Image: blogs.worldbank.org: Incense stick production in Hue, Vietnam. The country could be one of the biggest winners of a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Source - Austronesian Expeditions.
As TTIP came up recently in Mike’s post, I made a search and found plenty of writings discussing all the potential dangers on the horizon resulting from these trade negotiations. This article TPP & TTIP: More Questions Than Answers on the World Bank’s website is an especially good one for comparing the two.
Thank you Janos, good article 🙂 Your title should be TPP, not TTP (can you check categories too please).
Several points come to mind: the absolute failure of Doha shows the WTO is not a particularly useful entity for most people, but the US likes it. So, yes, the TPP & TTIP are probably typical US hegemonic manipulations in play.
Trade is one thing, but trying to use business mechanisms to subvert and pervert legislation that is designed to keep countries and their people safe is not acceptable (as I mentioned in my other post). The present US global empire is ‘business’ and it uses its $2 billion per day defence budget to enforce it, no matter what the rest of the world wants.
That last point causes us major problems in Europe. The entire EU project was born and developed from our desire NEVER to have another war on our soil. Europe suffered very badly during the 20th Century: each of the two major wars killed off 2 or perhaps 3 generations in all the partcipating countries. So it is amazing that Europe has recovered so well. There are differences in viewpoint depending on whether your country was occupied by the Nazis & Italian fascists or not; these are not easily resolvable. But many of us in Europe regard Russia, especially western Russia, as being part of our Caucasian group. Consequently the constant US warmongering .. on OUR continent … really sickens us. So, many view TTIP as yet another secret manipulative operation by greedy US Americans trying to force GMOs, toxic chemicals, environmental destruction etc upon us ~all for the sake of profit, nepotism, and ‘power over’.
To highlight that point we see that the USA supported, if not led, the coup in Kiev last year, they installed or condoned far-right mercenaries to oppress the Russian-speaking people of eastern Ukraine & Crimea; worse still, they are using NATO and other private armies to try and goad Russia into another war … once again on our soil. Fortunately President Putin is not rising to the bait, and we are also seeing some other countries now stepping back from US geostrategic fol-de-rol. A question that arises from this nonsense is: ‘how would things like TTIP play out in the face of US-imposed sanctions against Russia, or any other country that displeases the US? What comes to mind is the centuries-long British approach of ‘divide & conquer’ ~ set everyone against everyone else so nothing meaningful or beneficial can be achieved.
That has relevance to habitat destruction and biodiversity loss: the raison d’etre for The BA.
The article also makes comments about TPP, which of course spans a much larger area: you’ll notice that none of the ‘Large Ocean States’ such as Cook Islands, Fiji, or Kiribati gets mentioned ~ so once again ‘things will be done to us whether we wish them or not’. Thinking more widely on this issue we can imagine an EU-Asia body in competition with WTO. The BRICS Bank, now launched, in competition with IMF & World Bank. Trading between Australasia, China & Russia is already being done in local currencies, rather than the US$, so things are changing.
Bottom line with TPP & TTIP is that they must not be allowed to block or manipulate legislation in other countries. They have to use the National Justice systems, not private tribunals (again it shows a need for IECC). And finally all negotiations should be transparent and the findings be publicly available BEFORE these contracts are agreed. Voting by public referendum in each affected country would not go amiss. Mike 🙂