by John Hilary One million lost jobs. Key public services under threat. Labour rights and food standards in danger. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) now being negotiated in secret between the European Union and the USA is set t …

TTIP War on Wantby John Hilary

One million lost jobs. Key public services under threat. Labour rights and food standards in danger. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) now being negotiated in secret between the European Union and the USA is set to be a disaster for working people.

TTIP is not a traditional trade agreement dealing with border tariffs, as these are already at their lowest levels in the EU and USA. Instead, the stated aim of this new set of negotiations is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the profits to be made by transnational corporations.

Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most precious rights. Core labour standards, environmental regulations, food safety rules and digital privacy laws – all these and more are up for grabs in the TTIP negotiations.

Worse still, the official impact assessment commissioned at the start of the negotiations calculates that at least one million people will lose their jobs in the EU and USA as a direct result of TTIP. And it could well be more.

And it has now been confirmed that health, education and other public services are on the table to be traded away.

TTIP would also grant US companies a new power to bypass domestic courts and sue European countries in secret tribunals over any public policy decisions that could harm their bottom line. Tobacco giant Philip Morris is already suing the Australian government under similar rules for requiring all cigarettes be sold in plain packaging. Veolia is suing the Egyptian government as a result of the country’s decision to raise the minimum wage.

War on Want has joined forces with trade unions and campaigns groups across Europe and the USA to fight back against TTIP. The movement is growing fast, and the politicians are running scared that they will not be able to conclude the negotiations in 2015, as they had hoped.

TTIP would be the greatest transfer of power to transnational capital that we have seen in a generation. We cannot allow it to happen. We will fight and we will win!

* John Hilary is Executive Director of War on Want. You can sign the pan-European campaign to stop TTIP here.

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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