Petition – STOP TAFTA ! Why the Free Trade Agreement Must Not Go Ahead

 

Stop the EU-US free trade agreement – URGENT.

Without governmental protection and given free reign, laissez-faire capitalism would stop at nothing to create profits for the already rich shareholders who own big businesses. Governments offer us protection with laws regarding child labor, collective bargaining, competition (antitrust), environmental protection, equal opportunity, intellectual property, minimum wage, occupational safety and health and so on. The only purpose of free trade agreements is to circumvent these protections, profiting from a global economy where local restrictions can be overcome by outsourcing to “business friendly” locations. After all it seems obvious that producing and consuming locally without transportation costs should be economically sounder. Sign this petition to make and keep local economies a reality!

Why Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement must not go ahead

 from TAFTA site

Negotiated in secret by the European Commission and the United States, the great transatlantic market (TAFTA) will be for nothing other than the profit of multinational companies, and against the interests of European and American citizens.

Since July 2013, the TAFTA free-trade agreement has been negotiated outside the democratic framework by non-elected representatives. Civil society and citizens are being left out while multinational companies and other financial lobbies have direct access to the negotiations. Inscribed in the negotiation mandate which the agreement strives to impose is “the elimination, reduction or prevention of superfluous national politics”, a flagrant usurpation of the people’s sovereignty to establish their own laws and rules for health safety.

Enough false promises of growth. After having provoked the economic crisis we are currently experiencing, the multinationals are using it as an excuse to liquidate all forms of market regulation and rules protecting citizens. The highly speculative estimates of the “experts” hail a growth increase of 0.06% and the creation of 500,000 jobs, but how many will be destroyed at the same time?

We refuse the plundering of public money by the multinationals. Within the Commission’s negotiation mandate, it is stipulated that a court be created without admitting regulations concerning disputes between States and multinationals: in other words, foreign companies are recognized the right to files lawsuits against the State for damages and interests totaling millions of dollars whenever a public policy obstructs their profits.

A few good reasons to Stop TAFTA:

  • Food safety: Our rules, stricter than international and American norms (concerning pesticides, GMOs, hormones in beef, etc.), could be condemned as “illegal commercial barriers”.

  • Shale gas: Hydraulic fracturing, heretofore prohibited in France due to its dangers to the environment, would become a “right” for oil companies, who would be able to demand damages and interests from States in the event they refused these operations.

  • Water and energy: These assets would be able to be privatized. All towns opposing this could be accused of hindering freedom of trade. Ditto for energy; whether fossil fuels, nuclear or renewable.

  • Public services: TAFTA would limit the power of States to organize public services such as human services, road transport and railways, and it would reduce the principles of universal and mass access to these essential needs for the benefit of general privatization.

  • Internet freedom: The giants of the Net wish to weaken the European regime concerning protection of personal data in order to reduce it to the (almost non-existent) level of the United States, in this way authorizing legal espionage which is quite lucrative for private firms, fully in line with ACTA.

The revelations concerning espionage on European leaders by the American National Security Agency demonstrate that these negotiations are fundamentally polluted. Given these conditions, it is impossible for the final text to serve the general interest.

*TAFTA = TTIP = PTCI : Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement

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