TTIP – Why the World Should Beware, 61 pp

Radical free trade policies did not begin with the birth of NAFTA, nor with the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 – both had been in place in over 90 developing and transitional economies for over a decade through structural adjustment programes imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Walden Bello)

TTIP – Why the World Should Beware by Manuel Perez-Rocha, Rosa Luxemburg foundation, May 2015, 61 pp\_uploads/pdfs/engl/TTIP-BEWARE-june2015.pdf
Foreword by Susan George 5
Introduction by Walden Bello: TTIP in historical perspective 9
Executive summary 13
Main concerns about TTIP 19
1. Establishing a new “economic NATO” 20
2. Imposing global standards on trade, investment,
services and intellectual property rights 21
3. Regulatory cooperation: creating a
world parliament for big business\? 24
4. Us versus them: so-called EU and US “common values”
imply that others may not share them 26
5. Reacting to the emergence of the BRICS and undermining
multilateral trade negotiations worldwide 29
6. Leveraging US and EU in their bilateral and
inter-regional negotiations 30
7. Contradicting EU pro-development rhetoric and
global efforts to overcome poverty 32
8. Weakening “local barriers to trade” measures,
local development and “subsidiarity” 34
9. State owned enterprises and other government-controlled
entities under attack 36
10. Limiting EU and US market access for non-TTIP countries 37
11. Threatening global food safety standards and
struggles for food sovereignty 41
12. Efforts to tackle climate change at risk 43
13. Undermining international treaties on human rights 45
Preliminary conclusions 49
Endnotes 50

TTIP is a direct blow against democracy, but not just for the countries where it will
apply. The ‘overseeing and accelerating’ and the ‘integrating’ of the two economies are
ominous for the rest of the world as well. Clearly, the largest corporations in the world
expect to make the rules for the most powerful economic bloc ever conceived and – once
this bloc is well under control – to impose those same rules on everyone.

Let us also remember that, if this treaty passes, and if the United States also manages to
complete the negotiations on the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Latin American
and Asia-Pacific nations, including Japan and Australia, it will occupy the central global
pole position representing a bloc of almost two-thirds of world GDP and nearly three-quarters
of world trade. The two agreements – assuming both are signed – will contain
identical or very similar provisions. Such a coup would allow the US to advance its ‘contain
China’ strategy considerably, but also to confront all the BRICS and other developing
countries. The message would be clear: sign on for the same clauses, provisions and
rules, or you will be marginalized in world trade. TTIP is not just about investment and
deregulation, although it is deeply engaged in both: it’s a blunt instrument to dictate
standards established by and for the business brass of the developed countries, on the
whole world, whether the world likes it or not.

One can expect that smaller and weaker states will be the first forced to give in, but
ultimately corporate rules will apply not just to trade of all products made or processed
anywhere but to the so-called ‘non-trade barriers’ that govern all aspects of ordinary
peoples’ lives, from food to pharmaceuticals, labor laws to environmental degradation
and much, much more.

One particularly frightening example is the planned replacement of the judiciary by
private arbitration tribunals: this aspect of TTIP has angered opposition forces perhaps
more than any other, and for good reasons. The tribunals are not just private, employing
private lawyers and arbitrator-judges from top – mostly British or US – law firms. They
are also both anti-democratic and costly. After the proceedings, which are kept secret,
if the state loses the case to the investor, citizens of that country will be obliged to pay
the compensation awarded through their taxes. The provision is unilateral – states can’t
complain against investors – and there is no recourse or process of appeal. In the cases
decided so far by such tribunals operating under bilateral investment treaty law, states
have been obliged to pay something to the corporations in 63\% of cases, either because
of the arbitrators’ decision or because they preferred to make a settlement directly with
the investor suing them outside of court. (Susan George)

This entry was posted in TTIP - Free Trade agreement. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply