Greenpeace sounds alarm: TIPP a ‘huge’ transfer of power from people to big business

 Greenpeace-sounds-alarm-TIPP-a-huge-transfer-of-power-from-people-to-big-business.   LONDON,  Greenpeace leaked classified documents related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on Monday, warning that the documents show a “huge transfer of democratic power from people to the big business.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) is greeted by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the United Nation’s 21st climate change conference near Paris on November 30, 2015. The European Union and the United States are negotiating a trade deal. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

















“It is time to shine a light on these negotiations,” said Faiza Oulahsen, campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands. “Hard-won environmental progress is being bartered away behind closed doors. These documents reveal that civil society was right to be concerned about TTIP. We should stop the negotiations and start the debate.”

The 248 pages of documents were prepared after the latest round of talks last week between the United States and the European Union.

The TTIP, says Oulahsen, is “threatening to have far-reaching implications for the environment and the lives of almost a billion citizens in the EU and U.S.”

Greenpeace says the documents reveal that U.S. negotiators want European officials to ease environmental protections, consumer protections and many regulations covering telecommunications, agriculture and intellectual property.

Negotiations began in 2013 but U.S. President Barack Obama wants the treaty finalized before he leaves office next January.

Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month and urged that the talks be expedited.

Greenpeace notes four main areas of concern with TTIP:

— Longstanding environmental protections appear to be dropped.

— Climate protection will be harder.

— The end of the precautionary principle.

— Opening the door for corporate takeover.

“Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or Internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents,” said Oulahsen. “They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of democratic power from people to big business. We call on all elected representative and other concerned parties to read these documents and engage in the debate.”

Cecilia Malmstrom, the Swedish politician who is leading the 28-nation European Union’s negotiations with the United States, wrote a blog post on Monday to correct what she called “misconceptions” in news coverage of the leaks.

“They reflect each side’s negotiating position, nothing else,” she said.

“It begs to be said, again and again,” she added. “No EU trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers, or food safety or of the environment.”

By Allen Cone