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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    15 Jun '14 21:05 / 1 edit
    http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/trade-justice/ttip

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA.

    The intention to launch TTIP negotiations was first announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address in February 2013, and the first round of negotiations took place between European Commission and US officials in July of the same year.
    ...
    As officials from both sides acknowledge, the primary aim of TTIP is not to stimulate trade through removing tariffs between the EU and USA, as these are already at minimal levels. The main goal of TTIP is, by their own admission, to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

    In addition to this deregulation agenda, TTIP also seeks to create new markets by opening up public services and government procurement contracts to competition from transnational corporations, threatening to introduce a further wave of privatizations in key sectors, such as health and education. Most worrying of all, TTIP seeks to grant foreign investors a new right to sue sovereign governments in front of ad hoc arbitration tribunals for loss of profits resulting from public policy decisions.

    This ‘investor-State dispute settlement’ mechanism effectively elevates transnational capital to a status equivalent to the nation-state itself, and threatens to undermine the most basic principles of democracy in the EU and USA alike. TTIP is therefore correctly understood not as a negotiation between two competing trading partners, but as an attempt by transnational corporations to prise open and deregulate markets on both sides of the Atlantic.
    The power of the corporate world to manipulate democratic institutions to their own commercial advantage is out of control. Shame to watch this generation prepared to throw overboard the social gains of the past century. There was a time when people cared about democracy and took an informed and active part. Not today. What passes for political awareness is a wash of twaddle.
  2. 15 Jun '14 21:48
    May the powers of collectivism crush you!!

    Mwhahahaha!!
  3. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    16 Jun '14 03:00
    Originally posted by finnegan
    http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/trade-justice/ttip

    [quote]The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA.

    The intention to launch TTIP negotiations was first announced by President Barack Obama in his State ...[text shortened]... n informed and active part. Not today. What passes for political awareness is a wash of twaddle.
    Before we go too far down the path of doom and gloom, let us remember these are negotiations, nothing has come of this yet, and since you know about it, it's pretty safe to say it's not very secret.
  4. 16 Jun '14 12:28
    As officials from both sides acknowledge, the primary aim of TTIP is not to stimulate trade through removing tariffs between the EU and USA, as these are already at minimal levels. The main goal of TTIP is, by their own admission, to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.


    How's that not "stimulating trade"? If I make widgets, and I need to make two different kinds of widgets, EU widgets and US widgets, it costs me money. I will save money if I can limit myself to only one kind of widgets conforming to one set of rules. Fundamentally, I see no issue with this except from the fact that the blocs participating in the negotiations are not sufficiently democratic.
  5. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 Jun '14 19:11
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    [quote]As officials from both sides acknowledge, the primary aim of TTIP is not to stimulate trade through removing tariffs between the EU and USA, as these are already at minimal levels. The main goal of TTIP is, by their own admission, to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both ...[text shortened]... from the fact that the blocs participating in the negotiations are not sufficiently democratic.
    Whether this would to any degree stimulate trade is a moot point. What is stated here is that stimulating trade is not the objective. The objective is to enable large corporations to operate without regard to the constraints reflected in regulation, by which democratically accountable national governments secure benefits such as improved health and safety, non discriminatory practices, environmental protection and other socially desirable gains.

    These are proponents of free markets to whom such regulation is anathema. They are not always capable of winning elections and not always remotely interested in the social policy objectives that motivate many national governments but they can buy the politicians and the political media.

    But what are the benefits of free markets? Adam Smith envisaged markets in which there are a large number of competing producers, each individually irrelevant and unable to significantly influence the market, producing commodities such as (classically) pins. But in current markets, we have dominant suppliers capable of introducing market transforming technologies (like Kindle for Amazon or iTunes for Apple say) that simply change the rules and enable the growth of near monopolies and who can dominate a market. Or at least "oligopolies" - Boeing and Airbus together supply 90% of the world's civilian planes. We also have huge companies that can become the dominant buyer in a market and can thus demand price reductions and other changes from suppliers who have no alternative outlets and can be driven out of business unless they comply - as with the huge retail giants, like Walmart, Tesco and a small list of others who can terrorise the farming industry.

