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TTIP, Europe gives green light to new negotiations

TTIP, Europe gives green light to new negotiations. Everything must change so that nothing changes, under the 'government of change', aka the Leopard. And the much desired 'sovereignty of peoples', the rights and duties provided for by our Constitutional Charters will give way to the neoliberal dogma that requires the abolition of any obstacle to the business empire. The environment and biodiversity, workers' rights, the survival of businesses and local supply chains are in danger. Last but not least, public health and food safety.

TTIP, 'the never ending story'

In July 2013 negotiations for a free trade treaty between the European Union and the United States (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) began, under grave secret on the scope and contents. With the declared objective of increasing trade and investment between the EU and the US, eliminating obstacles to trade, whether tariff or otherwise.

In 2017 Donald Trump, as soon as he took office, followed up the electoral proclamations and with the motto 'America first'he declared his intention to block the negotiations which were already close to being finalized, in the secrecy of the impregnable'data room'. A sigh of relief on both sides of the Atlantic, in the face of widespread anxiety about possible negative implications in terms of survival of local businesses and jobs.

On 15.4.19 the EU Council - with the only vote against France, certainly useful for internal electoral purposes but not for the cause - approved the start of a new season of negotiations with the USA. The press releases refer to a 'mini-deal', coaxed with the emblematic and charlatan example of hypothetical price increases on Levi's jeans (whose factories are located on 5 continents).

Commissioner Cecilia Malström he has already declared his will to define the agreement - but which agreement? - before the long-awaited expiration of the Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker. Regular frequenter of the Bilderberg and member of the Commission Trilateral (founded by David Rockefeller in 1973). In addition to being a great teacher of toxic treated, arbitration clauses that allow companies to sue states and supranational institutions (ISDS, Investor-State Dispute Settlement), guarantees of impunity of Corporation.

The #StopISDS petition, #StopCorporateImpunity, #BindingTreaty reconfirms its relevance. We invite all readers to subscribe and spread the propaganda to affirm the rights of people and the rules for multinationals at the UN, by following the link https://stop-ttip-italia.net/diritti-per-le-persone-regole-per-le-multinazionali/.

The 'government of change', alias the Leopard

The 'government of change' at the time he had pledged to stop the neoliberal treaties, waving the yellow-green flag of the sovereignty of the Italian people. Except then the minister for economic development Luigi Di Maio, as soon as he takes office, declare their consent at the signing ofEU-Japan Partnership Agreement (JEFTA). So now, the minister Gian Marco Centinaio declares in favor of ratification of CETA, EU-Canada toxic treaty. In full continuity, it should be noted, with the Renziloni governments.

'As regards Ceta, MESChina, TTIP and treaties of the same content we intend to oppose in all fora, as they cause an excessive weakening of the protection of citizens 'rights, as well as an infringement of virtuous competition to the detriment of the sustainability of the internal market' ('Contract for the government of change', chapter 29 - European Union).

The deputy premier Matteo Salvini, it should be remembered, had defined the TTIP 'an attempted genocide of the European peoples (…) a criminal treaty that only madmen could endorse'. (1) In spite of the false promises of 'change' and those who believed in it. It only remains to ask who are the 'madmen' who 'could endorse' this 'criminal treaty' (ipse dixit).

TTIP, negotiations under threat of extortion 

On 9.4.19 Donald Trump threatened to impose new tariffs, for a total value estimated at 11 billion dollars, on imports of European products (including agri-food). In this regard, it is worth recalling the words of Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, according to which 'we will not be blackmailed and we will not negotiate with someone who puts a gun to our head'. (1) Europe therefore starts new negotiations'with a gun to his head', as clearly noted by Monica di Sisto, spokesperson for the #STOPTTIP_Italia Campaign. (2)

The crime of extortion, in the Italian penal code, is configured when 'anyone, through violence threatby forcing someone to do or omit something, he or she procures an unfair profit for himself or others with the damage of others'. And it is aggravated, among other things, when committed by several people. ' (3) But sovereignty, as is clear, has long since been lost.

È just the threat of an unfair fact - such as the arbitrary and unilateral imposition of duties on imports (whose legitimacy is doubtful even in the WTO) - to offer support to the European Commission. To present the treaty as' the lesser evil 'and indeed' the way forward ', in order to restore breath to the economy of the old continent, already strangled by the'shock economy'. Defined precisely as'tactical panacea of ​​contemporary capitalism: induce a state of political, social or economic shock to effect a rapid, permanent and irreversible change in society'. (4) To avoid tariffs, Europe should therefore 'facilitate US exports'. And with them, obviously, the respective production standards. (5)

In the agri-food sector, this means exposing European productions to the competition of goods made at much lower costs, in the substantial asymmetry of American rules. Where cattle are inflated with synthetic hormones and poultry meat decontaminated in chlorine solutions. Cloned animals e GMO vegetables are devoid of traceability and transparency, poisonous pesticides also allowed in the post-harvest phase, food additives at will without prior authorization for their use on the various categories of products.

