BREAKING (12/06/2015, 20.30 hrs): House Rejects Trade Bill, Rebuffing Obama’s Dramatic Appeal
First comment from IATP: Following months of intense public opposition to Fast Track, the House of Representatives today defied the Obama administration’s trade promotion package. The debate over Fast Track blurred party lines. “It took real courage for those Democrats and Republicans who stood up to the President and Republican leadership and opposed the free trade package. They defended working families, farmers, natural resources, the environment and most importantly, democratic principles,” says Juliette Majot, President of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
“This is a clear rejection of the free trade agenda that favors big business over workers, farmers, consumers, and our environment. It’s time to bury this failed approach. I just hope the administration is really listening to what was said today, and what citizens groups around the world have been saying for years. We need very different rules that enhance local economies and jobs and advance efforts to rebuild our food system so it is fair and sustainable,” according to Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP’s Director of International Strategies.
BREAKING (09/06/2015, 18.30 hrs): vote postponed, amid tension in the S&D group.
Politico.eu: “Under parliamentary rules, the president can postpone a vote if there are more than 50 amendments. More than 200 were tabled, meaning that although Parliament will still debate TTIP on Wednesday, the resolution text will now be sent back to the International Trade Committee for possible changes.”
“In my 11 years in this house, I cannot remember something like this happening.” EPPMEP Christofer Fjellner.
Tension too in France
As Europe’s MEPs travel to Strasburg for an important vote on the 10th June on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP – and ISDS – Investor State Dispute Settlements – it is becoming clear the vote will be very tight. This is because the Socialists and Democrats group (S&D), which is the second largest in the Parliament, is in turmoil over the controversial agreement.
Last week, we showed how the group has flip flopped on ISDS. Despite having a formal position on TTIP critical of ISDS, S&D members of the INTA – trade committee – did a deal with the EPP (centre right European People’s Party) to accept the EPP’s weak wording on ISDS. This in effect means no real protections are offered against ISDS’s external arbitration in the draft resolution which was adopted.
ISDS would allow for ad hoc arbitration tribunals, where corporations could sue governments for damages – essentially over lost potential profits – if laws are changed by these governments.
Euractiv report that despite this INTA vote, “at their meeting in Brussels on Thursday (3 June) the S&D group in the European Parliament reasserted their initial position, adopted last March, to exclude an arbitration clause from the deal.”
The Euractiv report continues:
“”The S&D Group will not accept any kind of private arbitration. ISDS is definitely not the way forward. Both the United States and the European Union have reliable national courts which should be the regular procedure to solve any dispute,” said MEP David Martin, the S&D spokesperson on trade.
He insisted that the right of governments to regulate in the public interest must be “unambiguous, and the principle of equal rights between national and foreign investors must be safeguarded”.”
This potentially aligns the S&D group with the other three groups opposing ISDS – the Greens, left wing GNU and euroskeptic EFDD groups. However this too is unclear, as Politico reports, the S&D group is divided. Politico point out that that S&D 66 MEPS have signed a statement which aims to remove mention of ISDS altogether. There are thus two blocks in the 191 MEP group.
All amendments are available here
Why your MEP should support Amendment 27 and Amendment 13
List of all 134 MEPs wo have cosigned Amendment 27 (opens .doc)
Backing for Amendment 27 and critique of Amendments 114-116 as still leaving the door open to ISDS (Ante Wessels 07/06/2015)
V0tewatch (Detailed analysis of TTIP voting patterns in Parliament)
2 Actions – tweet and email your MEP.
From the Stop TTIP campaign, which ARC2020 is a member of.
STOP TTIP is an alliance of over 460 civil society organisations. It launched the European Citizens Initiative against the freetrade and investment agreements TTIP (between the EU and the US) and CETA (between the EU and Canada) which now has over 2 million signatures!
Tomorrow is a really important #TTIPTuesday. Let’s contact our MEPs!
Below some ideas & remember to replace @mep by the actual twitter contact for your MEPs which you can find here: http://bit.ly/1KAlmcQ (note opens excel spreadsheet).
Remember that the S&D group are, as we have shown above, wavering on this issue so its really important to target this group of MEPs.
@mep The #TTIP resolution must be dramatically improved or completely rejected. Vote #NoISDS and #RegulatoryCooperation June 10!
@mep Please fix the #TTIP resolution before next week’s vote : table amendments opposing #ISDS & #RegulatoryCooperation #TTIPtuesday
@mep With #ISDS & #RegulatoryCooperation in #TTIP, the EP will loose a tremendous amount of power. Don’t let it happen. #TTIPTuesday #TTIP #CETA #ISDS
hey @mep ! Vote for #amendment27 on #June10. Oppose #ISDS in #TTIP
Come on, let’s tweet again!
Email your MEP
Email your MEP about Amendment 27 (seven countries: Irish, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, British, French, German)
Email your MEP via No2ISDS (all MEPs)
(Thanks to UPlift.ie)
TTIP Watch (comprehensive, updated very quickly on TTIP)
Lying to get ISDS through the European Parliament (08/06/2015)
Weak Draft TTIP Resolution adopted (28/05/2015)
All #ARC2020 features on TTIP (over 40 articles since mid 2013, 10 in the last 2 months)
Tens of Thousands of U.S. Firms Would Obtain New Powers to Launch Investor-State Attacks against European Policies via CETA and TTIP “47,000 U.S.-owned firms would be newly empowered to launch ISDS attacks on European policies and government actions” .
And here’s their really useful new video – a 2 minute summary of TTIP CETA and ISDS