About Clare says No to TTIP
PRESS RELEASE 24/02/16 – County Clare Versus TTIP
A Grass roots movement in County Clare has vowed to topple a highly secretive and controversial deal, currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA.
Clare is the first county in Ireland to officially oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) following a unanimous vote by Clare County Council earlier this month.
TTIP threatens worker’s rights, healthcare, farmers, food quality and the environment not to mention the sovereign power of democratic governments.
Most concerning of all is that multi-national corporations will be able to sue governments if they introduce rules or regulations which affect their profits.
This is already happening around the world as a result of similar deals negotiated with the U.S.A. When Australia passed a law limiting cigarette advertising it was sued by British-American Tobacco and the French corporation Veolia sued Egypt for raising its minimum wage!
A wolf by any other name…
The mechanism which allows corporations to sue governments, the ISDS, has now been re-named the ICS, due to the controversy it caused. However the consequences for citizens remain exactly the same.
So can County Clare win this David and Goliath struggle against the world super-powers?
Luckily for them they are not alone, there is widespread resistance to the agreement throughout Europe.
3.5 million European citizens have signed petitions to oppose TTIP and surveys have shown that 97% of Europeans responded negatively when asked about it. Yet many Irish people have never even heard of the deal!
Some Irish MEPs have also been working hard to resist TTIP despite the fact that they, (the democratic representatives of the people) are not allowed to have copies of the secret deal!
“Clare Says No to TTIP” is now demanding that all national politicians reveal exactly where they stand on TTIP prior to the upcoming general election.
Tel: Barry O’Driscoll 086 024 0400
Twitter: twitter.com/nottipclare (@NoTTIPClare)
Further links and info:
Wiki Leaks have offered €100,000 reward for the details of TTIP.
See this video with John Pilger – www.youtube.com/watch?v=EriEOWHPqcU
Artists against TTIP – www.artistsagainstttip.org
Full text from Comhlamh – www.comhlamh.org/beware-the-ttip-monster
Clare FM – www.clare.fm/news/clare-county-council-first-ireland-reject-ttip
Corporate Europe Observatory – corporateeurope.org/pressreleases/2016/02/zombie-attack-ttip-corporate-super-rights-come-back-dead
What is TTIP?
TTIP stands for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It’s a trade deal between the EU and the US. On the surface it looks fairly innocent – aiming to make trade easier between the two regions – but underneath lie a range of worrying clauses that would undermine our democratic rights. Our political representatives are negotiating this deal on our behalf but at the moment it only serves the needs of corporations and not of ordinary people.
Find out the different political parties’ positions on TTIP at the ATTAC website here: www.attac.ie
Companies Can Sue Countries!
Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a private court held outside of the normal judicial system for foreign companies to sue the government if they feel new government policy will affect their profits. This could be anything from an increase in the minimum wage to environmental protection. However this only applies to corporations – governments would not be able to sue corporations.
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan in 2011 the German government decided to withdraw from nuclear power to reduce safety hazards. Vattenfall nuclear company who had been working in Germany sued the German government for 3.7 billion as this decision would affect their profits.
Groups including health organisations, food critics and NGOs are concerned that the quality and standard of food would be negatively affected by TTIP as food standards in the EU are much higher than US standards. TTIP also threatens to completely change the way small and medium sized farms operate, through the use of more genetic engineering and more hormone-treated meat.
False Promises On Jobs!
Proponents of TTIP claim that this trade deal will bring jobs and growth. Research shows that the best case scenario would only be 0.05% growth per year. Even though trade between the EU and US would be expected to increase, some of this increase will merely be a shift from bilateral trade between European member states, which will bring minimal net gains, and could even negatively affect some individual European economies.
The cost to hard-fought labour rights in Europe could be substantial, and would likely result in decreased job security, wage reductions and a loss of jobs. In general, TTIP would lead to greater labour market instability and the accumulation of trade imbalances at a national or even regional level.
In 2012, French company Veolia, sued the Egyptian government for attempting to raise the minimum wage. The government backed down and did not increase the minimum wage.
Increases In CO2 Emissions!
The world has recently made huge progress at the UN Climate Change talks in Paris in agreeing a plan to reduce our global emissions to curtail climate change. TTIP threatens this progress as the most ambitious TTIP scenario predicts an increase of 11.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
In the EU the precautionary principle is used. This means if a product has a suspected risk of causing harm to the environment or the public then it is the responsibility of those who are taking action to prove that it is not harmful. There are concerns that this principle would be exempt from the TTIP deal, jeopardising the standards and quality of products in Europe in favour of big corporations.
Not consumers, not workers, not farmers. The only people that win through TTIP are corporations.
Many organisations representing diverse groups within society (e.g. farmers, health organisations, trade unions) are against TTIP because of the negative impacts they can see for people’s health, democratic rights and environmental protection.
They are joined by almost 3.5 million people across Europe who have signed a petition to stop the TTIP trade deal going through.
It’s Not Just Us?
If passed, TTIP could become the new model for future trade agreements worldwide, meaning its negative effects could be even worse for countries in the Global South.