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This What Resistance Looks Like! Activists Fight Back Against Trade Deals



EU_Three upcoming trade deals: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) according to digital rights activists, development NGOs, environmental groups, farmers’ organizations, consumers group, trade campaigners, health activists, political groups and concerned citizens,  are paving the way for an attack on the environment, health system, food, jobs, public services, digital rights and much more. On Stop TTIP, CETA, TiSA website, they are telling us that is necessary to stop the agreements who threaten our already weak democracies. The decentralised European Day of Action is, October 11 2014, is the international day  of protests against fracking:  civil society, trade unions, farmers and grassroots activist groups from all over Europe have called for this Day of Action to stop the ongoing free trade negotiations. 

The coordination proposal is People Against Free Trade Agreements (PAFTA) with the intention to to join people from all continents currently fighting their respective “free trade agreement” in their own country, because while corporate lobbyists are playing an integral role in negotiations, the public have been shut out. With the excuse of improving trade between the countries, they want to reduce the already lower financial regulation in the US and already lower standards for food safety or use of chemicals in the EU. 

The idea is to bridge the struggles and coordinate for better pressure impact of the citizens against Free Trade Agreements currently being negotiated worldwide and the objective to research active citizens, grassroots movements, associations, NGO’s, Activist, leakers, interested to provide best documents, video, workshops, articles that would push for more awareness about the implications of the “agreements”. Under the motto : “It’s imminent, it’s urgent, Resistance is Creation, Creation is Resistance”, the policy of the website is to select the best information by country to raise awarness about these invasion of corporations into our Democracy.

TTIP (also called TAFTA – Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement) is being negotiated between the US and the EU since July 2013. It aims at removing trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. According to the “resistance” the problem is that the beneficiaries of these agreements are not in fact citizens but big corporations, increasing the power of multinationals and the negotiations are conducted in secret. Even our public representatives know little if anything about their progress.

CETA has already been negotiated between the EU and Canada and is now being finalised. According to European Commission, once applied, it will offer EU firms more and better business opportunities in Canada and support jobs in Europe and it will tackle a whole range of issues to make business with Canada easier and according to Prime Minister Harper CETA is a “next generation” free trade and investment pact. According to PAFTA they tell us that CETA will have everything that NAFTA has, plus more but the reasons to be very concerned about it is that it’s about adding to the list of things that governments can’t do if they interfere at all with the corporate sector’s unfettered right to make a profit. Furthermore CETA, if ratified, will unfairly restrict how local governments spend money and ban “buy local” policies, add hundreds of millions of dollars to the price of drugs in our public health care system, create pressure to increase privatization of local water systems, transit and energy, and much more.

TiSA is now under negotiation involving 23 WTO members, including the EU, who together account for 70% of world trade in services. According To European Commission TiSA aims at opening up markets and improving rules in areas such as licensing, financial services, telecoms, e-commerce, maritime transport, and workers moving abroad temporarily to provide services. Like any other trade negotiations, the TiSA talks are not carried out in public and the documents are available to participants only, but the EU, however, has been keen to be as transparent as possible. According to “public resistance” this trade covering 50 countries and 68,2% of world trade in services would severely limit the ability of the US to regulate the financial sector and will impact their economy limiting the government ability to respond to future financial crisis.

The only way to deeply understand what’s going on and be part of awarness isto follow the real time on PAFTA website.

Olivia Terragni

I'm a journalist who has studied architecture or an architect who writes. I've a Master's Degree in History and Philosophy and a Master's Degree in Architecture. I developed my expertise is in Energy Saving, International Environmental Law, Urban Planning and Sustainable Water Management. As an architect I trust in sustainable living, as a historian in human development and in cooperation.

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