Worried about Water Charges? You’ve seen nothing yet!

The EU soon intends to sign two far-reaching trade agreements: one with Canada (CETA = Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) and one with the USA (TTIP = Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The real beneficiaries of these agreements will not be Irish citizens, but big corporations. Sinn Féin stand in opposition to these agreements as they have the potential to destroy social and environmental standards. For more, please see Sinn Féin’s discussion document.

6 of our biggest concerns about TTIP and CETA

1. Threat to democracy: Within these agreements are the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. ISDS allows corporations to sue governments for loss of revenue when government regulations are seen to affect expected profits, trampling on Member State sovereignty. It doesn’t allow governments to sue corporations.
2. Transparency: The secret nature of negotiations is a worry. Even MEPs are drip fed information, which is primarily sourced from leaks from the EU Commission.
3. “Regulatory Cooperation”. This essentially means that representatives of big business are invited to participate in expert groups to influence new draft laws, even before these are discussed in the elected parliaments. This undermines democracy! TTIP lobbying
4. Job Losses: The unequivocal adoption of such trade agreements could lead to the potential displacement of up to one million jobs within the EU. This is a distinct possibility according to the EU Commission that has stated that TTIP is likely to bring, “prolonged and substantial dislocation of EU workers.”
5. The Environment: The EU and its member states are falling under pressure to allow risky technologies such as fracking. At present there is a moratorium on fracking in Ireland.
6. Consumer protection: Foodstuff standards and consumer protection for cosmetics and medical products threaten to be set at the same levels as US standards. Around 70% of all processed foods sold in the US contain genetically modified ingredients. By contrast very little GM food in sold in the EU.