NAFTA THE LEGACY THAT GOVERNMENTS CONVENIENTLY FORGET

TTIP AND TPP THE FUTURE THAT WE ALL DON’T WANT…

I AM AN ANTI TTIP CAMPAIGNER, I HAVE BEEN CAMPAIGNING AGAINST IT FOR OVER A YEAR NOW.

 I AM NOT A MEMBER OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY I AM JUST A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC CONCERNED ENOUGH TO INFORM THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ABOUT TTIP.

 I HAVE A WEE BOY AND I DON’T WANT HIM GROWING UP IN A WORLD WHERE ALL THE RIGHTS THAT PREVIOUS GENERATIONS FOUGHT SO HARD FOR ARE WIPED OUT BY A TRADE DEAL THAT OTHER PARTIES NAMELY THE TORIES THINK IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

 THE WAY THINGS HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS HAVE BEEN DREADFUL FOR THE VULNERABLE, THE DISABLED AND THE WORKING CLASS NOT JUST IN SCOTLAND BUT THE REST OF THE UK.

 LIKE ANY PARENT WE WANT THE BEST FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN – NOT ONE WHERE CORPORATIONS AND SHARE HOLDERS AND BANKERS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN THEY DESERVE.

SO

 TTIP OR T T I P – THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP.

ALL OF YOU THAT ARE FIGHTING AGAINST FRACKING TO PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITIES AND FUTURE GENERATIONS FROM THE IMPACTS FRACKING WILL CAUSE BUT THERE ARE TRADE DEALS HAPPENING IN THE BACK ROUND THAT THREATEN THAT FIGHT.

 3 TRADE DEALS – CETA, TPP AND TTIP IM ONLY HERE TO INFORM YOU ABOUT ONE BUT THEY ARE ALL ONE IN THE SAME TO THE JOB THEY WERE CREATED FOR AND THAT’S TO MAXIMISE PROFITS FOR THE CORPORATIONS AND SHAREHOLDERS.

THAT ONE THAT AFFECTS EVERYONE DIRECTLY IS TTIP.

 TTIP WAS FIRST CREATED IN 2013

When the EU published a paper, Highlighting the need for a free-trade area between the European Union and the United States.

 THIS WAS IMMEDIATELY TAKEN UP BY CAMERON AND OBAMA.

TTIP has gone through 10 rounds of negotiation so far…with the 11th round taking place from Oct 19-23 in Miami.

SO WHAT IS TTIP THEN AND WHAT THREATS ARE POSED TO US…

 TTIP is a trade deal conducted entirely in secret between the US and EU and aims to harmonize barriers.

But

“Harmonisation” is doublespeak for taking the lowest level of regulation in either the US or EU and applying it across the board

And

The barriers they speak of are our prized and hard earned regulations and standards

that protect our labour rights, environment, food standards, digital privacy and banking regulations.

 THE ENTIRE TTIP NEGOTIATIONS ARE SHROUDED IN SECRECY, KEPT AWAY FROM MPS AND MEPS

 IT’S A COMPLETELY UNDEMOCRATIC PROCESS.

Elected EU parliamentarians from EU member states will not be allowed any sight of the demands being made on their countries by the USA.

 The European Commission has tagged official TTIP documents with secret markings in order to be able to trace any leaks back to their source

 THE EU HAS PLACED A 30 YEAR BAN ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO NEGOTIATIONS DOCUMENTS BEHIND TTIP.

 THE US GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO PLACED A 5 YEAR BLOCK ON ANY PUBLIC ACCESS TO TTIP

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TRIED TO CLAIM THAT THE PUBLICATION OF ITS NEGOTIATING MANDATE FOR TTIP  IN OCTOBER 2014 WAS A SIGNAL OF THE EUs “COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY” THAT DOCUMENT HAD BEEN IN CIRCULATION FOR OVER A YEAR THE GESTURE WAS DISMISSED AS USELESS.

MEPS ARE ALLOWED RESTRICTED ACCESS TO TTIP DOCUMENTATION BUT THE ACCESS IS ONLY ALLOWED IN SPECIAL READING ROOMS WHERE NO CAMERAS, PHONES OR OTHER RECORDING EQUIPMENT ARE NOT ALLOWED,

ALSO WHEN THEY ARE IN THE READING ROOM THEY ARE CONTINUALLY WATCHED.

ISDS THE CORPORATE MONEY SPINNER

The TTIP deal will give more rights to companies through a clause called an ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS).

 If included in the deal, this will enable corporations to claim damages in secret courts or ‘arbitration panels’ if they deem their profits are adversely affected by changes in a regulation or policy.

