Cambridge: John Hilary on TTIP

Thursday 4 December / 7 p.m. / Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road, Cambridge CB1 1JW

TTIP is ... 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.

Thursday's event can't be missed: John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want (latest book The Poverty of Capitalism), will introduce the threat of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

This is the trade agreement in secret negotiation between the United States and the European Union, under which workers' rights, product standards, and environmental regulations would be targeted as so many barriers to trade, and public services broken up as unfair monopolies. Meanwhile under the mechanism of 'investor–state dispute settlement', transnational corporations would be able to sue states should their elected assemblies pass laws which might curb profits in any way – which is why the People's Assembly Conference 2014 described it as 'a frontal assault against democracy'.

This event is hosted jointly by the Cambridge People's Assembly and by the Cambridge World Development Movement (shortly to be known as Global Justice Cambridge). Everyone is invited to join us on Thursday 4 December, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church on Emmanuel Road.

Materials

John Hilary's booklet The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which we quoted above, is freely available online. So is a newspaper, the #NoTTIP Times issue 1 and issue 2. Its parent campaign is #NoTTIP.

A separate legal challenge, by means of a self-organized European Citizens' Initiative, is under way with the title Stop TTIP.

Here's our motion on TTIP (Motion 4.8, retyped and renumbered), passed at the People's Assembly Conference 2014.

Conference notes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union

  1. will force European and thereby United Kingdom law into line with that of the US, so as to allow for example the same reckless ventures in fracking;
  2. will restrict the subsidy of state-owned enterprises, that is, funding for public services;
  3. will allow big business to sue governments through investor–state dispute settlement, which means that these legal cases won't be settled or judged by traditional courts, but by arbitration tribunals consisting of private lawyers and adjudicators;
  4. will be the biggest trade deal of all time, agreed without public debate or media coverage.

Conference believes that TTIP

  1. will make big corporations more powerful than states;
  2. will have a detrimental impact on the people, economy, and ecology of the UK;
  3. will make all of our current struggles pointless, and be extremely difficult to reverse;
  4. is a frontal assault against democracy.

Conference resolves to increase awareness and media coverage, through one or several days of action to protest against TTIP and to reclaim a public debate.

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