Any kind of discussion or critical analysis of TTIP is not something we’re likely to encounter on RTÉ, BBC News, Sky News or any of the other multitude of corporately owned media outlets or newspapers – for the simple reason that TTIP is a massive trade-deal being negotiated in secret by representatives of the US, the EU, and by hundreds of corporate lobbyists, who together are representing the interests of the world’s banking and corporate elites.
These are the same global elites who own, fund and control the mass media and therefore decide what will and won’t be news.
TTIP has recently ended its seventh round of talks in Washington, yet the public is not permitted to know the agenda of the negotiations, or what exactly is being negotiated supposedly on our behalf. The only reason we have any insight into its existence is due to leaked documents (thanks to WikiLeaks) and freedom of information requests, which have enabled alternative media sources to inform the public.
There is good reason why this trade deal is being negotiated in secret. The aim of the TTIP negotiations is to further the neoliberal agenda of deregulation of trade and labour markets, thus globalising the world economy, which will mean the removal of any of the rights, protections and standards that have been hard fought for over the years by trade unionists, socialists, republicans and workers.
TTIP will give the global elites near-complete control over every facet of our lives, by removing any semblance of democratic accountability we may once have had, as the sovereignty of nation-states is replaced by the interests of an elite minority of bankers and the CEO’s of large trans-national corporations.
The most insidious aspect of the agreement is the Investor-Trade Dispute Settlement (ITDS) provision that would; ‘enable US companies investing in Europe to bypass European courts and challenge EU governments at international tribunals whenever they find that laws in the area of public health, environmental or social protection interfere with their profits. EU companies investing abroad would have the same privilege in the US’ .
What this effectively does is allow corporations to sue national governments for billions if domestic laws, that protect our rights, are felt to ‘interfere’ with their profits or ‘future’ profits’, through specially set up secret courts that almost always rule in the interests of big business’ rights to ‘free-trade’.
‘EU and US companies have already used these lawsuits across the globe to destroy any competition or threats to their profits by for example challenging green energy and medicine policies, anti-smoking legislation, bans on harmful chemicals, environmental restrictions on mining, health insurance policies and measures to improve the economic situation of minorities. Even the threat of litigation can mean governments shelving socially progressive policies’ .
In a similar pact where this process is in use ‘a tribunal recently ordered payment of more than $2 billion to a multinational oil firm. Just under U.S. ‘trade’ deals, more than $14 billion remains pending in corporate claims against medicine patent policies, pollution clean-up requirements, climate and energy laws, and other public interest policies’ .
TTIP would also open up the public sector of European countries for privatisation. The UK’s NHS, already in the process of being privatised by stealth as a result of the Social Care Act 2012, has, according to Len McCluskey of UNITE, ‘massively increased the number of private providers in the NHS. Since this act came into force, 70 percent of health services put out to tender have gone to the private sector.’
Furthermore, he states how TTIP will allow ‘American investors to haul any UK government that tries to reverse privatisation to a tribunal – the Investor State Dispute Settlement that would operate outside the law of the land. These tribunals will have the power to award billions in damages and compensation for lost profits and the loss of projected future profits, with no right of appeal. Yes, that is right – no right of appeal’ .
A report published by the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B) revealed the true human and environmental costs of the proposed deal. The report highlighted how the European Commission’s promises of ‘up to one percent GDP growth and massive job creation as a result of the deal were not supported even by its own studies’. On the contrary there is potential for further job losses in several economic sectors, including agriculture.
Kim Bazzarri, the author of the report, asserts: ‘Big business lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic view the secretive trade negotiations as a weapon for getting rid of policies aimed at protecting European and US consumers, workers and our planet. If their corporate wish-list is implemented, it will concentrate even more economic and political power within the hands of a small elite, leaving all of us without protection from corporate wrongdoings’ .
The US, acting on behalf of the global firm Monsanto, also wants to see the de-regulation of the EU agriculture and food sectors, so they can force upon us genetically modified ‘Frankenstein foods’ that are dangerous for human consumption and are currently banned in the EU. The aim of the likes of Monsanto is to obtain a monopoly over the world’s food supply, thus ensuring complete control of what we eat, not to mention massive profits.
Professor Michael Hudson – cited in a Colin Todhunter article written for Global Research, an online alternative news stream  – notes how ‘it’s by agriculture and control of the food supply that American diplomacy has been able to control most of the Third World. The World Bank’s geopolitical lending strategy has been to turn countries into food deficit areas by convincing them to grow cash crops – plantation export crops – not to feed themselves with their own crops.’
Imagine a world where all the basic necessities for human subsistence are owned and controlled by an elite group of oligarchs and financiers, necessities such as oil and gas, raw materials, water, food, not to mention the means of production. How much power would this accrue to them over our lives? The ratification of this trade deal would take us a significant step closer towards that nightmarish scenario.
Senior Research Scientist at MIT Stephenie Seneff dropped a shocking bombshell regarding the affects of GMOs in America when she declared, ‘at today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic’, as a result of glyphosate toxicity from the overuse of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on their food .
This is just a brief insight into some of the consequences of this trade deal – and others like it such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – which are about ‘democratic control of nations being subservient to control by global corporations’ . The agenda is to enslave us all for the purposes of the 1 percent.
It is then incumbent on us, not only as republicans and socialists but as citizens of the world, to resist these attempts to create a ‘corporatocracy’. If this agreement comes into effect it will prove catastrophic for the vast majority, impacting severely on whatever semblance of democracy, self-determination or sovereignty we may currently possess.
Indeed it would render the concept of the nation-state itself obsolete, as we edge closer and closer towards a unipolar world, controlled by elite corporate and financial interests and centered on their insatiable lust for profit and power.
Aidan Hamill, Student, Sean MacDiarmada Society Ardoyne
   The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A Brief History of an Agenda for Corporate Plunder. Colin Todhunter. globalresearch.ca
 Investor-State attacks: Empowering Corporations to Bypass our Courts, Challenge Basic Protections. Citizen.org
 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): Profit, Power and Geopolitics. Colin Todhunter. Globalresearch.ca
  The Truth Behind TTIP. Steve Turner. Labourlist.org
 Half of All Children (in US?) Will Be Autistic By 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist At MIT. Indymedie.ie