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Stop Calling the TPP A Trade Agreement – It Isn’t

Stop Calling the TPP A Trade Agreement – It Isn’t. By Dave Johnson. This a message to activists trying to fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Stop calling the TPP a “trade” agreement. TPP is a corporate/investor rights agreement, not a “trade” agreement. “Trade” is a good thing; TPP is not. Every time you use the word “trade” in association with the TPP, you are helping the other side. “Trade” is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear “trade” and the brain stops working. People think, “Of course, trade is good.” And that ends the discussion. Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem. It enables advocates to say things like, “95 percent of the world lives outside the U.S.” as if that has anything to do with TPP. It lets them say, “We know that exports support American jobs” to sell a corporate rights agreement. It enables them to say nonsense like this about […]

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German Farmers against TTIP and Genetic Engineering

  On the 17th April 450 farmers demonstrated in the global day of action across Germany against TTIP (The EU-US free trade agreement) and genetically engineered crops.   They marched together under the slogan of ‘TTIP and Gentechnik, bleibt uns vom Hof [TTIP and genetic engineering stay away from our farmers]’. The demonstation, organised by the AbL (Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft), sought to emphasise how the TTIP would threaten the livelihoods of farmers and would pave the way for the introduction of American produced GMOs. Find more information at:        

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Irish Chefs Join the Stand Against TTIP

Saturday 18th April was the Global Day of Action for sharing information, raising public awareness and staging demonstrations against TTIP. Seven events were organized in Ireland and over 700 took place around the world, involving a diverse range of civic agencies, social and environmental NGOs and many other interested parties. In Ireland this included chefs, led by the non-profit chefs’ organization Euro-Toques Ireland. In the weeks leading up to it big names including Jamie Oliver and Darina Allen spoke out from the chefs’ corner, voicing their concerns for the future of food and agriculture in the European Union should the TTIP treaty be ratified. “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement poses a serious threat to the well-regulated Irish and European food industry,” said Darina Allen in a statement from Slow Food Ireland last week. “Who will benefit from this agreement? It will certainly not be consumers, who will see food information further weakened over longer food supply chains, nor will it be the large majority of small-scale producers, serving local markets, who make […]

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How TTIP would outlaw alternatives to capitalism

Guest post by David Cronin What is the real objective of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? We can get a good idea from watching a video recorded recently in Brussels. It features Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for trade, defending highly controversial plans to usher in a court system whereby corporations could sue against government decisions they do not like. According to Malmström, “companies need to have some sort of protection” against such issues as “nationalisation”. Intentional or not, that statement illustrates how the key negotiators of TTIP are in thrall to a right-wing ideology. The idea that certain economic activities could be nationalised – placed under public ownership – is anathema to them. TTIP would be a legally-binding accord effectively saying that capitalism is the only permissible system in the European Union and the United States. In the same video, Malmström insists she has “no secret agenda”. And to be fair, the Swede has been slightly more transparent than the EU’s previous trade chiefs. The irony is that the modicum of transparency she has […]

Latest from Brussels

TTIP Amendments Voted on in European Parliament Today

Today 14th April is a big TTIP day in Europe. In the Parliament you can follow the debate live here. Here are the amendments being voted on. Politicians of all hues are suggesting amendments. Ag will feature at 15.00 CET. Here is the debate sequence for today: ENVI: Tuesday 14th April, 09:00 AM CULT: Thursday 16th April, 09:00 AM JURI: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM AFCO: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM PETI: Thursday 16th April, 10:00 AM AGRI Tuesday 14th April, 15:00 PM Also today TTIP-related events 1: Sharon Anglin Treat (Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission) at 12.30 CET Parliament presentation. Treat will focus on: The EU regulatory cooperation proposal in TTIP; Clues to the US regulatory proposal in TTIP; US experience with domestic regulatory coordination (OIRA) and cost-benefit studies; food democracy at risk – how regulatory cooperation and coherence will promote large scale industrial agriculture, weaken and delay food safety and pesticide protections, jeopardize the precautionary principle and attack the value of subsidiarity. UPDATE: Watch Sharon Treat in this short video from the talk explain […]

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TTIP: “very negative impacts” says Irish Farmers Association

As EU Trade Commissioner Cecile Malmstrom visited Ireland last Friday, The Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Ireland’s largest farming organisation, has expressed serious concerns about the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, TTIP. The organisation made reference to newly published Copenhagen Economics report, commissioned by the Irish government, which identifies, in the words of IFA President Eddie Downey “very negative impacts for Ireland’s vital beef sector”. According to the IFA “following a meeting yesterday with the authors of the report, both Copenhagen Economics and officials from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment accepted that TTIP presented very significant risks to both our beef and white meats sector.” Beef is the largest agri-food sector in Ireland, employing over 70,000. The Copenhagen Economics report was commissioned to assess the potential impacts of TTIP on Ireland. While positive on potential jobs growth, citing up to 10,000 new jobs for Ireland, it also predicts that the Irish beef sector will be badly hit by TTIP. The IFA’s new position paper on TTIP says “as a fundamental principle, EU negotiators must insist on equivalence of standards. […]