As more is revealed about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), it is clear that it has little to do with improving trade. If implemented corporations will have the power to force governments to put corporate interests above the needs of their own citizens.All of these neoliberal trade treaties also include the poison pill of the Investor-State Dispute Settlements section.
From labour protection to public health, corporations are using the a rapidly-growing private justice system known as Investor-State Dispute Settlements, the proposed enforcement mechanism for TTIP, to sue governments for anticipated lost future profits incurred from the passage of democratically-decided regulation.
If it sounds dystopian, that’s because it is.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up