TTIP Policy and Briefing Notes
People Before Profit calls for
- the Irish government to withdraw from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations now;
- the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and EU-Singapore treaties to be opposed in the European Council, the European Parliament and both Houses of the Oireachtas.
People Before Profit will also:
- promote the declaration of TTIP-free zones by local councils;
- work to raise awareness of the dangers of these treaties and to explicitly expose the connections between them and the enforced privatisation of public services, especially with respect to water, health, housing, energy and education.
People Before Profit wholly opposes TTIP/CETA/TiSA/EU-Singapore treaties as they will lead to:
- privatisation of vital public services, such as water, energy, health and education – this is an explicit aim of trade negotiators, and could lead to unaccountable multi-national corporations deciding on people’s access to these vital needs and rights;
- job losses and suppressed wages – the European Commission’s own TTIP impact assessment predicts up to 1.3 million jobs will be lost, while other research predicts wages to decline by up to €5,500 per worker;
- erosion of worker’s rights, from restrictions on collective bargaining rights to reduction or even removal of the minimum wage – for example, faced with a multi-billion euro compensation claim from Veolia the Egyptian government recently backed down from raising its minimum wage;
- roll-back or removal of regulation protecting health, food standards and the environment – all of these have been explicitly targetted by business lobbies and would lead to Europe being flooded with toxic chemicals, drug- and hormone-treated food products, genetically modified crops and pesticides which are all currently banned. It could also lead to vast swathes of land being opened up to fracking, and an increase in greenhouse gases which are contributing to climate change;
- Financial institutions having an effective veto over any future possible regulation, making it increasingly difficult to tackle tax havens, tax avoidance and too-big-to-fail banks;
- corporations being able to rewrite legislation for their own interests at the expense of worker’s rights, civil liberties, public health and the environment, and to sue the tax-payer for compensation where regulation and policy decisions for public welfare might adversely affect their potential future profits. This would be done in unaccountable off-shore arbitration tribunals, which have already been used by corporations against 20 EU countries, resulting in at least €3.5 billion of tax-payers’ money being awarded to foreign investors. TTIP etc will open the floodgates to corporate compensation;
- undermining of internet privacy and data protection rights, and the strengthening of intellectual property rights and patents, raising health costs and reducing access to affordable medicines.