This will threaten democratically agreed laws designed to protect communities and the environment.

 Companies, which claim their investments including expectations of future profits will be affected by a change in government policies, could have the right to seek compensation through private international tribunals.

 ISDS HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE THE 60’S

 ISDS is already happening in other countries through different trade deals

El Salvador 

Pacific Rim mining company suing government for 315 million after being refused permission for gold mining project.

Egypt

Currently being sued by Veolia for raising the minimum wage they stand to lose 80 million.

Germany –

 Vattenfall suing for 3.7billion after country voted to phase out nuclear power.

 Slovakia

Lost 30 million against Dutch insurance company Achmea for reversing the country’s unpopular privatisation of health insurance.

 Australia

 Tobacco giant Philip Morris is currently using ISDS provisions to sue the Australian government for billions of dollars. The dispute is over the Australian public health law which stipulates all cigarettes must be sold in plain paper packaging.

Canada

In a case over water and timber rights, Canada had to pay out $122 million to the Canadian paper company which was using NAFTA rules to sue its own government from out of its office in the USA.

 Argentina –

No State has been harder hit by ISDS cases than Argentina, many of them related to the country’s decision to unpeg its currency from the US dollar in 2002. After many years of fighting the cases, the Argentinian government was forced to pay over $500 million to settle five companies’ claims in October 2013.

Ecuador

In the largest ISDS award yet made, Ecuador has been ordered to pay Occidental Petroleum $1.77 billion in damages for terminating the oil giant’s contract when the company broke Ecuadorian law.

A separate tribunal threw out the claim by Ecuador for $19 billion in damages against Chevron for its contamination of the Amazonian rainforest over a period of two decades.

 The use of ISDS by transnational corporations is now reaching epidemic proportions.

Over 500 known cases have now been filed against at least 95 countries,

of which over 400 have come in the last 10 years alone.

Many more are likely to have been initiated without ever coming to public knowledge, due to the secrecy that surrounds the proceedings.

TTIP AND PUBLIC SERVICES

 THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER THINGS AT RISK OUR

PUBLIC HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WATER SERVICES TO THE USA.

 TTIP WILL CREATE NEW MARKETS IN OUR PUBLIC SERVICES LEADING TO GREATER PRIVATISATION.  EVEN IF WE WANT TO RENATIONALISE THINGS AGAIN TTIP WILL MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE.

 Public services are normally protected from FTAs – Free Trade Agreements, However, because commercial companies now, in part, provide the NHS, it will only be protected from TTIP if it is explicitly excluded from the treaty which currently it is not

 The Commission has moved to abandon a “public utilities” exemption on the ground that it actively wishes to see public services included within EU trade agreements, excluding only security-related services such as the judiciary, border policing or air traffic control.  The European Commission and US government are also both intent on using TTIP to open up public procurement contracts to the private sector.

 In addition to the prospect of handing over public services to profit making companies, one of the most insidious effects of free trade agreements is that it becomes effectively impossible for countries to restore public services if they have already been privatised.

 This “lock-in” effect will apply even more widely if TTIP adopts the “negative list” approach seen in the EU’s new free trade agreement with Canada, whereby all service sectors are surrendered to liberalisation unless they are specifically marked out as exemptions (the “list it or lose it” model).

TTIP threatens to restrict the ability of local authorities and other public bodies to source and employ locally. This undermines their ability to use public money to achieve social and environmental outcomes through their supply chain and employment practices.

JOHN HILARY FROM WAR ON WANT SAYS

“One of the central concerns raised over the past year has been the threat posed by TTIP to public services in Europe.

The EU’s initial liberalisation ‘offer’ to the USA, leaked in June 2014, confirms that medical and health services, social services, education (at all levels), post, finance, Telecommunications, transport, energy, water, environmental and cultural services are all on the table in TTIP, with substantial commitments already in place across many sectors to

allow US corporations full access to the services markets of EU member states.

The only sector which remains excluded from the TTIP negotiations is audio-visual services, at the insistence of the French government.”

 

TTIP AND FOOD SAFETY

 LOWERING OF OUR FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS ON THE GOV.UK INCREASING BUSINESS WITH THE USA WEBSITE IT SAYS

 “WORKING TO LOWER SANITARY-PHYTO SANITARY MEASURES AND OTHER BARRIERS TO HIGH QUALITY BRITISH FOOD AND DRINK”

 ITS ALSO KNOWN AS THE SPS AGREEMENT, THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION SETS CONSTRAINTS ON MEMBER-STATES POLICIES RELATING TO FOOD SAFETY (BACTERIAL CONTAMINATES, PESTICIDES, INSPECTION AND LABELLING AS WELL AS ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH WITH RESPECT TO IMPORTED PESTS AND DISEASES.

