38 ARGUMENTS AGAINST TTIP, CETA, TiSA & CO
by Harald Klimenta, Maritta Strasser, Peter Fuchs and others
[This reading sample of the 2015 study “38 Arguments” is translated from the German on the Internet, www.vsa-verlag.de.]
Introduction: Making Alternatives Possible Means Preventing TTIP & Co.
Worldwide Effects and General Arguments
1. TTIP brings us closer to a new block confrontation
2. The more we deregulate world markets, the more sharply we divide the world
3. TTIP & Co. intensify location competition and blind growth pressures
4. TTIP and Co. lead to authoritarian states
5. Investment protection and the right to sue are sharp weapons for blocking political change
6. Rights to sue for corporations are an attack on environmental and consumer protection
7. ISDS is a lucrative business for lawyers
8. ISDS reforms are attempts to save parallel justice for corporations
9. TTIP: one-sided lobbyism makes a well-balanced agreement impossible
10. Corporate lobbys and the European Commission rely on disinformation and manipulation
11. TTIP and CETA are chainsaws against democratic decisions
12. Regulatory cooperation is a gateway for business interests
13. Bad model – OIRA – the deregulation authority in the White House
14. TTIP is an instrument of rule against the countries of the South
15. Sustainable trade policy must include developing countries
16. TTIP & Co threaten our jobs and wage levels
17. TTIP & Co harm the middle class
18. Sustainable businesses are endangered
19. TTIP & Co intensify the pressure on jobs, wages and social standards
20. TTIP & Co could have fatal effects on the social state
Dubious Contents in the Trade Agreements
21. CETA violates German Basic Law and EU law
22. Vital necessities do not occur in the trade agreements (like global warming)
23. Public services are not protected
24. Regional development is more important than global markets
25. Whoever sows TTIP reaps genetic engineering
26. These trade agreements destroy rural agriculture
27. TTIP undermines consumer protection in agriculture
28. Reasonable tariffs and import bans exist for food
29. Will the precautionary principle be abolished for chemicals?
30. TTIP & Co go the wrong way in energy policy
31. TTIP & Co threaten the regulation of financial markets
32. TiSA endangers our public services
33. TiSA means free ride for financial companies
34. TTIP sacrifices culture to commerce
35. Thinking positively instead of acting negatively
36. TTIP & Co sacrifice our personality rights
37. The Alternative Trade Mandate points in the right direction
38. Attempts to ensure business rights often fail
Conclusion: Making Alternatives Possible Means Preventing TTIP & Co
Inequality explodes.  In 2010, 388 super-rich persons had as much wealth as 3.5 billion. In 2015, 85 had as much wealth as 3.5 billion. In 2016, 1% of the world’s population had as much wealth as the remaining 99%.  A future world trade system must help reverse this development. A world trade system must benefit the most disadvantaged even in industrial states and ensure stability, ecological sustainability and creative democratic possibilities. A trade system that maximizes location competition cannot accomplish this. Big markets force “cost-efficient” or minimal regulations and standards. Ecological and social goals as well as creative freedoms of democratically elected politicians decay to marginal realities.
All three agreements discussed in this book continue an old thinking instead of focusing on everyone sharing in the profits of a few. The comprehensive CETA economic and trade agreement  was secretly negotiated between 2009 and 2014 between Canada and the EU. After the negotiations ended, the document reached the public. The authors included here discuss the traps of the agreement and concentrate on facts (Arguments 21 and 31).  Through CETA, 99% of all tariffs will be cancelled including most tariffs in agriculture (Argument 26). Protection of intellectual property is strengthened and controversial corporate rights to sue are codified.
The negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP  between the US and the EU began in July 2013 as secretly as with CETA. Onb account of the swelling protest, there are official summaries of the EU Commission on the TTIP and leaked drafts and negotiation protocols. Therefore we can present well-founded speculations about possible contents. TTIP is just as comprehensive and ambitious as CETA. Regulatory boards and different back room groups are created (Argument 12). Because of the tremendously one-sided influence of industrial lobbys (Argument 9), we fear a very unbalanced agreement. The TTIP could undermine democracy in many places. This agreement is central in our book on account of the great public attention.
The agreement on trade in services (TiSA)  between 50 friendly states including the EU, the US and many tax havens like Panama could be as far-reaching as TTIP. It is negotiated under complete secrecy – perhaps because it is suited for confirming the exit or withdrawal of public services (cf. Arguments 32 and 33). Large majorities of the population would present their criticism far more vigorously if they knew the contents.
NEW THINKING AND A DEMOCRATIC TRADE SYSTEM
New thinking in trade policy strives for social balance and sustainability, robustness and sharing, not prestigious projects, high growth rates or profits and advantages for their own industries. Over several years a Europe-wide alliance of 50 organizations worked out an Alternative Trade Mandate. This alternative contains many proposals on an equitable future trade system .  It is based on the right of self-determination of the nations and humanizes globalization. Citizens should have the right to organize their regions. Worldwide chains of trade and value creation are only justified where they are really necessary. The following characteristics result when the mandate’s four goals are emphasized:
• A robust (“resilient”) trade system would minimize the effects of financial crises and food speculation. On the way there, the financial casino must be closed and the bank- and insurance sectors highly regulated. The food sector must be removed from trade agreements. Regions must be able to guarantee the food of their population (“food sovereignty”).
• A future-friendly ecological trade system must strengthen the precautionary principle – whether in CO2 emissions, deforestation or acidification of the oceans. We never know exactly what will be the consequences of environmental changes of this magnitude. Therefore we must carefully minimize them and establish a trade system that minimizes the competition- and cost-pressures of businesses to minimize their pressure to externalize costs. The public procurement system must play a leading role to promote ecological products. This control function of state consumption and state investments may not be sacrificed to the world markets.
• A social trade system would leave public services inviolable. How countries organize their water supply, their public health system or their educational institutions should be respected. World trade has to serve people. Trade agreements must ensure that human rights are not undermined and the core labor norms of the International Labor organization are accepted. The agreements should be regularly evaluated on their effects on disadvantaged population groups and adjusted quickly to new demands.
• A democratic trade system includes all contact groups in the negotiations. Since trade affects all planes in Europe, trade must also be discussed and decided on all planes. Democratic societies must be able to correct mistakes. Clauses that sanction long-term liberalizations and excessive investment protection should be banished from all trade agreements.
That the three agreements TTIP, CETA and TiSA aim at enlarging and deregulating markets is only half of the problem. This neoliberal competition doctrine could be cemented for decades. Therefore these agreements must be taken off the table – so our future can be organized democratically.
ON THIS BOOK
The 38 arguments show how the three agreements in a subtle way immortalize old thinking in new papers… The arguments are subdivided in two blocks. At the outset, we begin with the effect of the agreements on threshold and developing countries and on democracy, the social state, the middle class and labor standards. From Argument 21, we turn to concrete themes: what do the agreements mean for public services, the procurement system and genetic engineering, agro-business, book prices, the financial markets and fossil energy? We conclude with a reference to the Alternative Trade Mandate and to failed elite projects and with a call to join the alternative.
The arguments are constructed as follows: First the argument is explained understandably like an introductory lecture that is followed by a podium discussion. Public comments on the trade agreement are vital. Links and further references can be found at www.attac.de/38.
The authors should be congratulated for their fruitful cooperation. Hopefully readers will gain extensive and deepened insight in the material.
Harald Klimenta, Attac
TTIP BRINGS US CLOSER TO A NEW BLOCK CONFRONTATION
The two largest economic powers, the US and the EU, are now prescribing rules of the game for world trade and the world economy to the rest of the world. This is a step on the way to a new block confrontation, not a step on the way to a human globalization. This conceals immense and unforeseeable risks for the German and European economy. Instead of TTIP & Co, we need global negotiations on social and ecological guard rails of globalization/
While the alleged advantages of TTIP & Co for economic groups disappear in thin air (Argument 16), the argument has a boom season in that we will set the global rules of the game for trade and the world economy with TTIP. What sounds good at first has a substantial hook. This strategy only functions when the rest of the world voluntarily joins in the game and does not develop its own strategies. Why should the BRICS states China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and other threshold countries do this?
Such a strategy is not realistic. Democracy and justice become dubious when one economic zone with 800 million people lays down the rules for the remaining 6.5 billion people.
