Friday, 11 July 2014

TTIP, Free Trade or Free Capitalism?

Normally I would welcome Free Trade Agreements between Nations but there's a worrying aspect  the aspect Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) be discussed  in secret (Which is worrying in itself)  between the USA and European Community.

Now in the Wasting Mule Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has warned.that the  (TTIP) negotiations to remove trade barriers for goods and services.could wreck workers’ rights in Wales and see governments sued by giant multinational companies, 
She said: 

We want to see a strong Welsh economy exporting quality Welsh products around the world. “However the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, as it currently stands, is nothing but a charter for international corporations to make more money. The plans are for a free trade zone between the European Union and the United States based on cutting costs, achieved through lowering quality standards and rolling back workers’ employment rights.”

Ms Evans said the “most concerning proposal” was an “investor state dispute settlement” (ISDS) mechanism which could allow multinational companies to sue governments for reducing the value of an investment.
She said: 
“This could mean that if a future Welsh Government improved workers’ rights by securing a living wage or ending zero hours contracts, then they could be liable to be sued – or if we enacted strong environmental legislation to combat climate change. We have already seen the free-trade agreement in North America, Nafta, lead to legal threats to Canada because of a moratorium on fracking in Quebec.“It is clearly unacceptable that democratic governments could be in the position of being taken to court by multinational companies just because those governments act in the best interests of their people, rather than corporate profits.”She added: “Other parts of TTIP that cause me concern include calls from American senators for an end to European specialist product definitions that act a mark of quality, which in Wales include Welsh beef and lamb, as well as Pembrokeshire Earlys potatoes and Halen Mon . By discussing these issues in secret, negotiators from both sides are doing deals behind closed doors that do not have public support

The idea that American capitalist can can dictate Social Policy in Europe let alone Wales is deeply worrying  and it one wonders what Ukip's view on this will be?

I suspect they would oppose as a EU treaty but would back a identical one between the  USA and a UK outside the EU?
I know the Liberal Democrats have a along  history from when they were just the Liberals of supporting  Free trade  but   Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Assembly Minister for Europe,( I did't know they had one either) should look at things more closely 
She  said: 
Wales has a proud place on the international trading stage as part of a strong United Kingdom and European Union. The EU trade deal with America is a brilliant opportunity to boost exports and build a stronger economy, especially with a country with which we have no language barrier.“This deal could bring over £10bn a year to the UK economy and create new jobs. Lib Dem MEPs have used the fact that negotiations are still ongoing to make sure that any environmental, health and safety standards aren’t compromised by the trade deal.“If Plaid Cymru think that a protectionist economic strategy that isolates us from the rest of the world is the way forward, then their policies are nothing more than fantasy.”
Well ther's just one Liberal Democrat in the EU now down 11 whilst Jil Evans is joined with two SNP and three Greens .

But its not a question of Numbers what even enthusiasts like Eluned Parrot should be asking is . Is this a Free Trade agreement or Free multinational capitalism who will use any treaty to strengthen their grip om democratic governments and use it to enforce their interests and also continue to make sure they continue to avoid paying taxes.

We need an open and transparent approach to this and we are clearly not getting it.


  1. I am surprised that Ms Evans, as a sitting MEP, and Plaid in general only picked up on this after the European elections. Here in Germany, several of the smaller parties were using this as the core of their manifesto.

  2. Jill was warning about this in March this year

  3. The TTIP wont just affect trade, but it's new rules have the potential to privatize the English NHS as well with the knock on effect of making less money available for Welsh and Scottish NHS as Wings Over Scotland highlights today, this is something Plaid Cymru needs to flag up asap.

  4. Thanks, Glyn. But putting it on the party's own website is not exactly making it into a manifesto item. If you don't read the Plaid website (and I read it every couple of weeks), then it's something that passed by most people.
    Isn't this a topic that warrants a bit more press and PR?

    1. The only answer is Yes of course. But we may wel wonder why the media have not picked up on thias . Unless of course they are spiking it.

    2. The "media" in question is of course BBC, BBC Wales, Western Mail and the Daily Post? None of whom are exactly what I would call independent, rational and unbiased.

      Could the Plaid Press officer not post an article on Daily Wales? I know it attracts a lot of trolls, but also attracts higher level readers.

      Rather than point out the failings of the leaders of the other parties, maybe do something positive for a change?