Published: 15/09/2014
The UK national center TUC adopted a resolution at its congress September 7-10 calling on the trade union movement to demand that the negotiations on the EU-US trade agreement TTIP be halted and that unions “adopt a clear position of outright opposition to TTIP, and the other trade agreements currently being negotiated.”

The resolution was moved and seconded by UF affiliates Unite and GMB, respectively.

While the TTIP negotiations remain cloaked in secrecy and the negotiating texts will be locked up for 30 years, the recently leaked text of the EU-Canada agreement CETA again demonstrates that these investment charters packaged as “trade” agreements are essentially tools for promoting deregulation, accelerating and locking in the privatization of public services and radically restricting the capacity of governments to legislate in the public interest.  Leaked chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) confirm this agenda. The still totally secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) would potentially crack open all services still remaining outside the WTO’s GATS and the more intrusive bilateral agreements layered onto the WTO.

CETA contains a NAFTA-style investor-to-state dispute resolution procedure (ISDS) which allows corporations to sue governments in closed tribunals; extends this procedure for the first time to financial services, which would allow investors to directly challenge regulatory measures; extends the life of pharmaceutical patents, a move which could cost Canadians up to  850 million dollars annually; virtually eliminates the use of public procurement as a policy tool down to the municipal level; and opens water services wide up for privatization, among other features.

Canada and the EU may sign the agreement this month, but it has two years to be ratified, and can be stopped. The IUF and Public Services International (PSI) have joined with NGOs and public interest groups in calling for a day of public action in Europe against these treaties on October 11.

To learn more click here for the IUF’s Trade Deals that Threaten Democracy – read, download and distribute!