False promises of Trans-Atlantic Treaty benefits for citizens exposed

(20 December 2013) A recent publication by the German EPSU affiliate Ver.di on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) exposes the deceptive prognosis, and overly optimistic promises of the European Commission. {{The Nature of the Beast}} Previous experience of [free trade agreements->http://www.epsu.org/a/9741] and trade liberalisation clearly demonstrate that the costs and benefits of such agreements favours already powerful elites and business interests at the cost of employees, social welfare systems, and environmental protection. One example for this is the so called [Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS)->http://www.oegb-eu.at/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=S05/Page/Index&n=S05_20.3.a&cid=1384551698116] (In German), which would strengthen corporate rights vis-à-vis national governments and thus public accountability. To promote its destructive goals the European Commission found ways to promote TTIP to the public. Studies conducted on its behalf promise economic growth, [jobs->http://akeuropa.eu/en/eu-free-trade-agreement-as-a-job-engine.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=1939&vID=15]) and additional household incomes. A closer look at the data, however, reveals that even the most optimistic scenarios draw a grossly distorted image of the miniscule gains and tremendous costs of such an agreement. Despite this, the Commission hyped TTIP as an economic stimulus package. {{The Real Deal}} The likely consequences of TTIP stand in sharp contrast to the flowery promises of the Commission and entail a number of risks including wage-, and social dumping, tax evasion, the liberalisation of [public services->http://www.epsu.org/IMG/pdf/Conference_report_14_11_13.pdf]) like water, health and education, deteriorating environmental standards, as well as dangers to local and regional development. Therefore, Ver.di demands among other things: - That social and environmental goals must be on par with economic considerations, and guarantee highest standards. - Consumer rights must meet highest standards. - Public Services must be excluded and protected. - And Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms must be rejected. If these minimum demands are not met Ver.di will inevitably reject TTIP. Meanwhile, Ver.di and its partners are determined to foster public debate on the issue. For the publication (in English & German):