TTIP

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA.

The intention to launch TTIP negotiations was first announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address in February 2013, and the first round of negotiations took place between European Commission and US officials in July of the same year. The aim is to rush through the talks as swiftly as possible with no details entering the public domain, in the hope that they can be concluded before the peoples of Europe and the USA find out the true scale of the TTIP threat.

As officials from both sides acknowledge, the primary aim of TTIP is not to stimulate trade through removing tariffs between the EU and USA, as these are already at minimal levels. The main goal of TTIP is, by their own admission, to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicalsdigital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

The stakes, in other words, could not be higher.

In addition to this deregulation agenda, TTIP also seeks to create new markets by opening up public services and government procurement contracts to competition from transnational corporations, threatening to introduce a further wave of privatizations in key sectors, such as health and education. Most worrying of all, TTIP seeks to grant foreign investors a new right to sue sovereign governments in front of ad hoc arbitration tribunals for loss of profits resulting from public policy decisions.

This ‘investor-State dispute settlement’ mechanism effectively elevates transnational capital to a status equivalent to the nation-state itself, and threatens to undermine the most basic principles of democracy in the EU and USA alike. TTIP is therefore correctly understood not as a negotiation between two competing trading partners, but as an attempt by transnational corporations to prise open and deregulate markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is a growing body of concern among EU and US citizens at the threats posed by TTIP, and civil society groups are now joining forces with academics, parliamentarians and others to prevent pro-business government officials from signing away the key social and environmental standards listed above.

ACT NOW 

 

français - deutsch - italiano - español - polski - português 

This 2015 updated booklet, written by John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want,  explains what TTIP is and how it will affect the lives of all of us if it comes into force. The original booklet is available in French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish versions here, and the 2015 update is available in Bulgarian, French, German and Greek here - and Polish here.

 

Latest news

The Times: ‘Exploited’ workers, hotels and online shopping funded by aid

9 December 2016 - 9:00am

War on Want in The Times. A recent report by nine charities including RIAO-RDC, a Congolese NGO, and the western charities Grain and War on Want, levels a string of criticisms against Feronia, including allegations of land grabs, low pay and exploitation, writes Billy Kenber. 

Read more

War on Want gives evidence to MPs on DFID’s ‘shameful’ CDC Bill

7 December 2016 - 12:45pm

The government has serious case to answer when UK taxpayers’ money ends up in the coffers of a palm oil company linked to land grabs and labour violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lack of oversight and due diligence is shocking, particularly when DFID is seeking to siphon off more of the public’s money to its private equity arm, CDC Group.

Read more

Join the conversation

'Exploited' workers, hotels and online shopping funded by aid. @WaronWant in @thetimes today… https://t.co/cVTGZTZ00M 16 hours 29 min ago
'Exploited’ workers, hotels and online shopping funded by aid. @WaronWant in @thetimes today https://t.co/QvFhFnraAa https://t.co/L5Ydw9KHq9 16 hours 30 min ago
Ask your MP to sign #EarlyDayMotion 642 on UK investment deals - we need #tradejustice! https://t.co/eJop6FnOsdhttps://t.co/C94j8PctTl 16 hours 37 min ago