Tag Archives: trade agreements

As CETA Rises from Ashes, Campaigners Vow: ‘The More You Insist, the More We Resist’

Belgium delegates reached 11th-hour consensus, which grants the Court of Justice of the European Union the ability to rule on final inclusion of ISDS

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-27-2016

Campaigners protested the Canada-European Union trade agreement outside the European Commission on Thursday. (Photo via Corporate Europe/Twitter)

Campaigners protested the Canada-European Union trade agreement outside the European Commission on Thursday. (Photo via Corporate Europe/Twitter)

The controversial Canada-European Union trade agreement that many declared “dead” now appears to be rising from the ashes, as officials announced Thursday that they have reached a last-minute consensus.

Earlier this week, trade delegates from the Belgian region of Wallonia rejected the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA) out of concern that certain provisions, particularly the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, inflate the power of multinational corporations and undermine standards protecting labor, the environment, and consumers. Continue reading

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TTIP Has ‘De Facto Failed,’ Says German Economic Minister

‘Negotiations with the U.S. have de facto failed, because of course as Europeans we couldn’t allow ourselves to submit to American demands’

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-28-2016

"Everything has stalled," German Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. (Photo: Garry Knight/flickr/cc)

“Everything has stalled,” German Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. (Photo: Garry Knight/flickr/cc)

Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister said that the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has “de facto failed,” admitting that negotiations between the U.S. and E.U. have completely stalled.

“Negotiations with the U.S. have de facto failed, because of course as Europeans we couldn’t allow ourselves to submit to American demands,” Sigmar Gabriel told the German news station ZDF in an interview that will air at 7pm German time Sunday, according to Der Spiegel. Continue reading

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US Government’s Own Report Shows Toxic TPP “Not Worth Passing”

‘This report indicates the TPP will produce almost no benefits, but inflict real harm on so many workers.’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-19-2016

"This report validates that the TPP is not worth passing," said United Steelworkers (USW) International president Leo W. Gerard. (Photo: SumOfUs/cc/flickr)

“This report validates that the TPP is not worth passing,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International president Leo W. Gerard. (Photo: SumOfUs/cc/flickr)

The government’s own assessment of the toxic Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) shows that the controversial trade deal will produce negligible economic benefits while damaging most Americans’ jobs and wages.

The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) report (pdf), issued Wednesday, shows that the TPP “would likely have only a small positive effect on U.S. growth,” Reuters reported. Continue reading

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‘Today Marks the End of TTIP’: Greenpeace Leak Exposes Corporate Takeover

The secret documents represent roughly two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, and in several cases expose for the first time the position of the U.S.

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-2-2016

WikiLeaks had previously announced a €100,000 "bounty" for the full TTIP text. (Image: Greenpeace)

WikiLeaks had previously announced a €100,000 “bounty” for the full TTIP text. (Image: Greenpeace)

Confirming that the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) amounts to “a huge transfer of power from people to big business,” Greenpeace Netherlands on Monday leaked 248 secret pages of the controversial trade deal between the U.S. and EU, exposing how environmental regulations, climate protections, and consumer rights are being “bartered away behind closed doors.”

The documents represent roughly two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, according to Greenpeace, and on some topics offer for the first time the position of the United States.  Continue reading

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Calling Corporate-Backed Deals an “Indisputable” Good, Obama Makes Pitch for TTIP

Sitting next to Chancellor Angela Merkel during a summit in Germany, U.S. president continued to ignore opponents as he defended controversial agreement with European nations

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-24-2016

Photo: droppants

Photo: droppants

Despite the tens of thousands of people who marched against the deal in Germany ahead of his arrival and the steady drop in support for such neoliberal trade deals overall, President Barack Obama stood next to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday and defended the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and said similar past deals have been an “indisputable” benefit to the U.S. economy.

“It is indisputable that [“free trade”] has made our economy stronger,” Obama said during a joint news conference. “It has made sure that our businesses are the most competitive in the world.” Continue reading

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America just Blocked India’s Solar Program

By Vandita. Published 3-10-2016 by AnonHQ

Walking to the solar panels. Photo: Kiran Jonnalagadda from Bangalore, India (Walking to the solar panels) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Solar panels near Leh, India. Photo: Kiran Jonnalagadda from Bangalore, India (Walking to the solar panels) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Solar power sees unprecedented boom in the United States – solar power grew by 6.2 gigawatts in 2014; and 1 million American homes have solar panels as of February 2016. However,  the United States dragged India to the World Trade Organization claiming that India’s efforts to boost local production of solar cells and solar modules violated WTO rules.

Just recently, a WTO panel has ruled that the domestic content requirement (DCR) imposed under India’s National Solar Mission (NSM), is inconsistent with its archaic treaty obligations under the global trading regime. The requirement in question mandates a percentage of components to be sourced locally, to boost homegrown production of solar cells and solar modules. Continue reading

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Trade Officials Promised Exxon That TTIP Will Erase Environmental ‘Obstacles’ Worldwide

EU trade officials soothed the oil giant as it fretted about new regulations popping up in Global South

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-23-2016

The revelations underscore criticisms that trade agreements like the TTIP constitute a "race to the bottom" for environmental, public health, and labor standards. (Photo: Holger Boening/cc/flickr)

The revelations underscore criticisms that trade agreements like the TTIP constitute a “race to the bottom” for environmental, public health, and labor standards. (Photo: Holger Boening/cc/flickr)

Newly released documents show that, in back-room talks, European officials assured ExxonMobil that the pending US-EU trade agreement would force the removal of regulatory “obstacles” worldwide, thus opening up even more countries to exploitation by the fossil fuel empire.

