jueves, 18 de septiembre de 2014

Le Monde diplomatique, deutsche Ausgabe, 8.11.13 TAFTA / TTIP - die große Unterwerfung

Le Monde diplomatique, deutsche Ausgabe, 8.11.13 TAFTA / TTIP - die große Unterwerfung


Le Monde diplomatique Next
TAFTA - the great submission
by Lori Wallach

Excited politicians from Berlin to Brussels seen through the NSA
scandal, the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreements in jeopardy. About what
should be in the intended contract, they do not talk so much. A look at
the first blueprints foreshadows what will not learn too early European

Lready fifteen years ago tried large companies in the
negotiations on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), secretly
and quietly expand their authority to an unbelievable degree. At that
time, the project failed because of the stubborn resistance of the
public and parliaments. Thus was prevented, among other things, that
individual companies could gain the same legal status as nation-states.
That would have some means that companies can sue a government "lost
profits" balance of tax money.

But now those plans are on the
table again, in much stricter version. The official name of the new
project is TTIP "Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership",
abbreviated. This transatlantic trade and investment agreement is
similar to the earlier MAI protect the privileges of corporations and
investors, and even expand yet. Thus, the EU and the U.S. want to unify
their respective standards in "non-trade" areas. This target
"harmonization" is based, as expected, to the interests of corporations
and investors. Whose standards are not met, perpetual trade sanctions
can be imposed. Or it will be due compensation for the giant company.

The negotiation of this type coup d'etat in slow motion began in July
this year in Washington - with the declared intention to sign in two
years, a deal that will create a transatlantic free trade area
(Transatlantic Free Trade Area, Tafta). The entire TTIP Tafta project
resembles the monster from a horror movie, that's userbase by anything.
Because the benefits that the company would offer such "economic NATO"
would be binding, durable and virtually irreversible, because each
provision can be amended only with the consent of all the signatory
Economic NATO with limitless powers

Because the
globally operating U.S. corporations seek a similar partnership
agreement for the Pacific (Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP), we would
be heading for a system that cemented the rule of the most powerful
capitalist groups over the majority of the world and legally secures. It
appears that other states would be forced to dock at the TTIP or TPP.
You would have to engage in trade with the U.S. and the EU under the
rules set.

React in the U.S. voters who have President Obama
removed his promise of a "credible change," partly depressed, sometimes
angry. For what he them as rules for the global economy on the level of
21 Wants to sell century, boils down to that of the social movements of
the 20th Century advances are enforced largely undone.

Negotiations on the TTIP Tafta project will take place behind closed
doors. This ensures that no one will notice beyond the closed circle of
"trade policy" in time, what actually is at stake. (1) On the other
hand, have 600 official advisor to corporations privileged access to the
documents and to decision makers. Draft text is not published, the
public and the media are left out until the final deal is signed and

Who resigned in June, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Kirk
had declared in July 2012 in a fit of honesty, why such secrecy is
necessary. In an earlier case, the draft has been published for a
comprehensive trade agreement, and therefore it had failed at the end (
2) Kirk was referring to the first port to the North American Free Trade
Agreement, NAFTA, the text of which had been placed in 2001 on the site
of the government. The Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said: A
paper must shun the public, should not be signed (3).

secrecy, there is a simple reason. Such an agreement would require
national governments down to local governments to adapt their current
and future domestic policy the comprehensive rules. In this agreement,
negotiated legal requirements would be at the diplomatic level is
committed, the concern also many non-trade areas by the desire of
companies: about the safety and labeling of foodstuffs, the limits of
chemical and toxic pollution, health and medicine prices, the right to
privacy in Internet, energy and cultural "services", patents and
copyrights, the use of land and resources, the rights and the
opportunities for working immigrants, public procurement, and much more.

The signatory States must ensure that "comply with its laws,
regulations and administrative procedures" agreed upon in the Agreement
requirements. When in doubt, they would be forced to: If there are any
violations of the contract, the respective state would have to submit a
dispute settlement procedure, after which the recalcitrant country may
be subject to trade sanctions.

That this is no exaggeration, a
look at other trade agreements with the attractive label of "free
trade": 2012, under the WTO said the U.S. a label for canned goods,
which guarantees the protection of dolphins or prove the origin of meat
products. Subject to the WTO and the EU in the conflict over genetically
modified foods. And they have to pay on WTO Decision tens of millions
euros penalty because it prohibits growth hormones for animals for

If the TTIP Tafta project would states,, any investor
who is engaged in one of the countries involved could take all sorts of
"non-trade" provisions under attack - exactly as it was provided in the
failed MAI 1998 .

