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Trade Partnerships?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is an agreement between the EU and the US. One of the most alarming parts of the partnership (ISDS: Investor to State Dispute Settlement) would give multi-national corporations the power to sue national governments over their policies, if governments take decisions which minimise the profits of the multi-nationals.[1]

Whilst this “free trade” agreement is currently under negotiation, it could have big repercussions for farmers’ rights, the environment and public health. The TTIP could become the vessel by which corporations can increase imports of inferior quality produce into the EU.[2] This has serious repercussions for farmers who are committed to creating a sustainable food future within their local economies.

The proposed trade in these agreements is not free. It is motivated by profit not people. Our food and the land which produces it is part of a community to which we belong. The sentiment behind so-called ‘free’ trade agreements, such as TTIP, reduce the food and land which sustain us to a commodity; an asset evaluated by how much profit it can generate. This mindset leads to abuse of the land and our food system. Instead of a Trade Partnership across continents which threatens the honest livelihoods of producers, why not a trading community, which empowers producers to care for the land they steward and the people who are sustained by their produce?

In response to the TTIP negotiations, people-powered campaigns and protests have been generated across Europe. In the UK, people have donated money for an ad campaign to raise awareness about TTIP. A National Day of Action is planned for this Saturday, to tie in with the start of the sixth round of TTIP negotiations next Monday. Demonstrations will be launched in cities around the UK. Do join in and make your voice heard.

For more information read up here http://www.nottip.org.uk/nationaldayofaction/

Footnotes

1 Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-sovereignty-at-risk-from-euus-trade-deal-uk-in-danger-of-surrendering-judicial-independence-to-multinational-corporations-warn-activists-9057318.html

2 US negotiators are trying to remove regulations on GM foods and increase growth hormone and pesticide permissibility within the EU

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