Europeans Want TTIP Trade-Deal, Obama Blocks Making Terms Public

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by Eric Zuesse, via Washington’s

TTIP is a secretly negotiated trade deal between the U.S. and the EU, and all indications are that it will replace each nation’s drug-safety, product-safety, food-safety, environmental, and worker-protection, regulations and laws, placing them into the hands of panels composed of appointees of large international corporations, no longer in the hands of publicly elected officials, no longer in the hands of elected politicians, who need to face voters periodically in order to stay in power. Basically: U.S. President Barack Obama is demanding that European nations weaken their regulations, but has been encountering stiff resistance from some, which has dragged out negotiations.

German Economic News headlined, on 4 February 2015, “TTIP: civil rights complaint alleging secret negotiations,” and reported that Europe’s Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, said: “American objection to the publication of certain TTIP documents is not a sufficient reason, alone on its own, to withhold information from the European public. The Commission will at all times ensure that exceptions to the basic rights of EU citizens are justified and reasonable whenever there is a limitation on access to documents.” But, she didn’t do anything to enforce her statement; the non-disclosure continued.

Furthermore, “In July, the European Court had to decide whether the public should have access to institutional documents. The conclusion: Only in exceptional cases would a refusal be possible. The judges ruled at that time that documents of international scope (such as TTIP) are not automatically excluded from the European Transparency Requirements.” Obama lost on that one too.

However, still, nothing has yet been made public about the TTIP terms; and the many consumer, worker, and other organizations, that have demanded to see what is in the agreement, have faced a stone wall of inaction, even after court decisons in their favor.

Despite this secrecy and foot-dragging against the public, Europe’s public seem to want whatever is inside that black box, regardless of whether it’s lowering their product-safety standards, lowering their worker-protections, lowering their environmental protections, or whatever. In fact, on 20 February 2015, German Economic News bannered, “EU survey: European citizens are enthusiastic about TTIP,” and reported: “The EU has published a survey according to which citizens are downright euphoric about the free trade agreement TTIP. In all, 25 Member States [of the 28] there will pour sheer enthusiasm over the completely secretly negotiated agreement, but for one small exception: Germans are mostly against the TTIP.” Actually, however, tiny Austria was even more strongly against it, and was the only nation to be majority-opposed to TTIP.

Read More @ Washington’s