Monday, 16 March 2015

The dangers of TTIP

Food Group focus concern on TTIP

The Transition Food Group met Julian Huppert MP recently to discuss concerns about the Transatlantic Treaty and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which aims to increase free trade between the EU and USA in a few years’ time.

Why are we at the TC Food Group so concerned? In one sentence, TTIP could lead to lower environmental standards, higher carbon emissions, and a threat to democracy. TTIP aims to reduce barriers to free trade by harmonising trading rules and standards. There is widespread concern that “regulatory harmonisation ” will erode or weaken rules and standards that protect the environment, food, workers, privacy, human and animal health, and financial stability.

An increase in global trade with more production and transport of goods stands in direct conflict with the urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions. One report suggests that TTIP could increase annual US motor vehicle exports to the EU by $84.7 billion by 2027­ that's 650% up on 2012 exports. European manufacturers would also benefit. Between 2 and 4 million vehicles per year would be shipped across the Atlantic in both directions, contributing to an extra 11M metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to a European Commission Impact Assessment Report on the future of EU­US Trade Relations.

Food Group members share widespread public concern about the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), international courts where corporations could sue governments for laws passed by our Parliament that ‘impede trade’ i.e. threaten the profits of multinational companies. This threatens democracy, and has been demonstrated by recent cases to restrict the ability of governments to legislate in the interests of their citizens. The Mexican government was forced to pay $96.4m because it imposed an import tax on products using harmful high-fructose corn syrup. Similarly, Syngenta and Bayer have been involved in a high-profile lawsuit to try and reclaim lost earnings from the ban on neoicitinoids in the EU.

The Food Group has a  Facebook group for discussion of TTIP

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