The greatest growth potentials today are in the threshold countries with their mammoth domestic markets. Political self-confidence also grows with this increased economic significance. South-south cooperation has increased. A BRICS development bank was established in 2014.  Reacting to this with the TTIP in the form of a “last array” of the old economic powers is evidence of a dangerous naivety. This is naïve because a conflict with the most important global sales market is not a wise economic strategy and is dangerous because a new block confrontation and political-military escalation are aided and abetted. Such a development would be fatal for the German and European economies.
MULTILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS INSTEAD OF ECONOMIC NATO
In the US discussion, the TTIP and the Pacific counterpart TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) from the beginning were part of a new containment strategy against China and later against Russia.  This aspect first gained great importance recently in the public discussion. In December 2014, the CDU Party Convention even moved TTIP in the context of NATO: “Alongside NATO, the free trade agreement must become the second pillar of the transatlantic partnership and be negotiated quickly in a goal-oriented way.” 
Some supporters argue the US without the TTIP would set the global rules together with China. This is an absurd threat given the clear US strategy to contain China. Europe’s best strategy is to develop relations to essential future markets and not only to look to the US.
The argument that other states could join the agreements later is a serious possibility. Binding these countries in a stable international political and economic structure is one of the most important challenges of international policy.
Therefore there is no alternative to multilateral trade agreements. Readiness for cooperation and compromise from the EU and the US is necessary. Neoliberal concepts supporting liberalization and deregulation are not an attractive model of progress for developing- and threshold countries.  Pushing this further means weakening our own position in the world.
Ernst-Christoph Stolper, BUND (Attac.de/38)
TTIP & CO INTENSIFY THE PRESSURE ON JOBS, WAGES AND SOCIAL STANDARDS
TTIP & CO press ahead with neoliberal trade policy in promoting the freedom of capital, goods and services. Investors seek attractive places with the lowest possible costs. Labor costs are much lower where unions are weak or suppressed, TTIP & Co do not do away with these malformations or abnormal trends. They further the competition of locations and shifting jobs to low wage areas. Employees are defenselessly at the mercy of investors without enforceable labor rights. The absence of enforceable social standards would be globally catastrophic since the planned agreements should be a model for future world trade.
“No one needs tio fear these free trade agreements. They will not lower the social-, environmental- or consumer protection standards in Germany or Europe,” the German economics minister wrote in the BILD newspaper.  This statement is naive and short-sighted. The effect on local standards is limited in liberalized transnational markets and is often rated as a trade barrier. Ou8r labor rights and collective bargaining agreements are only valid locally. Open markets without fair rules and good global standards trigger or encourage an under-bidding competition. The practice in the EU demonstrates this. So the city Dortmund cannot demand minimum wages for digitalizing its building data  when a bidder from Poland applies to the EU wide bid for competition.
In the US, labor rights are not looking too good. Union members who campaign for recognition of their union with the US subsidiary of Telecom Inc. are intimidated and dismissed. The VW works council did not prevail . The autoworkers in the Tennessee plant could not elect a works council. Union rights are very restricted in the US.  Strike posts that aim at organizing workers are legally prohibited. Union information tables in factories are not legal. In the private sector, employees, leaders, independent sales persons and domestic servants do not have the right to form or join unions. A third of public service employees are excluded from the right to collective bargaining.
Employers usually react to union organization campaigns with massive monitoring, threats, intimidations, interventions of guards or dismissals of union members. IN cases of successful campaigns, employers refuse negotiations with unions. They question results of polls and delay negotiations. In 1973 every fourth employee in private enterprise was a union member. The Bush years and the anti-union practices of Republican governors further reduced the trifling influence of US unions. In the private sector, only 6.6% of female workers were still organized in 2014.  Investors strongly supported this development since wages are lower in union-free businesses.
