This was a two part presentation given by Glynn Moody (an independent journalist) & Neal Deardon (WDM). Moody, summarised the arguments against in terms of their economic effect and briefly mentioned the privacy aspects of TTIP, Dearden spoke of the global governance rules and the side-lining of the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and the developing world. Moody questioned the worth of the economic benefits, and challenged the sinister nature of regulations to be “as simple as possible”, the words come from CETA. The proposals also include services and embed a legal ratchet on privatisations i.e. re-nationalisation will be prohibited. Because of who he is, and where he is, he raised the issue of privacy. Vivienne Reding the outgoing Commissioner for Digital has proposed that data flows be excluded from TTIP, a position which Claude Moraes, the EP LIBE Chair, agrees and it was stated that the Data Protection Directive “Safe Harbour” is no longer acceptable, it is unlikely that the US Trade Representative will agree. The US are resurrecting the ACTA rules, which is foolish; the eastern Europeans won’t put up with it. He finished by re-emphasising the inequity of ISDS and the ability to claim against (invented) future profits just as the Music Industry do when claiming damages against file sharers
Nick Dearden described TTIP as an attempt to rewrite the rules of world trade in favour of capital. He spoke about the implications of the intellectual property clauses; the pharmaceutical companies want stronger laws and for the tax payer to carry the costs of both the increased cost as the public health services buy the drugs and pay for the enforcement. He outlined the fact that the political right wing is split on TTIP, but it’s unfortunate, if not obvious which part of the right wing oppose TTIP. He finished by returning to the WTO, and pointing out that it’s an attempt to reset the trade law datum line excluding LATAM, China, Russia and India.
In the Q&A, Sarah Ludford, an ex-London MEP (LibDem) stated that she supported it in order to challenge the US local protection laws and I made the point that there are some members of the PLP front bench who seem to believe that if the NHS is excluded from ISDS, we can sign up for it, they should have it made clear that this is not good enough. I also pointed out that all the major Unions and the TUC now oppose TTIP with or without ISDS since the so-called equalisation of standards will lead to an unacceptable reduction in Europe, on food safety, environmental protection and labour protection laws.
We at ORG need to continue to put Privacy on the table though. Both the outgoing Commission and the USTR are likely to want free trade before privacy rights, many European governments and citizens will object, the position of the new commission is unclear, but that of Parliament is not! Weakening the privacy protection of European citizens is not acceptable to the European Parliament.