This alone makes the TTIP project a threat of
entirely new dimensions. And since any subsequent contract amendment
requires the consent of all signatories, the reactionary content of the
Agreement by democratic control mechanisms such as elections, political
campaigns and public protests were not more vulnerable.

Politically sensitive, the role of the tribunal, which should enable
each group to oppose a state speak at eye level. The three-member
chambers would be organized under the supervision of the World Bank and
the UN and could arrange state compensation payments if they are that
certain measures of a government policy or reduce the "expected future
profits" of a company. This arbitration regime makes clear that the
rights of companies to be more significant than the sovereignty of
States. It would empower companies to pull the governments of the U.S.
or an EU state on a non-judicial tribunal. And with the simple argument
that the health or financial or environmental or other policies of this
government affects their rights of investors.

This system is an
extreme favoring corporate interests that were in the case of the MAI
failed yet, has since been enshrined in several "free trade agreement"
of the United States. This brought more than $ 400 million in taxpayer
money to companies against bans toxic substances, licensing rules, laws
on water protection or forest use and other "hampering investment" had
complained regulations. (4) Prior to these tribunals are currently
lawsuits from companies with a value of 14 billion pending that relate
about the drug approval, the liability for environmental damage or
climate and energy legislation.

The TTIP Tafta project would give
this to the state Drohinstrument a whole new range of investors.
Because then could thousands of companies that do business in the U.S.
as in the EU, take all possible state laws to protect the community
interests on the grain. 3300 EU companies have more than 24 000
affiliates in the United States, each of which could be interest from
investors sue against the state. Conversely, could play the part of the
50 800 subsidiaries that maintain 14 400 U.S. companies in the countries
of the European Union on a wave of investor lawsuits. A total of 75 000
on both sides would be so registered companies are able to undermine a
political system that have been left to the citizens.

The system
of investor-state dispute settlement (investor-state dispute settlement,
ISDS) was supposedly invented with regard to developing countries
without reliable legal system. That is, investors should be able to
enforce a compensation in case of expropriation of their factories,
mines or plantations compared to the native state. Now, the U.S. and the
EU are by no means under-developed regions. And they have judicial
systems, which are among the most stable in the world; also a lack of
protection of property rights can be no question. If the ISDS regime
emerges in an agreement between the U.S. and the EU, this is a clear
indication that it's not about better protection for investors, but to
the power of the company.
Investors right to national laws

The arbitration chambers can override their decisions on government
policies and state laws that consist of three lawyers from the private
sector arbeiten.5 Many of them are usually in their normal working life
of company lawyers that sue governments. The exclusive club of "judge"
such international arbitration chambers is dominated by 15 law firms
that were involved in 55 percent of all past investment suits against
states. A possibility of appeal against their decisions do not exist.

The "investor rights", foreign firms can sue after the scheduled TTIP
Tafta Treaty against government measures are vaguely defined and also
very broad. The previous arbitration chambers have these rights tend to
be interpreted far more generous than they are granted domestic
companies under national law. They have postulated about the right to a
broad protection trust, which ultimately means: the regulatory
environment must not be changed upon completion of your investment.

Was protected by law and the right to compensation for "indirect
expropriation": A State must pay accordingly if its new regulations
reduce the value of the investment - even if these apply equally to
domestic and foreign companies. This guarantee would extend to new
regulations the purchase of land, natural resources, energy sources,
factories and other investment properties.

By means of such
privileged regulations in the previous agreements, foreign investors
already demanded in various cases, compensation for their "indirect
expropriation", with respect to health and safety standards of consumer
goods, laws on environmental protection and land use decisions in the
tendering of public projects, climate change - and energy policies, laws
on water protection or restrictions of resource extraction.

examples: Raising the Egyptian minimum wages and a Peruvian law for
control of toxic emissions are currently being fought by companies in
the U.S. and the EU, citing their investors privileges (6) Other
companies complained, referring to the NAFTA agreement to guarantee
prices for feed. renewable energy and against a fracking moratorium. The
tobacco giant Philip Morris has an arbitration against progressive
anti-smoking laws in Uruguay and Australia intently after he had failed
to overturn this law in domestic courts. Similarly, the U.S.
pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has complained having regard to the
NAFTA agreement, however, that Canada is the licensing of drugs
according to their own criteria in it (to make affordable medicines
accessible to all people as possible). And the Swedish energy company
Vattenfall is trying to collect billions of dollars in compensation from
Germany because of restrictive regulations for coal-fired power plants
and the gradual decommissioning of nuclear power plants (see article on
page 14).

