I think the TTIP is bad for humanity. It needs to be reworked to allow countries the freedom to protect the health of their people, the environment, their food, their banking freedoms. People need to be able to work together to design their countries and their future.
The TTIP lets corporations sue for damages to future profits. I’m no expert, and the agreements are still secret, but it seems potentially very horrible.
Will the TTIP allow corporations to sue governments in these cases:
Health insurance companies: If the U.S. adopts a single-payer health plan?
Oil and coal companies: If the U.S. adds a fee to carbon fuels?
Oil and coal companies: If the U.S. raises the EPA standards for cars?
Comcast and AT&T: If a city or state invests in an internet infrastructure?
Power companies: If a city or county invests in a new kind of power plant?
(Sep. 14 Update: I’m still not sure about the TTP or TTIP, but apparently it’s common in other trade treaties to allow lawsuits if people are harmed when governments change laws that go against the treaty. This may be the same in this case, though this agreement effects broad areas of intellectual property rights, even establishing a version of the original strict DMCA (Digital Millennium Rights Act) that the US has since tempered. Other countries would be prohibited from even switching to the more reasonable versions. See this EFF article.)
Without access to these agreements and time to study, the answer may well be a future of paralysis. It could even lead to a catastrophe if some company invests billions in a path toward destruction. It could even entice some companies to invest in that kind of path.
The TTIP should not have been negotiated just by governments and corporations in secret. Civic, health, environmental and other groups should have been involved. It’s still a huge, secret document. It should NOT have been fast-tracked. It should NOT be passed.
I’ve mostly liked Obama as president. Given all the Republican obstructionism, he seems to have done well. But Obamacare has been horrible. The health insurance companies seem to have made a ton of money from it. And some are now pulling out of the exchanges because selling to individuals is less predictable and less profitable. I doubt Obama’s ability to craft legislation that truly protects citizen interests when he’s negotiating alone with myriad business interests.
As I said, Obama seems good, but the problems in Obamacare are worrisome. There, and in the TPP and TPIP, I think he has trusted far too much in business “help.” These agreements seem potentially disastrous.
Anna Eshoo, you’re my representative. Thanks for your vote against fast track, though it still passed. Please continue to be vocal against these agreements. (And please contact me about this and other urgent matters.)
Sep 14 Update: Despite huge call volumes, her office got back to me and was extremely helpful. I’ve written a follow-up article.