PSI welcomes French call to halt TTIP negotiations and asks ‘what about CETA’?

30 August 2016
Rosa Pavanelli
PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, welcomed the decision of the French government to ask the EU to withdraw from the TTIP negotiations. The French position follows a recent statement by the German Vice-Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, affirming that “TTIP has failed – but no one is admitting it”.

“This is just the latest indication that governments are finally taking notice of the anger people feel towards these corporate give-aways. In fact, no amount of spin can hide that these trade agreements provide benefits for the largest corporations on earth but kill jobs and public services for ordinary people”, said Pavanelli.

The French decision follows Uruguay and Paraguay leaving the controversial US backed TISA negotiations last year and the recent humiliating back down of the EU on Investor State Dispute Resolution. With Germany and France so critical and Great Britain on the way out of the EU, it is hard to see how the European Commission can continue the negotiations.

However, Pavanelli warned that the recently concluded Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada still left France and other European countries vulnerable to being sued for massive damages by the 80% of US companies that have subsidiaries in Canada.

Quoting a recently released damning report on ISDS Pavanelli said: “If France really wants to protect its interests it must oppose the CETA as well”. The CETA negotiations have concluded but are yet to be ratified.

Still according to Pavanelli, after decades of rising inequality and massive corporate profits, it is clear that the failed model of trade liberalisation is not in the people’s interest; and governments are finally realising that support for these agreements are a political liability.

“It is a scandal that we rely on leaks to find out what our governments are negotiating on our behalf. The secrecy and lack of transparency only heighten people’s concerns and on the long run weaken governments credibility” she concluded.

Costa Rica

Pavanelli will meet with trade Unions from Costa Rica on Friday (2nd September) to discuss the little known Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) that has been negotiated in secret between the EU, USA, Japan and others in Geneva for the last four years.

The TISA will extend the controversial GATS provisions and undermine democracy by restricting national governments ability to regulate foreign multinationals and return failed privatisation to government hands.     

 

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