In the set of the Chamber of Arbitration payments to
foreign corporations, there may be huge amounts of money, in one of the
most recent cases, there were more than 2 billion dollars (7) Even if
governments attract, they often have to bear the legal costs, on
average. $ 8,000,000 are. In any case, they are often alone, scared by a
complaint from the industry. The example shows the behavior of the
Canadian government, which has withdrawn the ban a toxic additive for
automotive gasoline.
Monsanto morning air smells

The number
of cases submitted to arbitration has grown rapidly in recent years,
according to UNCTAD data it is now ten times higher than in 2000. And
2012 more complaints were filed than ever before. As a result, a whole
new legal industry has arisen: Today, many law firms are specialized on
behalf of the industry engaged in plundering the public coffers by such

This Economic NATO is the stated goal of the
Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABC), which takes place twice a year
in the Trans-Atlantic Council for some time. TABC was founded in 1995 on
the initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European
Commission to the high official dialogue entrepreneurs and top managers
from the U.S. and Europe are also involved. Thus, the Forum provides a
basis for major corporations coordinated attacks on political projects
on both sides of the Atlantic, in the interest of consumer protection,
the environment, global climate, and other public interests. His stated
interest is to eliminate "trade confounders" (trade irritants), so that
they can operate on both sides of the Atlantic by the same rules - and
as free from government interference. The key euphemistic term
"regulatory convergence" here covers the most important goal: They want
vergattern governments in the name of "equivalence" and "mutual
recognition" to also allow such products and services which do not meet
the relevant local standards.

The public interest committed to
standards "lids", is a second object of the TTIP Tafta project. During
the negotiations, wants to develop new "transatlantic" standards. To
request the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Europe, two of the
largest business associations, the representatives of big industry would
work together with the governments of a new framework for key future

The business side of their goals formulated remarkably
open, for example, the dispute over the designation "genetically
modified organisms" (GMOs). While half of U.S. states currently
considering a mandatory labeling of GM products, by the way, endorse
more than 80 percent of the domestic consumer, the genetic urge
producing and processing companies on the GMO labeling on the TTIP Tafta
agreements to dismantle it.

Most hotly complained the
Association of Biotechnology Companies (BIO), which also includes the
industry giant Monsanto heard about "the significant and growing gap"
between "the release of new biotechnology products in the United States
and the approval of these products in the EU '. (8) Monsanto and other
organic companies hope these "resolve backlog of acceptance / use of
genetically modified crops" as part of a Transatlantic Free Trade Area
to (9).

A second important issue is the use or the protection of
private data. An anonymous coalition of Internet and IT company, called
Digital Trade Coalition, wants the EU data protection rules do not
impede the flow of personal data in the United States. This lobby the
Internet industry, explains the current assessment of the EU that the
U.S. would not provide appropriate protection of privacy, for it was
"not clear". Given the ever-new revelations about the massive data theft
is such a statement especially revealing. Even the powerful U.S.
Council for International Business (USCIB) reminds us of the Tafta
Agreement must take exception clauses in security and privacy very
tight, "so they can not be used as disguised barriers to trade." (10)
You should know that USCIB members of the company like Verizon, which
have the NSA mass supplied to personally identifiable information.

A third target is food safety. Here, the U.S. meat industry wants to
use the negotiations to overturn the EU ban on treated with chlorine and
other disinfectants chicken. While the stricter EU standards reduce the
risk of contamination of products during slaughter and processing
process, the U.S. rules address the risk of contamination by a
disinfectant that will kill coliform and other bacteria on the chicken
pieces. So asks the parent company of the restaurant chain Kentucky
Fried Chicken, the agreement would change the EU standards for food
safety so that Europeans can buy their chicken chlorine.

example: The American Meat Institute (AMI) is outraged, the European
Union insist on their "unjustified" ban of meat that has been produced
using growth hormones. These agents, such as ractopamine are, because of
the health risks to humans and animals in 160 countries - including all
EU countries, but also Russia and China - are prohibited or restricted.
The Association of American pork producers (NPPC) has his wishes: "The
U.S. pork producers will only accept an outcome if it eliminates the EU
ban on the use of Ractopoamin in the production process."

