Campaign to stop trade treaty that would let companies make our laws

April 16, 2014

Mark Marchetto explains the problems with ‘TTIP’, a treaty that would give private firms the right to sue states for loss of profits.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is being sold as a trade agreement that will provide jobs and growth to its US and EU signatories. It is in fact an agreement to reduce regulation so that bankers and privateers can ride roughshod over workers’ rights, ignore environmental legislation, dismantle the NHS – and sue any government that tries to intervene for loss of profits.

stop-ttipIf TTIP is agreed, US companies will be allowed to operate in Europe under American laws, and vice versa. It will allow genetically modified products to be used in Europe and cheap, poorly reared, chlorine-washed poultry to find a market here. Large US farms will be able to undercut British farms. Our prime minister could plead a special case for the NHS to be excluded from this agreement, as the French have for their film industry, but refuses to do so. The Health and Social Care Act has been put in place specifically to pave the way for TTIP – it allows for any ‘qualified’ bidder (meaning private health firms) to carve up the NHS.

The ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement’ process (see video above) allows companies to sue governments for loss of future earnings if they fail to award them contracts – or try to change the law in any way that would hit private companies’ profits. This threat would lead to governments seeking corporate approval for any legislation they may wish to introduce.

Left Unity agreed a motion to oppose TTIP at conference. We have since been asked to endorse the StopTTIP campaign by its founder Linda Kaucher. I feel we should not only officially endorse the campaign but actively support it. The campaigners at StopTTIP are engaged in researching this secretive, ultra-capitalist pact. I hope Left Unity members help them in any way we can.

6 Responses to Campaign to stop trade treaty that would let companies make our laws

  1. David Roberts
    April 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    We must not let the bastards grind us down

  2. Chris Mckenzie
    April 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    So important that LU is publicising this draconian, anti democratic agreement.

  3. M. Jones
    April 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Comrades

    This agreement is at the behest of finance capital, particularly US finance capital as the dominant power. It codifies the race to the bottom that finance capital wants – the response from workers and the left must be to organise internationally for better conditions, wages, food etc. This also points up the danger from anti-working class movements like su0pporting Scottish independence. The SNP has already pledged to participate in the race to the bottom at the expense of the working class by cutting corporation tax. Doubtless both any independent Scottish Government and the Government of the remaining UK would be keen to sign up to this agreement and to compete to impose the worst conditions on workers either side of the new border..

  4. Bazza
    April 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    TTIP – all power to the multi-nationals! We should tell them to TTIP Off!

  5. MontyBest
    April 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This is probably the greatest threat to democracy since WW2.

    If passed the rights of Governments to act in the nations interest will end!

    Monty

  6. Pamela Gerrish Nunn
    April 22, 2014 at 12:40 am

    These treaties are being pushed all around the world, involving different but overlapping batches of nation-states. See the current attempt by Philip Morris, the tobacco giant, to sue the government of Australia over plain packaging of cigarettes. Here in New Zealand, as in many countries, when ordinary voters get to hear about these instruments of influence, they are vehemently opposed – but our elected representatives seem to have forgotten that they were put in place to act for us, not instead of us…

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