There are many frightening aspects to TTIP, the new trade deal between the EU and US that is being negotiated in secret. The fact that there is no democratic accountability to these deals is evidence enough that it’s a corporate carve up.

TTIP corporate power grab

TTIP is complicated and has many elements to it. Perhaps the scariest is a mechanism called Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) for resolving “disputes” between corporations and governments.

ISDS would give corporations the power to sue our governments if they thought a law hurt their profits — this could be on anything from environmental rules, anti-smoking laws or rules on corporate taxes.

Investor-state dispute settlement is bad news. Here are a few of the problems with ISDS.

  1. It bypasses national court systems, establishing special tribunals that only corporations can access.
  2. It allows corporations to overturn democratically agreed rules and laws.
  3. It makes democracy more remote from the people.
  4. It could be a threat to our environment, public health laws, food standards rules, restrictions on hazardous chemicals and many other policy areas.

The European Commission is seeking views on this from citizens.

Tell them what you think here.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar

Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

Read All Articles

Related Articles

Tue Jul 2014 /

12 July: UK day of action against TTIP

The biggest free trade agreement in history, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is being negotiated between the European Commission on behalf of member states and the US government. With tariffs between the two blocks already low, the deal is likely to focus on non-tariff barriers to trade such as “harmonising” regulations. This means workers […]

Read More
Mon Jun 2014 /

TISA – the secret treaty to destroy public services

Recently we wrote about two giant investment treaties being secretly negotiated between governments and corporations, the EU-US TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The IUF brochure Trade Deals That Threaten Democracy exposed the corporate power grab behind these two mega-treaties and the huge impact they would have on our lives and on future generations. […]

Read More