 TTIP’s ‘regulatory convergence’ agenda will seek to bring EU standards on food safety and the environment closer to those of the US.

 But US regulations are much less strict, with 70 per cent of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets now containing genetically modified ingredients. WHILST the EU allows virtually no GM foods.

The US also has far laxer restrictions on the use of pesticides. It also uses growth hormones in its beef which are restricted in Europe due to links to cancer. US farmers have tried to have these restrictions lifted repeatedly in the past through the World Trade Organisation and it is likely that they will use TTIP to do so again.

TTIP AND JOBS

The EU had admitted that TTIP will cause unemployment as jobs switch to the USA,

where labour standards and trade union rights are lower.

Businesses could relocate to US states and EU countries with the lowest labour standards.

Labour rights at risk

The National Minimum Wage;

Working time rights (including breaks, paid holidays and a limit on the working week);

Health and safety protection;

The right to join a union; and

Protection from unlawful discrimination.

Jobs at risk include manufacturing, pharmaceutical, the NHS and agriculture.

You could say that every job would be at risk from competition from abroad.

Main political parties argue that ttip will bring increased jobs and growth.

There is little credible evidence for these claims,

which rely heavily on an assessment made by

The centre for economic policy research or CEPR.

CEPR research must be viewed with caution because of its poor quality and because the research cannot be seen as unbiased:

CEPR is funded by the same international banks that are keen to see TTIP signed.

The main body of research claims that growth from TTIP will bring a family of four an extra 545 euros per year

BUT this gain is not per annum but over 10 years!!

Quote From jeronim capaldo from Tufts University, Massachusetts.

(Research fellow on globalisation and sustainable development programme)

Working paper TTIP – European disintegration, unemployment and instability oct 2014)

“At the same time the TTIP will put extra pressure on countries that treat their workers well in terms of pay because these countries will find themselves in fiercer competition with the US and with other economies with low production costs stemming from low wages.

Increased unemployment and falling wages will reduce demand and send the economy into a downward spiral and increase the pressure on the public finances.”

CAPALDO FURTHER PREDICTS IN HIS PAPER THAT TTIP WILL SEE A REDUCTION IN THE WORKING CLASSES SHARE OF OUTPUT,

HE PREDICTS A TRANSFER OF 7% OF UK GDP FROM LABOUR TO PROFIT INCOME APPROX. 100 BILLION.

THIS WOULD HAVE A DEVASTATING EFFECT ON WORKING CLASS LIVING STANDARDS AND WITH INCREASED POWER TO CORPORATIONS A WEAKENING OF THE WORKING CLASSES ABILITY TO FIGHT BACK.

Free trade agreements rarely, if ever, benefit working people and are pushed by corporations who use them as a means to maximise profits and further their own interests.

There are concerns that TTIP could lead to a downgrading of any labour standards identified as “barriers” to trade, such as collective labour agreements which could be challenged as representing restriction on the business model of competitors.

 The EU has historically included employment and trade union rights in trade agreements.

However, the USA has not ratified a number of the most important International Labour Organization Conventions,

Including the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Around half of all US states have now adopted anti-trade union legislation under the so-called “Right to Work” framework; an anti-trade union legislation framework that undermines trade union finances and allows businesses to undercut workers’ pay, health insurance and pensions.

There is a concern that European companies may take advantage of the ease of market access created by TTIP to relocate to the USA, and take advantage of the weak labour regulations described above. Similarly, there is also a danger that American companies may be encouraged by the TTIP to relocate to EU states such as Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia where incomes are low and trade unions are weaker than in other parts of the EU.

 

TTIP AND MORE POWERS FOR THE BANKERS

 The UK, under the influence of the all-powerful City of London, is thought to be seeking a loosening of US banking regulations.

America’s financial rules are tougher than ours.

They were put into place after the financial crisis to directly curb the powers of bankers

and avoid a similar crisis happening again.

TTIP will remove those restrictions, effectively handing all those powers back to the bankers.

This will hasten a newer, bigger crash than the last time and even

tougher austerity to bail them out.

The American Chamber of Commerce is also using TTIP as an opportunity to push for the higher US financial service regulations to be watered down.

The US government has already agreed to negotiate a relaxation of rules governing access to financial services markets, including the removal of capital controls.

TTIP AND YOUR ONLINE PRIVACY

Remember ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)?