This under-bidding competition must be ended! Trade policy must be fundamentally re-oriented with enforceable social standards. Therefore US and EU unions demand enforceable social standards for the whole transatlantic economic zone as a step to creating fair markets. The core labor norms of the International Labor Organization (ILO) should be enforced in the US. The fundamental rights to freedom of association, unions and collective bargaining should be enforceable in the US. http://www.vsa-verlag.de/uploads/media/www.vsa-verlag.de-Klimenta-ua-38-Argumente-gegen-TTIP_02.pdf http://www.attac.de/38
Aufschlag: Alternativen möglich machen, heißt TTIP & Co. verhindern
 Vgl. für Deutschland etwa http://www.zeit.de/2011/34/Deutschland-Ungleichheit/komplettansicht
, ein streitbare Texte hier: http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/international/3885570/Die-Welt-wurde-ungleicher-aber-nicht-schlechter
oder hier: http://www.wiwo.de/politik/deutschland/oecd-studie-zur-einkommensverteilung-bildung-ist-kein-aufstiegsgarant-mehr/10840568-all.html
; kurz zusammengefasst unter: http://www.oxfam.de/informieren/soziale-ungleichheit
 CETA steht für »Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement« – »Umfassendes Wirtschafts- und Handelsabkommen«
 Die Tagesschau stellte eine geleakte Version ins Netz, was die EU-Kommission dazu bewog, das Dokument auch offiziell zu veröffentlichen: http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/ceta-101.html
 TTIP steht für »Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership« – »Transatlantische Handels- und Investitionspartnerschaft«
 TiSA steht für »Trade in Services Agreement« – Abkommen über den Handel mit Dienstleistungen
1. TTIP bringt uns einer neuen Blockkonfrontation näher
 Donnan, Shawn 2014: US Democratic trade divide will reverberate worldwide. Financial Times 30.01.14. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fa9f35f4-89a4-11e3-abc4-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2sLMPdYab
, s. auch Präsident Obama in seiner “State of the Union” Rede 2015: “But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and our businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules.” (Obama, Barack 2015: Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address January 20, 2015, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Release. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/20/remarks-president-state-union-address-january-20-2015
 CDU 2014: Wir arbeiten für Deutschlands Zukunft. Weichen stellen für ein innovatives und wettbewerbsfähiges Deutschland, Beschluss D 1 des 27. Parteitags der CDU Deutschlands 8.-10. Dezember 2014, Köln. http://www.koeln2014.cdu.de/sites/default/files/media/docs/beschluss-d1.pdf
 Rowden, Rick 2014: Africa´s Free Trade Hangover. Why African leaders have growing doubts about the virtues of free trade, Foreign Policy Online 07.08.14. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/08/07/africas_free_trade_hangover
19. TTIP & Co. verstärken den Druck auf Arbeitsplätze, Löhne & Sozialstandards
THE NAFTA CATASTROPHE – 21 YEARS OF NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Within a year nearly 3.3 million persons signed the self-organized European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP and CATA. In Berlin, a quarter of a million took to the streets to fight against the threatened power concentration in corporations and for preservation of democratic structures. Free trade agreements produce a few winners and many losers. After 21 years of NAFTA, a million jobs in the US were cut. Wages have not risen despite growing work productivity and 2 million jobs were lost in Mexican agriculture. In the NAFTA example, the lecturer Conrad Schuhler shows the negative effects of free trade agreements for working persons in industry and agriculture and also for the people of those countries that are not partners to the agreement.
TTIP AND CETA MUST BE PREVENTED
By Conrad Schuhler
[This article published on April 17, 2016 is translated from the German on the Intern, https://isw-muenchen.de
TTIP AND CETA – THE DECISIONS ARE IMMINENT
The meeting of German chancellor Merkel and US president Obama on the occasion of the opening of the Hanover Exhibition Center (April 23) served a single goal: to speed up the TTIP negotiations so the agreement could be signed this year. At the end of February 2016, the 12th round of negotiations on the TTIP between the EU and the UWS took place in Brussels. The controversial themes investment protection and regu9latory cooperation were discussed. The EU Commission was forced by a resolution of the European Parliament to work out a new text for investment protection. In June 2015, the EU Parliament supported the TTIP draft on principle with 436-Yes against 241-No votes but demanded “replacing the ISDS system with a new system.” The question of “regulatory cooperation” involved the so-called “right to regulate,” the right of individual countries to pass political-economic and social regulations and not to be subject to the resolutions of a TTIP council. The EU Commission and the German government immediately expressed their joy over “progress” in these questions. These reservations are without any binding effect apart from the fact that the proposals from the EU side are completely insufficient. The US side rejects them lock, stock and barrel. Now a great theater is staged to immobilize the increasing critical public with lies and tricks in important questions.