    In a world increasingly dominated by giant corporations, free markets do not exist and the alleged social and economic benefits of competition cease to function. We are witnessing the demise of competitive markets ("Free" markets were always an abstraction) and the growth of oligopoly, alongside the oligarchy of stunningly wealthy owners of these anti-social wealth-destroying machines.
  6. 16 Jun '14 19:17
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Whether this would to any degree stimulate trade is a moot point. What is stated here is that stimulating trade is not the objective. The objective is to enable large corporations to operate without regard to the constraints reflected in regulation, by which democratically accountable national governments secure benefits such as improved health and safety, ...[text shortened]... side the oligarchy of stunningly wealthy owners of these anti-social wealth-destroying machines.
    This is why we need to get rid of big government. Big government = Big business.
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 Jun '14 20:41
    Originally posted by Eladar
    This is why we need to get rid of big government. Big government = Big business.
    Small Government = big business

    We need government that can stand up to business because otherwise we are serfs.
  8. 16 Jun '14 20:48
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Small Government = big business

    We need government that can stand up to business because otherwise we are serfs.
    If small government = big business, then small government limits the result.
  9. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 Jun '14 20:50 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eladar
    If small government = big business, then small government limits the result.
    You are an idiot. Mentally you are a serf. You just parrot ideological twaddle.
  10. 16 Jun '14 20:50
    Originally posted by finnegan
    You are an idiot.
    Anyone who thinks he is going to get big business out of government completely is an idiot.
  11. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    16 Jun '14 20:59 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by bill718
    Before we go too far down the path of doom and gloom, let us remember these are negotiations, nothing has come of this yet, and since you know about it, it's pretty safe to say it's not very secret.
    ...and since you know about it, it's pretty safe to say it's not very secret.
    Yes, I was thinking that. There was a leak. You can read the full text of the draft here:

    http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/eu-kommission-position-in-den.pdf

    Edit 2: I was entertained by this clause under Article 12: Treatment of Investment
    g. A disregard of the principle of effective transparency in any applicable administrative or judicial procedures
    If they want transparency, why isn't this being negotiated openly?

    Edit 4: This clause is utterly comical:
    Article 13:
    Compensation for losses
    1. Investors of a Party whose investments suffer losses owing to war or other armed conflict, revolution, a state of national emergency, revolt, insurrection or riot in the territory of the other Party shall be accorded by the latter Party, with respect to restitution, indemnification, compensation or other settlement, a treatment no less favourable than the one accorded by the latter Party to its own investors or to the investors of any third country, whichever is more favourable to the investor concerned.
    What kind of revolutionary government is going to regard itself as bound by treaties signed by the state it's overthrown?
  12. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 Jun '14 21:50 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Anyone who thinks he is going to get big business out of government completely is an idiot.
    Correct and I did not make such an impossible claim as you will find by reading what I wrote. However, while the influence of business may never be eliminated, it is not necessary to do what Americans have done pretty comprehensively, as have the Irish, and the British are not far behind, which is to hand government over to corporate interests. People like yourself seem either not to mind or (and) you lack the imagination to conceive it could be otherwise. Any attempt to put government to work on behalf of the people is regarded as a descent into Stalinist tyranny. That of course is because your minds have been packaged up and sealed.
  13. 16 Jun '14 22:26
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Correct and I did not make such an impossible claim as you will find by reading what I wrote. However, while the influence of business may never be eliminated, it is not necessary to do what Americans have done pretty comprehensively, as have the Irish, and the British are not far behind, which is to hand government over to corporate interests. People like ...[text shortened]... t into Stalinist tyranny. That of course is because your minds have been packaged up and sealed.
    I mind, which is why I'd like to see the government made much smaller. We need to cut back on spending which simply ends up in the pocket of big business.

    Cell phones for the poor.
    Healthcare for the poor.


    You name it and the program is just a way to pump money into private busienesses.
  14. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    16 Jun '14 23:06
    In the light of recent revelations concerning GCHQ and its US counterpart I wonder if they really mean this:
    Article 48
    Confidentiality of information
    Each Party shall ensure the confidentiality of electronic communications and related traffic data by means of a public electronic communication network and publicly available electronic communications services without restricting trade in services
  15. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    16 Jun '14 23:16
    I've read the document and a lot of it I find difficult to believe that they don't do anyway. For example this is from Article 42, Authorisation to provide electronic communication networks and services

    3. Where a licence is required:
    (a) all the licensing criteria and a reasonable period of time normally required to reach a decision concerning an application for a licence shall be made publicly available;
    (b) the reasons for the denial of a licence shall be made known in writing to the applicant upon request;
    (c) the applicant for a licence shall be able to seek recourse before an appeal body in the case where a licence has been denied
    Does the U.S. or any of the countries in the E.U. not already do this?