Sara Callaway from Global Women’s Strike speaking at No TTIP Parliament Square 11/10/2014

Watch the video HERE.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a new trade agreement currently being negotiated (behind closed doors) between the US and Europe – would hand over power to corporations so that they can over-rule national and local governments and the justice system. It would lead to a further wave of privatisations.

Under TTIP corporations could sue sovereign governments in front of ad hoc arbitration tribunals for loss of profits, attack minimum wage legislation and a wide range of anti-discrimination laws which grassroots people have fought for centuries to win. Corporations around the world are already attempting to use these new rules to threaten national governments with heavy fines and trade embargos. This includes countries and cities which want to ban or curb profiteering from basic resources such as water and health services (eg Slovakia), and those that want to ban polluting industries (eg nuclear in Germany). A major issue in the UK is that TTIP could be used against the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 which many people have campaigned against. Women, the main carers and the lowest paid workers everywhere, would be most affected by TTIP.

Corporations like G4S and Serco already act with impunity despite their track records of killings, sexual assaults on detainees and other violence, fraud and corruption. Instead of being hounded out of public life they’ve continued to get lucrative contracts – Serco nets £1.6 billion from the UK government. TTIP would give them even more powers and put them beyond prosecution for their crimes.   

TTIP can also be used to attack bans on dangerous and contaminated foods and drugs (European countries have banned many contaminants and drugs which are available in the US market), digital privacy laws, and new banking safeguards. 

War on Want (WOW) is holding a week of action against TTIP this week, 8-12 July, details below. John Hilary of WOW has written a useful pamphlet explaining the legislation and urging action against it – available here –  please circulate copies to your friends, family and colleagues (available in seven languages).