In Berlin, 250,000 people took to the streets on 10/10/2015 under the motto “Stop TTIP and CETA! For a Just World Trade!” This gave more headaches to TTIP strategists than all the academic studies and symposiums. The Stop TTIP Initiative in EU countries has 3.4 million signatures. People are in a stormy movement against the planned agreement both in Europe and the US. The TTIP timetable of the Obama government earmarks first passing the TPP, the transpacific Partnership agreement – twelve Pacific countries, from Chile and the US to Vietnam (40% of the world gross national product) and then turn with all its strength to the TTIP project. TPP would be the door-opener for the TTIP.
Whether Obama can finalize the TPP in his term of office is very doubtful, let alone the TTIP. With the help of republican senators, the US president pushed through a so-called “fast track” procedure for TPP. The agreement can now only be negotiated and voted on as a whole. The Congress can not intervene in the negotiations.
However only 13 of 44 Democratic senators approved this procedure. Since then, the mood in the Democratic Party and in the public has developed against the free trade agreements so that Hillary Clinton strictly denies her activity for TPP for years and now appears as an opponent. Her counterpart Bernie Sanders was always against such agreements and emphasizes this as one of his main issues with the applause of a growing following. Democratic politicians disassociate themselves from TPP the closer the election date. This is even more pressing for TTIP since it will be decided in the final stage of the election campaign.
CETA – PRIVATE ARBITRATION COURTS SHOULD BE CODIFIED AND PARLIAMENTS ELIMINATED
If TPP is seen by US globalization strategists as an “instant water heater” for the TTIP, this role is assumed by CETA in Europe. The CETA negotiations ended in August 2015. The legal formalities review was concluded at the end of February 2016. The text of the agreement was then first published. Over 1500 pages, it confirms the worst fears including the reactionary commitments on investor-state lawsuits over investment protection. These procedures are at the center of criticism because private arbitration on business claims for compensation against states would occur with these procedures. This would be the end of all democratic efforts to bring improvements in environmental protection, labor law, working hours, wage levels or product development. Corporations could sue before private arbitration courts whenever such measures negatively impacted the profit interest of companies. Such ISDS procedures (Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement) would make any social and ecological progress so expensive that it would be unaffordable.
Under the pressure of swelling criticism, the German government declared it would support a transparent and public investment tribunal procedure. Nevertheless the old norms of arbitration courts are laid down in Article 29 of the CETA agreement as already applied by the World Trade organization mainly for arbitral awards in favor of litigating companies. The arbitration court should be composed of three “arbitrators” with “special knowledge of international commercial law” and independent of the parties directly involved in the arbitration procedures. In practice, this amounts to appointing co-workers of the big international law offices whoa re closely interlocked with the interests of transnational companies. The ISDS procedures are laid down in the CETA agreement as the only procedure. The World Trade Organization branch ICSID is appointed as the essential venue of disputes. CETA commitments would also prejudge the procedures with the majority of US firms. Four-fifths of all US companies have branch offices in Canada. Through CETA, 41,000 foreign investors could sue EU states for compensation before private ISDS arbitrators.
Another CETA procedure stipulates that first the EU Council and then the EU Parliament rules on the agreement. The German government considers CETA a “mixed agreement,” that is the national parliaments have to ratify it. Like all Berlin statements on the TTIP-CETA, this has a tactical or even misleading character. In the same declaration, Berlin says parts of CETA “for which the EU has exclusive competence” can be applied temporarily. The “temporary application” of CETA rules can be carried out without the approval of the parliaments. The chief Canadian negotiator Steve Verheul said the application could begin as soon as 15 of 28 government s of member EU states approved.
This would also cover ISDS lawsuits. Article 30.8 of the agreement says investment protection lawsuits “could be filed… unless more than three years passed since the date of the agreement.” The agreement would begin with the approval of the majority of the governments of EU states without any hearing of the national parliaments. The commitments would also be binding for three years for all who reject or abandon it. CETA could take effect even if the national parliaments voted against it and remains in effect for years even if the agreement is repealed.
TTIP – BERLIN AND BRUSSELS RELY ON DIVERSION
UNTRUTH NR. 1: A PUBLIC INVESTMENT TRIBUNAL EXISTS
The German economics ministry responsible for the TTIP negotiations now claims “the EU Commission is taking up the proposal of economics minister Gabriel for a moderate and transparent investment protection as part of the discussion. The proposal of the EU Commission is that future investment lawsuits should be decided by an investment tribunal with publically appointed judges.”