Heavily redacted documents pertaining to an October 2013 meeting, obtained by theGuardian and reported on Tuesday, reveal that then-trade commissioner Karel de Gucht met with two officials from ExxonMobil’s EU and U.S. divisions to address the benefits of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Continue reading

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After Years of Backroom Secrecy, Public Will Finally Get to See Full TPP Text

Legislative clock starts ticking as Obama administration prepares to release text of pro-corporate trade deal

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-8-2015

Protesters have long decried the lack of transparency around TPP negotiations. (Photo: SumofUs/flickr/cc)

Protesters have long decried the lack of transparency around TPP negotiations. (Photo: SumofUs/flickr/cc)

After being shrouded in secrecy for years, the full contents of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will soon be brought into the sunlight.

According to Kevin Collier at Daily Dot, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said the text will be made available to the public at large in approximately 30 days—on or around November 7.

“[We] look forward to having it released as soon as possible,” Froman said in a press call Wednesday that was embargoed until Thursday morning. “We’re shooting to do it within the 30 days following the completion of the negotiations.” Continue reading

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Will TTIP Get Terminated? Negotiations Falter as Europe Balks

As EU-US trade talks flounder, France doesn’t rule out ‘an outright termination of negotiations’

Written by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-28-2015.

Almost 3 million people across Europe have signed a petition calling on the European Commission to scrap the agreement. (Photo: greensefa/flickr/cc)

Almost 3 million people across Europe have signed a petition calling on the European Commission to scrap the agreement. (Photo: greensefa/flickr/cc)

While public opposition to the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—the massive proposed “trade” deal between the European Union and the United States—has grown steadily since negotiations started two years ago, new signs suggest that official government backing is also faltering across Europe.

In an interview with French regional newspaper Sud Ouest published Monday, Junior Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said TTIP negotiations were favoring American interests and “either weren’t advancing or were progressing in the wrong direction.”

“If nothing changes, it will show that there isn’t the will to achieve mutually beneficial negotiations,” he said, before adding: “France is considering all options including an outright termination of negotiations.”

Meanwhile, a group of more than 55 UK members of parliament (MPs) has signed onto a motion expressing major concerns about the mammoth trade pact, which civil society groups have dubbed a corporate giveaway. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, put forward the Commons motion, and it has now been signed by every member of the Scottish National Party group at Westminster, as well as the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

Politico‘s Paul Ames wrote of the “cooling ardor on both sides of the Atlantic” earlier this month, saying that since talks began in July 2013, the trade deal “has lost some of its shine.”

Concern over the impact of TTIP has united disparate groups,” he wrote, “from French farmers to German constitutional lawyers and politicians on the left and right.”

Almost 3 million people across Europe have signed a petition calling on the Commission to scrap the agreement.

Last week, the Oxford-based group ‘We Own It,’ which deals with national issues surrounding public services, held a demonstration against the proposed TTIP, warning that it could lead to private businesses being too heavily involved in public services.

Cat Hobbs, an organizer with the group, told the Oxford Mail: “The idea is that it would open up new markets to private companies and the reality here is that it’s going to open up public services to private companies. Multi-national corporations’ rights will become more important than ours.”

And a much larger action is being planned for October 10 in Berlin, when over 50,000 demonstrators are expected to gather in front of the city’s central train station to protest both the TTIP and a similar deal between the EU and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). That event is part of the week-long International Days of Action against corporate-friendly trade deals.

Speaking to EurActiv about the planned demonstration, Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, head of the German progressive church coalition Brot für die Welt, called TTIP an “attempt to force the rules of rich industrialized countries upon global trade.”

Opposition to TTIP is particularly intense in Germany, where only 39 percent of the population backs the trade deal.

All of this backs up a thesis put forth earlier this month by American Prospect co-founder and editor Robert Kuttner, who wrote in an op-ed that both the TTIP and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could be “on the verge of collapse from their own contradictory goals and incoherent logic.”

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As ‘Do-Or-Die’ Talks End In Failure, Could TPP Be Derailed for Good?

Global justice campaigners say disintegration of Maui negotiations ‘good news for people and the planet’

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published August 1, 2015

Protesters in Hawaii. Photo by Akaku Maui Community Media

Photo by Akaku Maui Community Media

This week’s closed-door Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Maui, which President Barack Obama hoped would be the last round, ended Friday in failure to reach a final agreement, thereby pushing a U.S. ratification fight into the tumultuous 2016 presidential election cycle at the earliest—and raising hopes that the corporate-friendly accord could be derailed for good.

Global justice campaigners, who will now have more time to organize against the pact, were buoyed by the development, with Sujata Dey of Council of Canadians declaring on Saturday: “This stall in talks could mean the death of the deal, and a win for the public interest all over the world.” Continue reading

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