On the
other side of the Atlantic fought Business Europe, the EU's largest
trade association, the U.S. law on the modernization of food safety as
one of the "central non-trade barriers to EU exports to the U.S.." This
groundbreaking Act of 2011 authorizes the U.S. supervisory authority to
take the Food and Drug Administration, contaminated food from the
market. This right to do away using the TTIP Tafta agreement European
companies apparently.

The fourth objective is the elimination of
climate policy. Airlines for America, the largest association for the
U.S. airline industry, published a list of "unnecessary regulations that
significantly impede our industry" - and you want to abolish the
transatlantic negotiations. At the top of that list is the most
important instrument of the Europeans on climate change, the EU
emissions trading system. Means of emission trading should airlines be
forced to pay for the damage they have CO (2) emissions. Airlines for
America sees in this system a 'progress obstacle "and wants to ensure
that the inclusion of airlines from non-EU countries in this system,
which is currently suspended from the EU, comes from the final table.

Fifth, it is also about the withdrawal of controls and
restrictive rules for the financial sector. Even in the face of the
global financial crisis, the delegations of the USA and the EU have
agreed on a framework for the chapter on financial services, which
continues to focus on liberalization and deregulation. The negotiated
approach would exclude not only the prohibition of risky financial
products and services. It would even provide the opportunity to
challenge restrictive laws of individual states that prohibit certain
risky products and services of financial institutions or windy legal
Freedom for chlorine chicken and pork hormone

These framework agreements would exclude many recipes, which could
address the problems in the financial sector in the grip of politics.
These recipes include controls and restrictions on institutions that are
"too big to fail" - so as to big to go bankrupt can, or the
construction of a risk-reducing firewall within the major banks, which
should foreclose the retail business from the risks of investment
banking , or mandatory clearing houses for derivatives trading. The
agreements would therefore be tantamount to that certain types are
absolutely prohibited from legal regulations, which means that the
states concerned will neither introduce new still maintain such

What is behind these plans is evident a statement
by the Federal Association of German Banks (BdB). It states that certain
regulatory proposals of the U.S. financial regulator would have thrown
in the EU official and private institutions with serious concerns.
Calls, therefore, the Banking Association in relation to the ongoing
U.S. financial market reform their coordination with the reforms in the
EU and other major countries and a maximum recognition of home country
rules for operating in the U.S. market German and European banks. (12)

Decisive influence in the BdB, the German bank that cashes $ 8 billion
during the crisis of the U.S. central bank. (13) The German financial
giant is aimed primarily against the heart, adopted in July 2012 U.S.
financial market reform. Especially it is strongly criticized the
so-called Volcker Rule. It contains certain restrictions on high-risk
financial products, which are too heavy a burden for foreign banks
operating in the United States, in the opinion of the BdB.

European Services Forum, at which the German bank is also involved,
describes itself as "the voice of the European service economy in
international trade negotiations." This voice rises the demand that
Tafta should prevent the U.S. regulators classify an active foreign bank
in the United States as too big to fail and thus impose stricter
requirements than those in their own country. The reason: It was not
acceptable that a global company under foreign law is defined as
"systemically important financial institution" (Sifi), while it is not
considered under local law as such.

A counterpart to this agenda
of Europeans is the opposition of the United States against the
financial transaction tax, which is envisioned as a tool against
speculation in Europe. The U.S. financial institutions want to achieve a
ban on legal restrictions on the free movement of capital across the
TTIP Tafta negotiations. Meanwhile, however, the IMF has already called
on the EU, the financial transaction tax as not to introduce. Would in
Europe only a modified, milder form of this tax would likely lose the
theme for the U.S. negotiators in importance (14).

The service
includes but not only the financial services industry. Under the
relevant chapter of transatlantic negotiations is also about medical
services or education programs to energy supply. It is the goal of the
business side of it, the regulatory intentions of governments by roughly
formulated as "parameters" zurückzustutzen. That would apply to both
cross-border services as well as on the treatment of foreign service
providers that operate on the territory of the State. And with the aim
to abolish any domestic room for the "regulation" of areas such as
transport, health, energy and water supply to the regional or local
land-use and land use planning laws.
An agreement, but no recovery

In these negotiations, it would even go to the immigration and visa
requirements for people who want to offer a service. Whatever one's
views on border management and immigration policy for certain countries:
It is obviously a very bad idea to define the relevant rules behind
closed doors in the negotiation of trade agreements. Especially when the
result can only be changed or, if all parties agree.