A massive majority in the European Parliament threw it out in 2012 after a huge public backlash against what was rightly seen as an attack on individual privacy where internet service providers would be required to monitor people’s online activity.

Well, TTIP would be bringing back ACTA’s central elements, proving that if the democratic approach doesn’t work, there’s always the back door

ACTA WAS ANOTHER AGREEMENT NEGOTIATED IN SECRECY AGAIN THE ONLY REASON THE PUBLIC FOUND OUT ABOUT ITS CONTENT WAS A LEAKED DOCUMENT ON WIKILEAKS.

 ACTA would have required internet service providers to monitor online activity and inform on anyone suspected of infringing copyright provisions.

MEPs voted down ACTA by the massive margin of 478 to 39 – the first time that the European Parliament had used its new powers under the Lisbon Treaty to reject an international trade agreement. TTIP will also undermine data privacy laws by making it easier for companies to gain access to individuals’ personal details for commercial purposes.

 The European Commission has already watered down EU rules on data privacy in order to pave the way for regulatory coherence under TTIP,

removing a key safeguard against US intelligence agencies’ spying on European citizens

 The ultimate irony, revealed in documents obtained by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, is that the US government has bugged EU offices in New York, Washington and Brussels and infiltrated their computer network so as to gain access to internal EU emails and documents.

Responding to calls from MEPs that the TTIP talks should be discontinued in light of this scandal,

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding agreed:

“We cannot negotiate over a big trans-Atlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators.”

 No one listened to Reding…

SO THE BREAKDOWN OF ACTA BEING SOLELY

the interests of rights holders are put ahead of free speech, privacy, and other fundamental rights.

NAFTA THE LEGACY OF FAILURE

WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE READ ABOUT TTIP HERE.

 THE LOWERING OF STANDARDS WHICH IS HISTORICALLY WHAT TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE FOR MAKING EVERYTHING LOWER AND CHEAPER TO RUN AND MAXIMISING PROFITS FOR THE CAPITALIST CORPORATIONS AND THEIR SHAREHOLDERS.

 Nafta is the same type of agreement…

Nafta is a previous failed trade agreements that did not deliver the promise of higher employment and GDP growth.

 The North American free trade agreement with America, Canada and Mexico

It was 20 years that nafta was implemented.

The promised trade surpluses with Mexico turned out to be deficits and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost.

We have to look at Mexico as an example of how these trade agreements are not about raising living standards, trade or free markets.

Out of 20 Latin American countries south and Central America plus Mexico

Mexico ranks 18th with a growth of less than 1% annually since 1994.

From 1960-80 Mexico’s GDP per capita nearly doubled.

This amounted to huge increases in living standards for the vast majority of Mexicans and if the country had continued to grow at this rate it would have had something approaching European living standards today.

Mexico growth has remained below 1% since 2000.

And national poverty rate in 2012 was 53% basically the same it was in 1994.

Without economic growth it is difficult to reduce poverty in a developing country.

The statistics would look even worse if not for the migration that took place during this period.

Millions of Mexicans were displaced from farming after being forced into competition with subsidized and high productivity agribusiness in the USA thanks to naftas rules.

ALSO NAFTA CAUSED the net loss of nearly 5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs and more than 57,000 factories,

 millions of higher-wage service sector jobs offshored,

flat median wages despite significant productivity gains and the worst U.S. income inequality in the last century

And, even for U.S. agriculture, a sector that consistently has been promised gains from past trade pacts, U.S. food exports have stagnated while U.S. food imports have more than doubled in the past 20 years of NAFTA-style deals.

Its not only the economic impact that nafta caused it’s the environmental impact that is worryingly close to TTIP and TPP.

TTIP, FRACKING AND NAFTA

 TTIP would abolish trade restrictions on energy between the US and EU leading to increased fossil fuel exports.

 This is despite grave warnings from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that if we do not end our dependency on fossil fuels we are heading for climate catastrophe.

IT would also aim to remove Washington’s current ban on exporting crude oil and boost exports of shale gas, which would require investment in terms of port facilities in Europe and could draw both financial and political capital away from cleaner alternatives and further damage the environment.

 TTIP will be a backdoor for the frackers because ttip will limit the power of governments to protect communities and environment from fracking because the talks will weaken or roll back democratically agreed safeguards put into place to protect the environment and citizens for the sake of corporate profits.

IT will dangerously thwart government’s efforts to address climate change and to protect communities and will expand fracking by removing the ability of governments’ to control natural gas exports.

 IT will limit governments’ ability to regulate the developments and expansion of fracking.

Energy companies are already looking to the courts to rollback fracking bans.

