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TTIP Not Dead: Opposition by France, Germany to Trade Deal is 'Tactical Retreat'

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TTIP - Sputnik International
As many in Germany and France have called to put an end to talks on the implementing the unpopular Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Radio Sputnik discussed with the director of Global Justice Now, Nick Dearden, if the agreement is dead.

The ongoing multi-year negotiations for the TTIP, the most wide-ranging international commerce-deregulation treaty in history, have stumbled in the face of enormous resistance, Dearden told Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker.

“We already have a free trade area with the US, more or less,” he noted. “This [TTIP] is about giving whole new rights to big business, big operations, to allow them to further trample over our democracy, our public services, our public protections, our climate regulations.”

Cooperation between the US and the EU rests on sharing economic sectors, he said, observing that Europeans are “particularly interested in doing business with big banks and the financial sector” and that Americans are more focused on agriculture.

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Now that many in France and Germany have all but disavowed the TTIP, “the two sides [the EU and the US] find it very difficult to agree on how much they can give away to achieve what they want from it.”

The ongoing talks on the unpopular treaty are not only “bringing to light difficult negotiations, where each side is betting for different corporate interests,” but also revealing a deep public discontent with the policy of making crucial international decisions behind closed doors.

Still, the TTIP is not completely moribund, the analyst stressed, suggesting that recent developments are just a tactical retreat. Increased effort will now be put on the Canada-EU Trade deal (CETA), Dearden opined, “which is just as bad as TTIP.”

“Many American companies have subsidiaries in Canada and they will have an opportunity to sue Canada European regulations that they don’t like.”

“Part of this deal says ‘we back off from TTIP,’” as a way to ensure that CETA is adopted, but, according to Dearden, CETA is “TTIP from the backdoor.”

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In the light of the Brexit vote, he suggested, it will be easier for those at the highest level of government, “that are extremely interested in using CETA and TTIP as a model for British trade” to push those treaties in the UK.

To prevent the ratification of onerous trade-deregulation deals, Brits will have to work hard, he said, suggesting that other countries are not as eager as the UK to submit to such agreements.

“Why today do so many African, Asian and Latin American countries not want to sign up to free trade agreements with […] Europe?” he asked. “That’s because those trade agreements treat them simply as sources of raw material, cheap labor and trade markets. [TTIP, CETA, NAFTA] were never designed as agreements that would share benefits equally.”

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“These deals are about big business versus democracy,” he said.

But free-market, deregulated capitalism has resulted in some 60 million people on the move worldwide, fleeing their homeland not only because of Western-incited wars, but also due to Western-manufactured poverty.

Western governments believe that trade agreements should be based “on the premise that some countries should be poorer than we are. So we’d better keep them poor, to supply us with everything we need.”

“These trade deals are about preserving a system which is at the end of its life, which has done so much damage to people and the environment. It is searching for new ways to make money and empower big business. And you cannot do it forever.”

Preventing TTIP, and other trade-deregulation deals like it, is an essential step in shifting global economic policy to benefit societies equally, Dearden said.

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