But why
this agenda is being pursued now? In Washington, after consulting the
theory that European politicians are desperate for it, some a
distinguished, which they can spend as impetus for economic growth.
Therefore, they now demonstrated a new level of flexibility and be
willing to give all the important instruments for the protection of
public interests from the hand of this goal.

The usual argument
for free trade agreements is that these lower tariff barriers, which in
turn is boosting trade, so that all people can buy cheaper imported
goods. This benefit is greater than the downside for people who lose
their job. However, customs tariffs between the U.S. and the EU are,
according to the Commerce Department in Washington "already quite low"
(.15) The politicians of both parties that operate the Tafta project
grant also is readily apparent that it is not primarily in order to
tariff reductions is, but rather "the elimination, reduction or
prevention of unnecessary, non-tariff barriers" (16) - which are all
trade restrictions meant that there may be still out on tariffs. Say,
it's about or against legal requirements for financial transactions,
measures against climate change, against standards of food and product

This also explains why studies on the economic impact of
tariff reductions assess the successes as rather poor. A study of
Tafta-friendly European Centre for International Political Economy comes
to the finding that the GDP of the USA and the EU - would grow by at
most a few thousand, and from 2029 (17) - even under extremely blue-eyed

Most previous predictions based on the assumption
that tariff cuts always cause a severe economic dynamism - which is
empirically disproved long ago. When you remove this dubious assumption,
then - clear the authors of the study, a shrinking of the potential GDP
growth of 0.06 percent, statistically irrelevant.

Various other
studies that peddle politicians and business associations, is therefore
limited to the central goal of the transatlantic project: the
elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade, as they call it cutting
down all kinds of laws and regulations to protect the public interest
euphemistically. These studies are based on one and all the unproven
mantra that the abolition of welfare achievements somehow bring economic
benefits for all. However, even with such a slanted calculations for
the project Tafta they only come in a very poor economic balance. Where
they still beat the quantifiable costs that are incurred for the
consumers and for the economy as a whole if all the achievements in the
public interest, from health to environmental protection to the welfare
state in the broadest sense, can be reversed.

But the good news
for last: All previous attempts to use international trade agreements as
a Trojan horse to dismantle the welfare state and the return to a
neoliberal night-watchman state are failed miserably. This will happen
if the citizens, the media and some politicians finally wake up and
bring the clandestine attempts to undermine democracy, to fail this

(1) The Government circles that know about
it, are proponents of this kind of free trade policies. Many were
already involved in the NAFTA negotiations between the U.S., Canada and
(2) The statement referred to the TPP negotiations, see Reuters, 13 May 2012.
(3) See "Huffington Post, June 19, 2013.
(4) A list of these cases, "Public Citizen, September 2013: www.citizen.org - 



(5) Andrew Martin, "Treaty Disputes roiled by Bias Charges", Bloomberg, 10 July 2013.

(6) See "Public Citizen, November 28, 2012.

(7) was affected in the case of Ecuador. See Agence France-Presse, 13 October 2012.

(8) Opinion of BIO in May 2013.

(9) ec.europa.cu .

(10) leads the USCIB On its website the motto: "The Power to Shape
Policy 'and boasts a" unique global network, "which helps him," turn the
vision into reality. "

(11) The collection of the levy for flights
from foreign companies from the EU and has been suspended by Climate
Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to the Conference of ICAO international
aviation company, which takes place this month.

(12) bankenverband.de / theme / subject information / international / us financial market regulation . See also the (U.S.)

(13) See Ulrich Schäfer, "Mr. Stockhausen's heritage", "Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 30, 2013.

(14) Already in 2010, was warned in a memorandum to the European
Commission warned that the introduction of a financial transaction tax
with obligations under the WTO could collide.

(15) Note to John Boehner, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, 20th March 2013: ec.europa.eu .

(16) "Final Report, High level working group on jobs and growth", 11 February 2013: ec.europa.eu .

(17) "Trade Tafta's Benefit", "Public Citizen, July 11, 2013.

Translated from English by Niels Kadritzke

Lori Wallach heads the world's largest consumer advocacy group Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in Washington, DC: 

 Le Monde diplomatique