again: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP

FIRST LISTEN THIS: TTIP, A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing, 49.07 min, uploaded by R.A.W.W. – Raising Awareness World Wide, August 29, 2014: Alarm bells on ISDS are ringing this loud for a reason: ISDS allows foreign firms to bypass domestic courts and sue governments  …;

Free Trade Faults: Europeans Fear Wave of Litigation from US Firms – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Christoph Pauly, Jan 26, 2015:  

With broad public resistance and a European Parliament majority against it, EU officials are rethinking their positions on the proposed free-trade agreement with Washington. Many fear investor protection rules will wreak havoc on national laws. When Bernd Lange talks about the advantages of a free trade agreement with the US, he often cites the example of the VW bus. The hippy favorite has been the target of a 25 percent tariff since 1964, a punitive move after the European Economic Community raised levies on imported chicken, shutting the Americans out of the market. Sales have been hampered for decades as a result. But if the levy were significantly reduced, its price tag would plunge … //

… Concerns Justified: … //
… Countries Practically Kneel Down Before Us: … //

… Law of the Strongest:

  • So far, companies have largely focused their sights on developing nations, which are forced to accept these kinds of provisions just to be granted the right to export to rich countries. “Investor protection is traditionally a law of the strongest,” says Natacha Cingotti of the non-governmental organization Friends of the Earth. In Central America, the mere threat of expensive proceedings by the Americans has often been enough for them to get what they want.
  • That’s not always the case though. Six years ago, the Australians prevailed in removing provisions for investor protection in a trade agreement reached with the US. Now TTIP opponents in the European Parliament argue that Brussels must take its cue in negotiations from the Australian government’s success. “ACTA showed that things can move very quickly,” says Ska Keller, the Green Party’s trade policy spokeswoman. Two years ago, a few mass protests proved sufficient to doom the anti-counterfeiting deal in European Parliament.
  • Critics of TTIP are united in their opposition to special rights for investors. A handful of Democratic members of Congress has even called on Obama to exclude the controversial rules from negotiations. Their calls are backed by Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO union.
  • German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel has proposed the creation of an International Trade Court to arbitrate conflicts as an alternative. Even EU Commissioner Malmström says “that would be the best solution.” But, she adds, it is unlikely this will happen given that the idea has been discussed for years within framework of multi-national trade talks without bearing any fruit.
  • Nevertheless, perhaps the US and Europe could agree on a common public court for their conflicts. Doing so would not only create a new global standard for trade conflicts. It might also make people less averse to the idea of investor protections.

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