The German Judges Union with around 16,000 members with 25,000 judges and public prosecutors across the country, the largest professional association of judges and public prosecutors in Germany, “rejects the introduction of an investment tribunal in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The German Judges Union sees neither a legal foundation nor a necessity for such a court (German Judges Union, comment on the investment tribunal for TTIP, comment Nr. 4/16, February 2016). Through such an investment tribunal, the law-making authority of the union and member states would be restricted and the established legal system within the member states and the European Union would be changed…The German Judges’ Union urges German and European legislators to block recourse to arbitration procedures in the realm of international investor protection.”
The German Judges Union says that the latest creation or working model from the House of Gabriel is illegal and that the nonsense of investor lawsuits through private arbitration courts must be ended at last. “Neither the earmarked procedure for nominating judges of the ICS (the investment tribunal planned by the EU Commission) nor its status satisfies the international demands for the independence of courts. On this background, the ICS seems like a permanent arbitration tribunal rather than an international court.”
UNTRUTH NR. 2: THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE PROCEDURE
Transparency is now supposedly established in that delegates of the German Bundestag can look at documents of past TTIP negotiations on computers for two hours on workdays in the reading room of the German economics ministry since the beginning of February 2016. They cannot bring along technical advisors, cameras or their own laptops and cannot speak a word about what they have read. In the visitors’ rules, they are told: “They recognize and accept that a special trust is expected of them when they are granted access to TTIP texts.”
This is a special piece of insolence of the state toward the people’s representatives. They are “granted” their access and expected to show a “special trust.” These persons who have to decide “in the name of the people” about the agreement cannot reveal their contents to “the people.” The TTIP negotiations are a lesson about “post-democracy,” about a political system whose façade of citizens” sharing and participating has caved in.
22 YEARS OF NAFTA – THE EXPERIENCES ARE DEVASTATING
The propaganda of TTIP instigators promises only positive things: jobs and prosperity will increase. The productivity and competitiveness of participating economies will improve. The same promises were made to the nations involved in NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement, the free trade consortium of the US< Canada and Mexico). A balance-sheet of the 22 years of NAFTA proves the exact opposite.
NAFTA took effect on 1/1/1994. In the US, the agreement passed with the argument that it would create jobs. At the end of 1993, US president Clinton claimed “the largest free trade zone of the world will arise and 200,000 jobs will be created in the US by 1995.” Mexicans were fooled into thinking their developing country would become an industrial country and Canadian were told their country would increase its productivity (cf. Barbara Eisenmann, “Das Netz des Geld”).
However the situation for the non-rich part of the populations has worsened in all three countries. For the US, Jeff Faux of the Economic Policy Institute summarized: “Clinton and his co-workers promised the agreement would bring well-paid jobs in the US, an increasing trade surplus with Mexico and a dramatic reduction of illegal immigration. Instead NAFTA cost the US a net loss of 700,000 jobs. The trade surplus with Mexico turned into a chronic deficit. The economic uprooting in Mexico made the stream of illegal immigrants in the US swell.”
In Mexico, the three million small corn producers were exposed to the dumping pressure of subsidized big US producers. Altogether at least two million jobs were lost in Mexican agriculture. The US raised its agricultural exports to Mexico five-fold in the NAFTA time. Mexico’s promised industrialization and higher work productivity in Canada did not happen. Canada be came an exporter of raw materials, above all crude oil from tar sands promotion (Eisenmann, op.cit.).
NAFTA was profitable for big business interests. With it, ISDS was the crucial principle of free trade. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes of the World Bank and the UN Commission for International Trade Law were chosen as arbitration courts, traces which CETA and TTIP now follow.
The president of the AFL-CIO union, Richard Trumka, summed up the experiences with NAFTA: “Wages have stagnated in all three countries and families strain to cover their costs for health insurance, education, housing and pension schemes… The free trade agreements forced down wages and suppressed rights to jobs. They have made the middle class shrivel in the US, Mexico and Canada.”
TTIP AGAINST DEVELOPING AND THRESHOLD COUNTRIES
While corporations in western metropolises – led by the US and Great Britain – will be the great winners of TTIP, the countries of the South, the developing- and threshold countries, will be income losers. TTIP will increase the economic inequality in the world. A study commissioned by the Bertelsmann foundation confirmed this over two years ago.
