TTIP and other partnership agreements, reflections

0
21

Jump into the void without parachute or any protection. It is the neoliberal warfare scheme led by the Juncker squadron. Twelve battlefields, where citizens, workers, and supply chains rooted in territories and values are the ones who jump. Some reflections to follow.

Economic partnership agreements, the Trojan horses of the Juncker Commission

The Trojan Horse is perhaps the most appropriate paradigm to represent the ‘economic partnership agreements

‘, which the failed



Commission led by



Jean Claude Juncker

yearns to conclude before it lapses. (1)

The illusion of the great tribute, which in today’s times is expressed in the reduction of tariff barriers, in fact hides a dangerous trap. The agreements under consideration-rather than merely reducing reciprocal tariffs on imports of goods, according to long-standing tradition-go far beyond their stated objectives.

The enemies hidden in the belly of these Trojan horses aim to tear down the systems of rules established to guard citizens and their health, workers, and the environment. To assert the law of corporations, whose goals of conquering planet Earth must override all other norms.


From Declarations to Facts
: why we must stop CETA and all its (ugly) brothers‘, is the report published by the Stop TTIP Italy Campaign on 20.9.18. Where the many partnership agreements on the agenda of the current European Commission are analyzed in detail. To focus on its structure and foreseeable impacts on individuals and the environment, local economies and the food supply chain.

Partnership agreements, the dirty dozen

CETA and JEFTA-the partnership agreements with Canada (2) and Japan (3)-are just the first couple of blows scored by the Juncker squadron. But another dozen or so negotiations are underway, under the dead silence of the Italian press. Brussels is already selling out our rights on several tables:

– Mexico,

– Chile,

– Mercosur(Mercado Común del Sur),

– Vietnam,



Indonesia



,

– Singapore,



Tunisia



,

– Morocco,

– Australia and Oceania.


Without forgetting the TTIP
, which ‘
the real Donald
‘ (Trump) and ‘
Gin-Claude
‘ (Juncker, as quoted in the witty jokes of the Brussels lobbies) bring back to the surface, after temporary immersion in the service of the US president’s election slogans. (4)

Partnership agreements, the hidden enemies

From the point of view of some observers, including the writer, such partnership agreements-destined to enter into force without any prior scrutiny by national assemblies-have serious critical issues.


There is a lack of constraints and sanctions
for those who violate international environmental or labor conventions, there is a lack of adequate protections for public services and typical products, and there are reduced controls on the import of products containing GMOs even for human consumption.’ (5)

Fourteen international organizations non-governmental – including Client Earth, Fairwatch, Fern, Transport&Environment – published a letter of complaint, 14.9.18. In the unfortunately utopian hope that we can stop the agreement with Japan. (6)

Behind promises to facilitate trade global, toxic treaties aim to tear down the regulations that national and international democracies (e.g., EU) have developed over the past decades to safeguard the planet and its inhabitants. Suffice it to mention, one among all, the precautionary principle. A fundamental criterion, placed at the basis of food law in Europe, not even referred to in the agreements under review.

The rules with regard to pesticides e GMO, animal welfare, chemical safety and MOCAs, endocrine disruptors, circular economy, are all destined to succumb. One after the other, when private investors will challenge them as an obstacle to their own business, at international arbitration panels.

Estimated budget unknown

A common goal animates all the partnership agreements under consideration. Those concluded as well as those under negotiation, none excluded. This goal is embodied in the broader liberalization of industrial production and service provision in every economic sector. In a word, Deregulation.

The interest underlying this approach far transcends the stated aims of overcoming protectionism, tariff and otherwise. (7) Since these treaties-in their mentioned ‘Comprehensiveness,’ according to the binomial ‘Comprehensive Agreement‘-aim to protect international investors first and foremost. That is, to rid big finance of any possible ‘entanglements,’ to which, moreover, precise rights of the people in the markets being conquered correspond.

The example of Amazon – Whose unfair trade practices we denounced And serious violations of consumers’ information rights , to date unpunished, in addition to pointing out the exploitation of workers and tax avoidance – Is just the tip of the approaching iceberg.

International partnership agreements, beyond simplistic judgments dictated by opposing ideologies, are bound to upset the balance of structured economies with fierce instantaneity. Without any of their implementers having taken care to assess their actual impact with any forecasting studies whatsoever.

What inevitably eludes any prediction is the coming scenario, which may turn out to be less rosy than expected and cause crises in individual industries, or entire systems. And there will be no turning back after ceding national sovereignty and regulatory power in areas such as competition and market protection, procurement, and labor.

Some now rejoice, having seen marginal growths in exports to Canada as a result of CETA. An almost small Trojan horse compared to that offered by Japan. It is early, however, to celebrate the feast, better to wait for the horses to show what they hold in their bellies.

Without forgetting that Europe is making deals with countries whose trade balance is blatantly favorable, exporting countries therefore. (8) And behind the fetish of protecting a few handfuls of typical agri-food products, the Commission publicly cleared the counterfeit Parmesan and Made in Italy. That Kraft Food and the other big food sisters. will be able to carry on everywhere, with the green light from Brussels.

All that glitters in the belly of the Trojan horses is not gold. Or rather, it is not gold for everyone. Not even for that class of Italian entrepreneurs and industrialists who can hardly, an understatement, withstand unfair competition from giants on a de-regulated planet. More insights in the Stop TTIP Italy Campaign’s report. (9)

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Nor is ratification by member state parliaments required whenever investment protection and arbitration dispute settlement system (ICS) aspects are negotiated in separate agreements, as was the case with JEFTA (EU-Japan Partnership Agreement)



(2) On the subject of CETA, some thoughts at.




https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/ceta-l-autunno-della-democrazia


(3) Effective date is scheduled for 1.2.19. For an in-depth look at JEFTA, see. https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/ue-giappone-rapporto-senza-precauzioni. Brief analysis of the volte-face of the M5S-Lega government, on https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/accordo-ue-giappone-il-cambiamento-s-%C3%A8-perso



(4) As for TTIP, our reflections at.




https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/editoriale-ttip-le-ragioni-della-nostra-op-posizione


. The latest news on his return in the Report ‘‘Zombie TTIP, the return of the never-dead treaty’, care of Monica Di Sisto, Stop TTIP Italy Campaign, August 2018, on https://stopttipitalia.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/zombie-ttip_dossier2018.pdf



(5) Cf. ‘




JEFTA, business at all costs




‘, Stop TTIP Italy Campaign, July 2018, at.




https://stopttipitalia.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/jefta_affari-a-tutti-i-costi_sintesi.pdf




(6) V.




https://stopttipitalia.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/lettera-inta_jefta.pdf


(7) Tariff barriers are defined as import duties and other measures of similar effect (e.g., assigning different customs codes to certain products than those applied to identical domestic goods). Non-tariff barriers (TBT,


Technical Barriers to Trade




) can be identified, conversely, in a plurality of measures taken by individual countries or their international formations to regulate markets (e.g., the




Farm Bill


in the US, Common Agricultural Policy in the EU), protect consumers or other resources (among other goals). When they are used – or perceived, by partners foreign economies-to discriminate imports (of goods and services) against domestic economies. See in this regard the TBT treaty, signed within the WTO, on https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tbt_e/tbt_e.htm

(8) With the exception of Singapore, a simple global financial hub.



(9) Stop TTIP/CETA Italy Campaign, report ‘




From Declarations to Facts: why we must stop CETA and all its (ugly) brethren’




, edited by Monica Di Sisto, at.




https://stopttipitalia.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/i-brutti-fratelli-del-ceta_set20181.pdf