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Why trade deals are a threat

A new wave of trade deals are being negotiated that threaten democracy, public services and the environment worldwide. If agreed, these secretive deals will give big business unprecedented new powers.

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What is TTIP? 

TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is) is a trade deal currently being cooked up in secret between the EU and the US. Despite the name, TTIP isn’t mainly about trade. It’s more about removing important safeguards for our health and allowing corporations to sue governments.

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What is CETA? 

CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) is a deal negotiated between the EU and Canada. Like TTIP, CETA gives new powers to big business and could have wide-ranging effects on our lives.

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Other toxic trade deals 

TISA and TPP are other two trade deals that give corporation sweeping new powers at the expense of democracy.

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Latest posts

5 reasons to be worried about the new Trade Bill


21 June 2017

We are calling on the UK government to include five guarantees in the Trade Bill that would make the trade process democratic and accountable to the public.

What happens next with CETA?


25 May 2017

After the mid-February approval of CETA by the European parliament, the focus turned to Canada and the member states of the European Union who all need to ratify the deal.

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties


25 May 2017

Ecuador struck another blow against the power of big business last week, ripping up 16 trade deals with countries including the US and UK. President Correa cited the notorious ‘corporate court’ system as the key reason for ending the deals.

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This amounts to a power grab – a sweeping constitutional rewrite carried out by a government with the slimmest possible majority, without any political consensus, and with important checks and balances missing from key pieces of legislation.

As the UK looks to start making its own trade policy when it leaves the EU, there is a blank slate. If we do not seek to fill it with trade policy from the perspective of justice and rights, it will be filled by others. Those of us who believe in a more just and equal world for everyone need to start building an alternative vision of trade. One that is both open, international, collaborative and local and democratic.

This judgment confirms the need for more accountability and democratic control over trade deals. As Global Justice Now has been highlighting, modern trade deals go way beyond what most people think of as trade. They’re not just about selling more ‘stuff’, they are increasingly about our public services, our ability to regulate big business and the way we actually make laws, affecting everything from health to education to jobs.

Resources

Ten alternatives to a corporate trade agenda

June 2017

What a democratic UK trade policy after Brexit would look like

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Trading with Trump: what we can expect from a US-UK trade deal

April 2017

A free trade deal between the US and the UK is likely to include all the elements that made the earlier trade negotiations between the EU and the US on TTIP so controversial, but in a more extreme form – TTIP on steroids.

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Trade campaign update for Scottish activists

March 2017

Could there be trade deals any worse than the toxic ones like TTIP and CETA, recently negotiated between the EU and other countries? Unfortunately, we think there could be, and what’s more, it is likely to be the UK government, post-Brexit who will be negotiating them. Already, there is talk of a US-UK trade deal. And this month, trade secretary Liam Fox has been meeting Commonwealth nations to talk about other trade deals – a meeting dubbed ‘Empire 2.0’ by Whitehall officials.