We vernemen af en toe wel iets over onderhandelingen tussen de EU en Amerika over een “Handels Overeenkomst”, The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (or TTIP), maar nooit over “geheime rechtspraken”. Zie hieronder ontvangen mail. *******
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European leaders could be about to hand corporations the power to overturn our laws in secret courts
The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a huge corporate power grab dressed up as a trade deal. Tell European leaders to reject the TTIP’s attack on democracy.
Right now, Europe and the USA are negotiating a huge corporate power grab affecting literally millions of European and American citizens.
The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (or TTIP) is called a “trade treaty”. But if agreed, the TTIP would actually hand corporations the power to overturn democratically decided laws, on everything from environmental protections to food safety, through a system of secret courts that only corporations would have access to.
European leaders are already nervous about how the public might react, and are not sure what to do. Under pressure, the EU is about to launch a big public consultation about the proposed system of secret corporate courts — but there’s a real danger that the loudest voices will be the giant corporations that stand to benefit. We don’t have long to prove that it’s people power that counts, not corporate power.
The trade deal between Europe and the US wouldn’t be the first one with these sorts of rules. We’re already seeing what this means in practice:
- In Australia, tobacco giant Phillip Morris is suing the government for its tough anti-smoking laws.
- The German government is being sued by Vattenfall, a Swedish energy giant, for phasing out nuclear power.
- The pesticide giant, Dow Chemical, were able to sue the Canadian government when it tried to stop Dow selling a controversial pesticide.
The rules about corporations suing government aren’t the only problem with the trade deal that the EU is negotiating with the US. There are real worries that it could make life-saving drugs much more expensive, hand the music industry the power to cut off your internet supply, and mean an end to rules forcing global airlines to pay up for their pollution through the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
The very fact that Europe has been forced to open up parts of the deal to public consultation shows that pressure is building, and that this deal might not pass. The consultation only deals with “investor-state dispute settlement” — but these are the rules that allow corporations to sue governments, and are some of the most worrying parts of the proposed TTIP. We now have a real chance to get some of the worst aspects struck out of the deal for good — and we should grab it, and keep fighting to end this threat to democracy.
Thanks for all you do,
Martin, Hannah, Paul and the rest of us.
********** More Information:
Tripping over TTIP: Obstacles overshadow EU-US trade pact, Deutsche Welle, 13 February 2014
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