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Citizens must wake up to EU or pay a big price

We are in a brief hiatus in the negotiations between the EU and US on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 

If one were to base the significance of this proposed trade agreement on media and government coverage one would be forgiven for thinking it had no bearing on the lives of citizens. It is painted as an opportunity to improve efficiencies between EU and US markets through alignment of regulatory bureaucracy. The advocates promise increases in GDP, jobs and living standards. If the results of previous trade agreements are anything to go by then citizens can look forward to job losses, wage stagnation and degradation in public services through privatisation.

Corporate interests were well served by NAFTA and no doubt will be looked after with TTIP. Of more than 560 lobbying encounters with the TTIP, 92% were business lobbyists. One of the most controversial aspects of the agreement is the concept of Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), the inclusion of which is still in the balance despite recent declarations by Jean Claude Juncker. This would allow for corporate interests to sue host countries if, for example, a democratic decision was made to reverse a policy of privatisation. These negotiations are being run by technocrats and with little visibility to citizens.

This agreement merely facilitates growing global corporate hegemony at the cost of democratic sovereignty.

Barry Walsh

Linden

Blackrock

Co Cork


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