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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)


Michael_3165

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So the EU and the US are negotiating what will eventually be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Of course this is a behind closed doors negotiation, with the US threatening criminal prosecution against anyone who leaks information. 

 

 

TTIP is not a traditional trade agreement designed to reduce border tariffs on exports. One aim of TTIP is to remove regulations that act as ‚Äėbarriers‚Äô to corporate profits. However although that sounds good in practice it takes away some of the safeguards that restrict the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws, employment rights and food safety standards (to name a few).¬†

TTIP will boost corporate profits by opening up public services and government contracts to the private sector and ‚Äėlocking in‚Äô privatisations that have already happened. For example Virigin already run frontline health care services. This can also effect education water and environmental services etc. It should also be noted that any regulations that negatively impact these US companies profits can lead to the government (and EU) being SUED for lost earnings.¬†

For example: 

 

  • Dutch firm Achmea successfully sued the new government of Slovakia for reversing an unpopular health privatisation.
  • Canadian company TransCanada is suing the USA for $15 billion for stopping a tar sands pipeline in the name of climate change
  • Swedish company Vattenfall is suing the German government for ‚ā¨5 billion over its decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022.
  • Veolia is suing the Egyptian government for loss of profits as a result of the country‚Äôs decision to raise the minimum wage.
  • US company Lone Pine is suing Canada for the ban on fracking in Quebec.

The thing is that the TTIP makes these types of challenges much easier with little defence. 

 

So what are your thoughts about the TTIP and how this impacts your vote in the EU referendum?  I personally dislike anything that makes it easier to privatise public services and gives multi-billion dollar companies more power over the marketplace... 

 

Is there anything positive about this? 

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Funny thing about this is that it's being sold as an EU driven thing when the best chance of getting a more controlled, diluted version of it is through the EU. France has already raised big concerns - http://www.euronews.com/2016/05/03/france-will-not-accept-ttip-without-rules-says-hollande/ and as the news travels it's expected that other EU leaders will follow suit. We're kind of lucky that the French people aren't as passive or apathetic as us Brits & Hollande knows they'll take to the streets en-masse over this so is trying to appease the mood early.

 

If we vote to leave the EU the probability is that either Gove or Boris will be PM within 6 months of the referendum vote. Both are fully supportive of TTIP in its original incarnation so we'll get it quicker and with less caveats than our Euro neighbours will.

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Absolutely. This agreement, and any agreements of this kind would slide through much more easily, which much less exposure and scrutiny if it were just a deal between the US and the Britain.

 

So I saw a stub about Greenpeace leaking some content from the TTIP discussions - what's going on there? Was there anything of substance?

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