 Also the ISDS clause that I mentioned earlier will be a great incentive to the energy companies, giving them rights to seek compensation for future bans or other regulation on fracking.

The inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement in the TTIP would give them an extra-legal tool – and in some cases a second chance – to challenge public interest policies.

Arbitrators have a strong bias towards investors – and no specialised knowledge about our climate or fracking.

Companies are already using existing investment agreements to claim damages from governments,

with taxpayers picking up the tab.

Given the need to protect communities, it is critical that the TTIP does not undermine efforts to tighten regulations for the natural gas industry, including closing existing loopholes, and affecting existing bans and moratoria on fracking.

 This is happening right now the US energy company Lone Pine Resources is now using NAFTA rules to sue the government of Canada over the moratorium on fracking in Québec.

The European Commission has openly acknowledged that TTIP will further intensify pressure on the environment, as “every scenario” for future EU-US trade under TTIP will increase the production, consumption and international transfer of goods.

 The Commission’s own impact assessment goes on to note that this increase in production will in turn create “dangers for both natural resources and the preservation of biodiversity”.

 In respect of greenhouse gas emissions, the Commission states that its preferred outcome from TTIP will add an extra 11 million metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, challenging the EU’s own emission reduction commitments

under the Kyoto Protocol.

Yet none of these observations has caused the Commission to rethink its support for TTIP.

NAFTA AND ITS AFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS…

NAFTA has reduced the ability of governments to respond to environmental issues and it has empowered multinational corporations to challenge important environmental policies.

 NAFTA ushered in a new model of trade that reduced the ability of governments to regulate in the interest of the public and the environment.

 NAFTA cemented and expanded changes to Mexico’s agricultural sector that impoverished and displaced millions of peasant farmers while increasing North America’s reliance on chemical and water intensive agricultural practices.

It increased mining activity and trade in fossil fuels while it decreased the ability of governments to put in place policies to regulate such polluting industries.

 And, NAFTA’s environmental side agreement was far too weak and the commission responsible for enforcing the side agreement far too under-resourced to make any meaningful difference.

The evidence is clear but rarely recognized by North American policymakers who would rather expand NAFTA’s most destructive trade rules through transpacific and transatlantic negotiations that will make environmental protection even more difficult.

Trade agreements must protect communities and the environment—NAFTA clearly does not. Governments must remember the legacy of NAFTA.

AS THE TTIP DEAL HAS THE SAME CENTRAL ELEMENTS OF THE TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TPP WHICH HAS BEEN CALLED NAFTA ON STEROIDS – IT REPLACES NAFTA AND EXTENDS IT TO OTHER COUNTRIES, IT REALLY IS WORRYING.

NOAM CHOMSKY QUOTE ON TRADE DEALS –

“GATT, NAFTA, and the like are called “free trade” agreements.

That is a mis description.

Firstly, the term “trade” hardly applies to a system in which some 40 percent of U.S. “trade” is intrafirm, centrally managed by the same highly visible hands that control planning, production, and investment. Over half of U.S. “exports” to Mexico, for example, do not enter the Mexican market, consisting of transfers from one to another branch of a U.S. corporation, to maximize gains from lower labour costs and environmental standards.”

 TTIP WILL BE A CHAMPION FOR PRIVATISATION AND WHO WILL BE FOOTING THE BILL FOR ALL OF THIS CERTAINLY NOT THE ELITE IT WILL BE US THE TAX PAYER, TIME AND TIME AGAIN OUR LEADERS RIP US OFF AND SELL US OUT.

TTIP and the secrecy surrounding its negotiations are a reckless, unjustified destruction of our rights.

TTIP WITHOUT ISDS IS STILL A THREAT AS IT WILL STRIP SCOTLAND OF ALL OUR RIGHTS AND CAPITALIST CORPORATIONS AND EXTRA TOOL TO SQUEEZE EVEN MORE MONEY OUT OF THE PEOPLE.

 EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR RIGHTS THAT PREVIOUS GENERATIONS FOUGHT SO HARD FOR

AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS WE STRIVE TO PROTECT.

 TTIP IS NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORKING CLASS IN SCOTLAND, IT IS PURELY A TRADE TREATY FOR THE BENEFIT OF BIG FACELESS CORPORATIONS AND THEIR SHAREHOLDERS!

ttip is not something to be picked at over like a pick n mix opposing some elements whilst favouring others u either a fully opposed to it or SUPPORT IT.

If you care about democracy, workers’ rights and the environment then you must FIGHT ttip .

http://content.sierraclub.org/creative-archive/report/2014/03/nafta-20-years-costs-communities

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