Cecilia Malmström still promises that it will be done 'everything possible'to conclude the deal. While Emmanuel Macron makes the best of a bad situation, so as to regain popularity after the protests that led to the 'yellow vests'for months on the streets.'A good discussion on trades. it can only be done on a mutually balanced basis, and in no case under threat'. (5)

TTIP, the new advancing

The EU Council has given a mandate negotiation, to the European Commission, (6) in relation to two agreements concerning:

  • elimination of tariff barriers on industrial goods, with the exception of agri-food products. (7) With the express provision of an arbitration clause that will also allow private individuals to act against States and public administrations, in the ISDS style ('an effective and binding dispute settlement mechanism to ensure that the Parties observe mutually agreed rules'). (8) 
  • removal of non-tariff barriers to trade by introducing 'compliance checks'. That is, to disapplicate the authorization procedures established to protect public health and the environment (in terms of chemical, biological and microbiological safety, for example) on goods and services arriving from the USA. (9) For this purpose, the establishment of a 'regulatory cooperation' body is envisaged.

For tariff barriers we mean import duties and other measures having a similar effect, such as the attribution to certain products of different customs codes than those applied to identical national goods. Non-tariff barriers (TBT, Technical Barriers to Trade) can be identified, conversely, in a plurality of measures adopted by individual countries or their international formations to regulate markets, protect consumers or other resources. 

The real danger for European citizens and consumers it is the agreement on non-tariff barriers. Since it abjures the sovereignty of countries and local administrations to impose rules to protect the environment and biodiversity, workers' rights, public health, food safety and other products. And the mandate, it should be noted, does not provide for any limitations and therefore also applies to agricultural and food products. (10) 

Disaster is coming. The negotiating mandate, in this case as in the previous ones, does not even mention the precautionary principle on which European law is based. We will thus be forced to accept - even in public procurement - goods and services made in defect of the rules for safeguarding the environment and safety, in conditions of dumpingcompared to the European productions that are subject to it. With the aggravating circumstance of not even being able to submit this umpteenth toxic treaty to the prior ratification of national parliaments, since it does not include clauses relating to investments. 

Not even Greta Thunberg can save us. It is too late to demand compliance with the 'government of change' program, as the Leopard - just as the opposition puppets would have done today - has already carried out Washington's orders. Lastly exacerbated by the Libyan military threat and the Iranian oil embargo. We are left with only the hope and the opportunity to vote for the good, every day, with our responsible consumer choices. #IoVotoColPortafoglio, fair supply chains e be sustainable.

Dario Dongo and Giulia Torre

Footnotes

(1) https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eu-commissioner-cecilia-malmstroem-on-u-s-trade-war-a-1208532.html

(2) http://www.ansa.it/europa/notizie/rubriche/altrenews/2016/05/11/salvini-ttip-criminale-renzi-indegno-come-hollande_f1b75659-3259-4105-94ed-9253b3dcf048.html

(3) See the Criminal Code of the Italian Republic, articles 629 and 628 paragraph 3 point 1

(4) V. Naomi Klein, 'Shock economy. The rise of disaster capitalism'(BUR, Rizzoli Universal Library, Milan, 2008)

(5) https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/macron-not-in-favour-of-ttip-type-us-eu-deal/

(6) http://dsms.consilium.europa.eu/952/Actions/Newsletter.aspx?messageid=31242&customerid=14788&password=enc_3042424145364637_enc

(7) The products listed in Annex I of theWTO Agreement on Agriculture'. Namely, mainly, the goods that fall under chapters 1-24 of the 'Harmonized System' of nomenclature for the classification of products. This includes, for example, live animals, meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, products of animal origin, plants, fruit, coffee, beverages, tobacco Fish products are excluded

(8) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39181/st06052-ad01-en19.pdf

(9) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39179/st06053-ad01-en19.pdf 'The objective of the negotiation is to facilitate trade between the EU and the US through the development of streamlined processes to ease the recognition of conformity assessment results that confirm compliance of products with a party's technical regulations'

(10) The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) itself could be qualified as a non-tariff barrier, in the parts where the European legislator has decided to direct the agro-food chains of the old continent towards an eco-logical direction, respectful of the environment and animal welfare.

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