The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal
Author: George Monbiot, Guardian (UK), Published on: 2 December 2013
…The [EU] commission insists that its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should include a toxic mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement. Where this has been forced into other trade agreements, it has allowed big corporations to sue governments before secretive arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which bypass domestic courts and override the will of parliaments. This mechanism could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world…From the outset, the transatlantic partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to "co-write" it…[T]he commission has held eight meetings on the issue with civil society groups, and 119 with corporations and their lobbyists…What the commission and its member governments fail to explain is why we need offshore arbitration at all. It insists that domestic courts "might be biased or lack independence"…As for the commission's claim that the trade deal will produce growth and jobs, this is also likely to be false…Overriding our laws, stripping away our rights, making parliament redundant: these are trivial and irrelevant beside the issue of how much money could be made. Don't worry your little heads about it.