TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business."

4 Ways a Leaked TTIP Text Reveals Attempts to Undermine Environment and Health Protection Laws

The documents "unveil for the first time the U.S. position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process," says Greenpeace.

clip_image002Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts, which were published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.

The classified documents represent more than two-thirds of the overall TTIP text as of April, at the 13th round of TTIP negotiations in New York. They cover 13 chapters addressing issues ranging from telecommunications to regulatory cooperation, from pesticides, food and agriculture to trade barriers.

Jorgo Riss, director of Greenpeace EU, said: "These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time:

TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health. We have known that the EU position was bad, now we see the US position is even worse. A compromise between the two would be unacceptable.”

Greenpeace identified four main issues of concern:

1. Long standing environmental protection is dropped

The “General Exceptions” rule, enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is absent from the text. This nearly 70-year-old rule allows nations to restrict trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health," or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources."            

2. No place for climate protection in TTIP

If the goals of the Paris Summit to keep temperatures increase under 1.5 degrees are to be met, trade should not be excluded from CO2 emissions reduction specifications. But nothing about climate protection can be found in the obtained texts.

3. Precautionary principle is forgotten

The US wants the EU to replace the EU’s hazard approach with ‘risk management’, disregarding the precautionary principle, which is enshrined in the EU Treaty but is never mentioned in the consolidated text. [The precautionary principle also covers consumer policy, European legislation concerning food and human, animal and plant health.]

4. Open door for corporate lobbying

The leaked documents suggest that both parties consider giving corporations much wider access and participation in decision making.

Jorgo Riss said: “The effects of TTIP would be initially subtle but ultimately devastating. It would lead to European laws being judged on their consequences for trade and investment – disregarding environmental protection and public health concerns.”

This article originally appeared on Greenpeace.org. Reprinted with permission.


Noam Chomsky Blows the Lid Off the Latest Corporate Trade Deal (Video)

Does free trade even exist? Chomsky breaks it down., By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet, June 3, 2016

Two weeks after clip_image004Greenpeace released 280 pages on the TTIP trade agreement, Noam Chomsky spoke with Channel 4 about why he believes the new agreement has nothing to do with reducing tariffs, calling it "pretty extreme."

According to Greenpeace: "Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents. They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business."

“From an environmental and consumer protection point of view four aspects are of serious concern,” said Sylvia Borren, Executive Director Greenpeace Netherlands, including the dropping of long-standing environmental protections; increased difficulty in taking climate action; ending of the "precautionary principle" that allows regulators to take preventive measures to safeguard public health; and opening the door for corporate takeover.

Chomsky points out that "the so-called free-trade agreements are not free-trade agreements. To a larger extend they’re not even trade agreements. These are investor rights agreements." He continued:

There’s a reason why they’re kept secret from the public and as soon as you look at them you see why. They’re not secret to the corporate lawyers and lobbyists who are writing the detailed regulation - of course in the interest of their constituents.

The investors are given the right to sue governments for their potentially future profits They go to private trade adjudiction groups made of largely corporate representatives. They’re already going on with NAFTA and we can expect more of them. The major trading partners already have agreements that have reduced tariffs substantially with few exceptions—not many.

Chomsky also noted that the phrase "climate change" does not appear once in these 280 pages.