This week a trainload of protestors will be heading for Brussels to raise their voices against TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – which is beginning its crucial next round of negotiations. It’s a big business deal between the European Union and the United States that will determine how goods are traded across the world.
According to the protestors, it will do great harm. It will hand multinational corporations unprecedented powers to trash the environment, privatise public services and undermine democratic rights, they warn.
TTIP will reduce barriers to free trade, which companies say will bring economic benefits. But the organisers of this week’s protest, Global Justice Now, formerly the World Development Movement, argue it will threaten people and the planet.
TTIP will make it easier for multinationals to sue governments, and could lead to environmental and safety standards being slashed, they say. It could be used to privatise the National Health Service, and will shift the balance of power in favour of the rich and against the poor, they argue.