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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 38, September 13, 2014

Beware of the Coming Dangers of New Trade Agreements TTP and TTIP

Saturday 13 September 2014, by Bharat Dogra

COMMUNICATION

Although the under-negotiation trade treaties TTP and TTIP do not involve India directly (at least not yet) their combined impact on the world economy is likely to be so great that all countries have to watch carefully for the adverse effects.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) is led by the USA and includes Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunie. It has been under negotiation for about four years.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) involves the USA on the one hand and the European Union on the other. This has been under negotiation for about 14 months, if not more.

Although these negotiations are clouded in secrecy, from what is known it is clear that these so-called trade treaties seek to expand the horizons of ‘trade’ much beyond the normal meaning of the word so that corporate power of the huge multinational companies can be empowered over a very wide area, with least chances of regulation by the host countries. If these treaties are concluded along the intended lines, then corporate power will expand overwhelmingly. The prospects for environment protection, food security, trade union and labour rights, national sovereignty, health for all and independent public interest policies will be greatly reduced. The possibilities of corporates suing governments for any perceived threat to their profits will increase greatly. Patent laws will become draconian. The possibilities of preventing GM crops/foods will decrease significantly, as will the prospects of ensuring availability of low-cost generic medicines.

If these two trade treaties go ahead and create a model for world trade, it’ll be catastrophic for freedom, equality, justice and environment protection. Therefore such dangerous trends in the garb of trade agreements should be widely opposed.

Bharat Dogra
C-27 Raksha Kunj, Paschim Vihar,
New Delhi-110063
Tel: 25255303