A new study mandated by the German economics ministry corroborates this fatal effect of TTIP. All regions outside the TTIP zone will have annual (real) per capita income losses up to 2.13% (ifo Institute).
VATTENFALL’S LAWSUIT AGAINST GERMANY IS SCANDALOUS
By Jonas Sjostedt
[This article published on November 27, 2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=24100. Vattenfall, a Swedish energy conglomerate, is suing Germany for 4.7 billion euros for closing two nuclear power plants. Under TTIP, TPP and TiSA, corporations can sue states for lost profits. The German Judges Union calls additional protection of foreign investors “nonsense” that undermines democracy and the constitutional state and could lead to an avalanche of lawsuits and the chilling of labor and environmental protection. Jonas Sjostedt is the chairperson of the Swedish Left Party.]
We own Vattenfall in common. This leading energy company should be transitioning to an ecologically sustainable energy supply, regardless where the business is active – but isn’t today. Vattenfall’s lawsuit against Germany on account of its resolution to end nuclear power is scandalous. The government should prevent this and ensure that the possibility of corporations suing states does not spread, wrote Jonas Sjostedt (Left Party).
FOCUS: LAWSUITS AGAINST STATES
Germany resolved to end nuclear power and rely on renewable energy. This change is already underway. The disaster in Fukushima has great significance and shows the enormous risks of nuclear energy. The Swedish government also has the goal of gradually ending nuclear power as a power source. These are democratic resolutions that the elected people’s representatives in our countries have the right to enact. Even those with different views on this factual issue accept this principle.
But the German resolution on phasing out nuclear power is contested by businesses that make profits like Vattenfall that belong to the Swedish state. Vattenfall now demands compensation from Germany of 4.7 billion euros, equivalent to 43 billion Swedish crowns. This is a completely perverse demand. The Swedish government should force Vattenfall to retract its compensation claim, the Left Party is convinced. The German resolution to stop nuclear power must be respected. Both German and Swedish energy policy should be decided democratically, not by extortion and threats of businesses.
Vattenfall has made bad investments in fossil gas and coal and not only in nuclear power. This strains the environment and Swedish taxpayers including businesses. Vattenfall’s production causes more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole nation of Sweden. This impairs Sweden’s credibility in international climate work.
Vattenfall’s promotion of brown coal in Germany triggers strong and justified protests from the local population. This is also true for the way Vattenfall operates the power supply network in cities like Hamburg and Berlin. Whether the networks should be returned to public ownership is debated there.
Vattenfall must be reoriented. No new investments should be made in fossil energy (coal pits or nuclear power plants). A more reasonable plan must be drawn up for apportioning fossil fuel. Vattenfall should be in a position to change to renewable and sustainable energy systems. Vattenfall’s business leaders must be replaced so this can happen in a trustworthy way.
Vattenfall’s lawsuit against Germany is not an isolated case. Philip Morris took legal action in Australia when the regulations for cigarette packages were changed. This regulatory change occurred for reasons of public health but threatened the future profits of Philip Morris. A Dutch insurance company sued Slovakia and won when the country sought to introduce new rules on insurance company profits.
The next time we in Sweden could be sued because of democratic resolutions that were passed. The EU is now negotiating two free trade agreements with Canada and the US. In these agreements, businesses have the right to sue states when democratic laws reduce future business profits. In the agreements, this undermining of democracy is called “investment protection.”
The lawsuit possibility against states already existed in some free trade agreements but the use of this possibility has dramatically skyrocketed. The number of cases where businesses sue states in appealing to investment protection has soared almost fivefold since the turn of the millennium according to the UN organ UNDAC that monitors development. The agreement gives businesses the chance for enormous compensation and becomes a weapon for extorting states to avoid certain legislation. Besides these big businesses, lawyers and law offices are the mammoth winners in the resulting long and expensive lawsuits. The environment, public health and the right of citizens to democratically determine justice and the law are the losers.
Vattenfall’s demand for compensation shows that international agreements giving businesses the right to upend democratic laws is scandalous. The government must stop Vattenfall’s lawsuit against Germany and resist any expansion of the lawsuit possibilities against states. Democracy must be in first place.