Sunday, 13 July 2014

TTIP is bad for both sides

Ladies and gentlemen, in case you did not already know, anti-TTIP protests were staged in many parts of the United Kingdom, most notably in London. And finally, the media has given proper coverage of anti-TTIP arguments- the main anti-TTIP protest featured in 'The Independent' and I am pleased the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, got to give a good argument against TTIP and all its empty promises on BBC radio today.

In my earlier blog posts, I have explained why TTIP is so dangerous for people in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, because of the harmonisation of standards that will follow which will have severe environmental and health consequences for all EU citizens. But TTIP, like TPP, is bad for the USA as well-and we already have an example to prove this.

This example is NAFTA-the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both TTIP and the TPP simply plan to extend NAFTA and all its pro-corporate dangers- this time on a near-global level (more than half of global GDP will be covered).

The North American Free Trade Agreement has since 1995, far from giving the USA extra jobs, cost the USA one-quarter of all its manufacturing jobs, not to mention several hundred thousand other jobs-and has exposed Americans to the same corporate lawsuits which Canada and Mexico have been subjected to (in both cases, health and safety/environmental laws were involved). NAFTA has also severely damaged workers' rights in the USA (and also Canada, to a lesser extent), as employers were able to use NAFTA to threaten to move their jobs to Mexico.  The same thing will happen if TTIP and TPP are ever passed-massive job losses in every nation these agreements cover, a hollowing out of democratic processes, loss of important rights (de facto if not de jure) and a further transfer of wealth upwards to the already extremely wealthy elite-the only people who will gain any benefit at all from 'trade agreements' like these.

I thus call for solidarity on both sides of the Atlantic, and across every European nation, so that we can all stop TTIP together-transatlantic problems like these require transatlantic solutions to defeat them. TTIP will go to the European Parliament shortly (by the end of this year at most, I suspect), so we all need to act now and persuade our MEPs to vote down this corporate power grab-especially its ISDS clause.




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