BREAKING NEWS: Greenpeace reveals 16 secret documents as of April, 2016
what is TTIP?
The EU and the USA are negotiating in order to reach a commercial agreement called TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) Aim of TTIP is to increase exchanges and investments between the EU and the USA in order to achieve the unused potential of a really transatlantic market, producing new economic opportunities for the creation of new jobs and growth by means of a greater access to the market, a greater legislative compatibility and the basis for global rules.
what is wrong in TTIP?
At a first glance TTIP seems a wonderful issue. Who would not want the creation of new economic opportunities and jobs?
Actually TTIP is a poisoned fruit because among the commercial obstacles and investments the agreement intends to eliminate there are also the non-tariff barriers.The tariff barriers are the import taxes on trade between the EU and the US that have been gradually nearly totally eliminated over the years. Now, in order to increase trade between the two shores of the Atlantic, this agreement wants to dismantle the non-tariff barriers.
What are the non-tariff barriers?
The non-tariff barriers are those differences in rules and regulations which make American products not exportable or not automatically exportable to the EU and vice versa. Here are some:
- The maximum limit allowed for dangerous or potentially dangerous chemical compounds in industrial products, in particular in food, drinks and medicines
- The application of the precautionary principle every time research cannot prove as harmless new chemical substances or new industrial, environmental or food processing
- Any limitation in competitive bids: if your child’s nursery school envisages from farm-to-table food, this damages the multinational corporations which cannot participate
- The requirement for US manufacturers to conform their new cars in every State of the EU and not to obtain a certification effective in the whole of Europe
- The requirement for US pharmaceutical companies to obtain an authorization for a new medicine in each Country of the EU instead of obtaining a single autho The existence of a Public Health Service which offers free utilities that are therefore removed from the private health marketrization for the whole of the EU
- Minimum salaries, union rights and laws which recognize the workers’ rights in a country that the others do not have
- The existence of a Public Health Service which offers free utilities that are therefore removed from the private health market
- The law which prevents the free trade of weapons
Who wins and who loses?
Inevitably, the approval of the TTIP agreement with the reduction of the “non-tariff barriers” will lead to a decrease of the safeguard of health and security for the EU citizens while there will be an enormous if not exclusive advantage for the US firms. With reference to the above points, already in the USA:
- Union rights are minimum and the basic fee for salaries is very low
- De facto the Public Health Service does not exist
- The “precautionary principle” is not applied but the scientific one according to which it is possible to produce and use any chemical compound until there is scientific proof that it is dangerous or harmful. Consequently, for example, differently to what happens in the EU, in the US it is possible to breed animals on antibiotics and handle the slaughtered meat with chlorine
- Any adult can hold as many weapons as he likes.
Up to date many American agricultural products cannot be commercialized in the EU because our Laws concerning health and environment are more severe. In the US it is allowed to use techniques and substances that allow for a reduction of the final price of agricultural products. In particular it is allowed to use antibiotics on animals or chlorinate slaughtered meat. But up to date these processed meats, although cheaper than ours, cannot be sold in the EU (luckily for us consumers).
Elimination of the non-tariff barriers means lowering EU Law requirements to compel with the American ones.
EU markets will be invaded by American products, less healthy but also less expensive.
In order to compete with US prices, EU manufacturers will have to lower the quality of their productions. But this will not be sufficient to protect them because the European farms are much smaller than the American ones and therefore will not be competitive.
EU farms will be overcome.
They will have no more market and therefore all those typical products that have been for centuries the crowning glory of agriculture and breeding in the EU and in Italy in particular will disappear.
It is said that TTIP will allow EU agricultural products an easier access to the US market. This is not true because with regard to agriculture and breeding initially the EU products will have the same prices they have today and they will be lowered only because they will have lost those quality characteristics they have had up to now. At that point why should an American prefer EU products to those made in USA?
Why cancel the non-tariff barriers?
If two nations want to produce and commercialize at face value they should have equivalent “tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers” and it is not inevitable to have to lower the highest standards to the level of the lowest. It is actually possible to raise the lowest increasing therefore social, economic and environmental rights for those who initially have less.
In the case of TTIP, the US social and environmental requirements could be increased instead of lowering the EU standards and this would help the citizens to create a better world. This would of course have an economic cost consequently decreasing the profits of the big multinational companies which happen to be the sponsors of TTIP.
Multinational companies rule the governments of the peoples!
The agreement also foresees for the institution of a private arbitration court (ISDS) with three lawyers chosen by the multinational companies to whom businesses and investors can turn to dispute settlement proceedings against those Governments which because of their social or environmental laws may limit their profits. This may be done also in absence of agreements with the Governments of whom they reject the political choices. The decisions of this court will be final and the statement of reasons will be secret.
It’s the end of democracy because there is an acknowledgement of the predominant power of the “capital” on the people and on the Governments which democratically represent them.
Negotiations are secret
- The official meetings between the US and EU delegations are secret.
- The decisions gradually taken during the meetings are secret.
- The US and EU populations will be aware of the details of the agreement only when this will be submitted to Parliaments for approval.
- Parliaments will not be able to amend the agreement but only approve or reject it in toto.
- Once approved by the American Congress and the European Parliament the TTIP will be effective without any need of ratification from the National European Parliaments and the rules will have to be applied at all administrative levels (the TTIP agreement is run by the DG of the European Commission which deals with customs. This is not accidental as this DG has exclusive competence for these matters and therefore decisions do not need to be ratified by the national parliaments)
Less time will the public opinion and the Parliaments have to understand the real implications of the agreement and more chances there are for not having obstacles when voting. This explains why for a couple of years the management of the protocol has been kept wrapped up in complete secrecy (ref.)
Out of 60 million Italian inhabitants, only two are lead negotiators for TTIP. These are two managers of the European Commission with no Italian political mandate: Mr Leopoldo Rubinacci for the negotiations of the “Investments area” and Mr Lorenzo Terzi for the negotiation area for “Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures”. Who chose them and why? What strategy do they pursue? To whom do they account for their negotiating decisions? Certainly not to the Italian Parliament nor to the European one!