By Steven MacMillan/New Eastern Outlook: 20 July, 2016
The tyrannical corporate trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is increasingly facing a multitude of challenges that threaten to derail the entire agreement. With negotiations officially beginning in 2013, US trade officials were arrogantly forecasting that a deal would have been reached by the end of 2014. Today in 2016, 14 rounds of intense negotiations later, there is a serious potential that a deal will not be reached by the end of this year, if at all.
There are, and will continue to be, many implications of the momentous Brexit vote; but one implication that has got less media coverage than it deserves is how it further impedes and complicates TTIP negotiations. In an article for one of the most influential organisations in the UK, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (or Chatham House), Geo-Economics Fellow, Marianne Schneider-Petsinger, admits that the Brexit vote is a “serious blow” to the chances of TTIP being concluded in the immediate future. Petsinger argues that as Britain was one of greatest advocates for TTIP within the EU, the US has lost an important partner who shares Washington’s fervour for corporate fascism. Petsinger adds that even though a British exit from the EU will severely delay negotiations, TTIP will still survive the vote.
With each passing week however, the fate of the entire agreement looks in jeopardy. The proposed deal has increasingly faced resistance from both government officials and the public. Many French officials have been amongst the most critical of the agreement. At the end of June, the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, stated that TTIP was against “EU interests,” adding that the deal is “not on track.” The French Junior Minister for Trade and Commerce, Matthias Fekl, also stated at the start of July that it was “impossible” for negotiations to be concluded by the end of 2016.
Public opposition to the deal has surged since 2013, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in Berlin last October. Also last year, a petition that called for the halt to all TTIP and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) negotiations gained over three million signatures. TTIP is seen by many around the world as a deal that will further drive the vast disparity between the rich and the poor that has exploded in our globalised world. A report from Oxfam in January of this year is illustrative of this phenomenon, as it revealed that “62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.”
TTIP and other similar trade deals solely benefit multinational corporations at the expense of the people. TTIP would completely undermine the national sovereignty and any semblance of democracy in countries signed on to the deal. As the economist and geopolitical analyst, Peter Koenig, wrote in his article for Global Research titled: The EU to Become a “U.S. Colony”? TTIP would Abolish Europe’s Sovereignty:
“At stake would be the EU’s and EU members’ legal and regulatory system, environmental protection regulations – and Europe’s economy. Europe’s basic social infrastructure, what’s left of it after the 2008 invasion of the infamous troika – IMF (FED, Wall Street), European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC) – like education, health, as well as water supply and sanitation services would become easy prey for privatization by international (mostly US) transnationals.”
Despite the numerous setbacks that TTIP has faced, the special interests behind the deal will continue to push for its successful conclusion. Even if Britain does in fact leave the EU as the people voted for, and if a deal is reached on TTIP at some point in the future; the elite in London will still try to sign Britain onto TTIP at a later date. TTIP is close to crumbling – for the future of a free Western world, the people of the West need to make sure that it does.