Leaked Information on Negotiations between EU and USA to set up a Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)
Leaked documents from EU / USA negotiations on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) confirm the dangers threatened to health, environment and safety standards. The documents are from the twelfth round of negotiations in February 2016 (the thirteenth round concluded in New York on 29 April). The EU Commission had slapped a thirty year ban on public access to the negotiating texts at the beginning of the talks in 2013, in the full knowledge that they would not be able to survive the outcry if people were given sight of the deal. In response, campaigners called for a “Dracula strategy” against the agreement: expose the vampire to sunlight and it will die. The purpose of the two proposed “partnerships,” TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which were drafted by global corporations, is to make corporations immune to the laws of sovereign countries in which they do business. Any country’s sovereign law or regulations—whether social, environmental, food safety, or labour protection—that might adversely affect a corporation’s profits is labelled a “restraint on trade.” The “partnerships” would permit corporations to take legal action to overturn the law or regulation, and. would also award damages to the corporation—paid by the taxpayers of the country that tried to protect its environment or the safety of its food or its workers. These “trade agreements” originate in the United States, because American global corporations and the American mega-banks are the largest players in the world economy. The agreements that the corporations push through this process give these companies economic hegemony over the countries that sign the agreements. The Trans-Atlantic and TransPacific “partnerships” are tools of American financial imperialism. The highly controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism—and its successor, the Investment Court system—has proved particularly thorny. The United States wants to keep the arbitration system that allows corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits. The case is not heard in the courts of the country, or in any court: it is heard in a corporate tribunal in which corporations act as prosecutor, judge, and jury.
There are some 51,000 American-owned subsidiaries operating in the EU. About 47,000 of them would be empowered to launch attacks on European policies in international tribunals, according to the anti-poverty charity ‘War on Want’. German magistrates in February had also declared the new version of the investor court system (ICS), proposed by the EU, to be unlawful. Concerns about potential effects on food safety standards have plagued TTIP since its inception, notably in discussions on genetically modified organisms. The EU applies a precautionary approach to GM goods. Where the EU regulates to protect the public from potential harm, the United States seeks to manage rather than avoid risk. The EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, described the leaks in her blog as “a storm in a teacup.” She told the BBC: “I am simply not in the business of lowering standards.” Some 1,600 cities, municipalities and regions in Europe have already declared themselves TTIP-free zones. Most of these are in Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. And earlier this month a survey by Yougov suggested that German public support for TTIP had fallen from 55% two years ago to 17%. This news came out before tens of thousands of people in the German city of Hannover marched against the deal during an international trade fair attended by Barack Obama.
See the attached PDF file "TTIP Leaks", below, for full revelation: