STOP THE ELEPHANTS-MARRIAGE FOR FREE TRADE!
[This warning published on 10/28/2013 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.attac,netzwerk.de/index.php?id=12920 (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)]
The waves of enthusiasm are cascading in Berlin, Brussels and Washington. Representatives of economic associations on both sides of the Atlantic rub their hands. Government representatives of the US and the EU are not the only rejoicing ones. The cards in the global economy are re-shuffled.
At the beginning of July 2013, the first round of negotiations began on the largest free trade zone of the world. Two other rounds will follow in 2013. Haste is urged for different reasons if the agreement is to take effect in 2015. On one hand a new EU Commission will be named after the elections of the European Parliament in May 2014. Secondly, the midterm elections will take place in the US at the end of 2014 and the US presidential campaign begins in 2015.
The decision for negotiations for a transatlantic internal market between the US and the EU occurred on the background of
• The economic crisis continuing since 2008. Growth and employment should be stimulated on this side and beyond the Atlantic.
• The changed hierarchy of power in world trade. The EU and the US want to strengthen their positions compared to up-and-coming threshold countries, particularly China, India and Brazil.
• The multilateral negotiations put on ice in the framework of the WTO. The bilateral agreement as a so-called "WTO-plus-agreement" should dissolve the paralysis there as part of a multi-plane strategy of the EU.
CARDS ON THE TABLE!
The "largest bilateral trade deal" of all times is on the negotiating table. The EU and the US together represent almost half of the global GDP (47%/ They constitute a third of worldwide trade streams in a market of 800 million.
An annual GDP growth of 0.5% to 1% of the GDP is expected for the EU. A better access to the US market and a greater compatibility of regulations between the EU and the US benefiting wage levels and lowering prices are expected.
The "comprehensive and ambitious TTIP agreement is much more than a tariff union. Tariffs are already relatively low at an average 3%. An "economic harmonization" between the EU and the US is desired. The way for new global standards should be paved. External trading partners of the Free Trade zone should be encouraged to accept the bilateral liberalizations.
TTIP NEGOTIATIONS AIM AT CHANGES IN THREE AREAS:
• Tariffs in transatlantic trade with industrial and agricultural products should be reduced as completely as possible.
• Service sectors should be opened as succeeded in other trade agreements.
• The greatest liberalization- and investment protection levels for investments should be reached as both sides negotiated in other trade agreements.
• The public assets (Beschaffungswesen) of the US should be opened up on all government planes.
REGULATION QUESTIONS AND NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS
"Trade barriers behind the customs frontiers" are seen as the greatest obstacles for free trade. Therefore these non-tariff (non-trade) barriers (NTBs) should be harmonized or mutually acknowledged.
CONSIDERATION OF THE COMMON GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND CHANCES OF TRADE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Since TTIP has effects on global trade streams, areas are stressed that help strengthen the multilateral trading system.
• Rights of intellectual property: A high protective level should be maintained and promoted.
TTIP - AN AMBITIOUS AGREEMENT OF THE 21ST CENTURY
The economic model of the EU and the US is now embedded in ecological, social and economic crises. Exploitation of persons, animals and the environment are on the agenda. Democracy, social justice, protection of the atmosphere and financial market controls fall by the wayside. The belief that competition and constant economic growth can increase prosperity and solve social problems dominates the thinking of the elites. Loyal to the strategy for a globally competitive Europe, the EU insists on the growth dogma and calls for even more trade streams, more liberalization and deregulation in the interest of business.
With the TTIP, the EU Commission again relies on secret negotiations with far-reaching exclusion of the general public and the parliaments. The mandate that sets the negotiation guidelines is marked by "confidentiality." The public may be informed through leaked documents.
Democratic principles are mocked whe4n parliaments can only vote Yes or No on the whole agreement after the negotiations end.
The themes "public assets" that ran aground in the resistance of many states in the scope of NATO and protection of investments will now be negotiated in a bilateral agreement. Regulations should be suspended in the interest of local economic promotion.
Investment-state arbitration proceedings could enable international conglomerates to file extra-legal complaints outside the state administration of justice with exclusion of the general public. With that, investors are legitimated in undermining the protection of consumers, public health and the environment.
Non-tariff trade barriers are not the focal point of attention in the negotiations. Delicate formulations on mutual acknowledgment of the regulatory systems of the US and the EU cannot obscure that deep incisive incursions in everyday human life are involved when rural agriculture and food sovereignty - keywords genetic food, hormone beef and chlorinated chicken - or the precautionary principle , consumer-, environmental and health-protection are swept aside in the interest of corporations.
TTIP is old wine in new wineskins. Free trade- and investor-protection prescriptions from the 20th century according to the style of the WTO are not solutions for current challenges. A transatlantic partnership for social-ecological transformation would look very different.
Transparency instead of secret diplomacy. The TTIP-negotiations must be set on a democratic foundation and negotiation documents must be published.
Stop the "Global Europe" Strategy: The EU Commission must orient its economic policy in the needs of people and no longer in the interests of corporations.
No privileged rights for corporations: essential principles of the constitutional state must have priority over the profit interests of investors.
Therefore we say: Stop TTIP!
"Brave New Transatlantic Partnership," Seattle-to-Brussels network, 32pp, October 2013
link to corporateeurope.org
VIDEO: Susan George on Good Deal of Irony: How to Win the Class War, 6min, October 23 2013
VIDEO: David Malone interviewed on www.renegade-economist.com, Nov 13, 2013, 30 min
link to www.youtube.com
VIDEO: Kevin Zeese, Wikileaks exposes TTIP as Capitulation to Corporate Interests, www.therealnews.com, Nov 15, 2013, 9 min
link to therealnews.com