The TTIP is under fire for a wide number of reasons. Everything from Intellectual Property Rights, GMO’s, stopping the harmful effects of fracking, ;pharmaceutical drug company monopolies and internet surveillance are major concerns for anyone living in Europe at this time of TTIP negotiations. In fact, the TTIP, or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has faced massive opposition from people all over Europe and indeed the world, including over 50,000 protesters in Germany in early 2015. Similarly, a European Anti-TTIP petition launched in 2014 gained over 1 million signatures in just two months, showing great opposition from an informed European public.
The TTIP would create loopholes that if passed, would allow for genetically modified foods from America to flood European markets despite the EU’s current ban. The agreement would also expand fracking in Europe, compromising citizen health as well as the environment for the sake of corporate profit.
This is all achieved through something called the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS), which is included in the TTIP agreement. This mechanism would allow corporations to take entire countries to “private international tribunals” if they pass a law which undermines their “expected future profits”. This means that if GMO labeling or fracking restrictions interfere with a company’s figures, that country will be taken to a secret international court, tried and forced to compensate for their loss. In other words, the European TTIP and American TPP agreements are the end of democracy and the beginning of total corporate dominance of our planet and lives.
This monster agreement isn’t being taken “as is” without a fight, however. France’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have both spoken out against the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) section of the treaty.
“Matthias Fekl, France’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, has made it clear that France will not support the inclusion of the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) in a potential TTIP agreement. The ISDS is a point of heated debate between the EU and the United States … ‘France did not want the ISDS to be included in the negotiation mandate,’ Matthias Fekl told the French Senate. ‘We have to preserve the right of the state to set and apply its own standards, to maintain the impartiality of the justice system and to allow the people of France, and the world, to assert their values”
All of this was reported exactly one year before the attacks in Paris on Nov 13, 2015.
Unfortunately, this agreement is kept so secret that only specific pieces have been leaked out to the public. Knowing as much as we do, it certainly is a good sign that France’s Matthias Fekl opposed the TTIP a year ago, but can we expect the same in 2016? After having a horrific incident in Paris where multiple attacks occured, several deaths, and much media attention, can we expect continued opposition to the TTIP before the fate of Europe is sealed?
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Contributed by Phillip Schneider of Waking Times.