer standards, will be reduced to the minimum common denominator. This will mean for example lower financial regulation in the US and lower standards for food safety or use of chemicals in the EU.
Multinational corporations will have the right to sue governments if laws or regulations are introduced that cause them loss of profits. This would take place through international arbitration channels that completely bypass public courts. This form of private justice undermines the rule of law.
The self-organized European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP and CETA has just started collecting signatures. The objective is to gather a million of them within the year. Sign here