The trade campaign

Bali WTO protests 2013, Credit-End WTOA new wave of trade deals is being negotiated which threatens democracy, public services and the environment worldwide.

If agreed, these secretive deals will give big business unprecedented new powers. Most controversially, they aim to set up special courts in which companies can sue governments over decisions they believe might harm their profits.

The deals will remove regulation designed to protect people and the planet, and will encourage the privatisation of services like healthcare and education.

The Transnational Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US is one of the biggest of these deals – and the UK government is a one of its major backers. Other deals are CETA, which is between Canada and the EU, and TISA and TPP.

The solution

Trade can help improve people’s lives, if it is democratically controlled and based on public need. Communities all over the world – and some governments, like those of Bolivia and Ecuador – are setting up just such mutually beneficial trade alliances.

Countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, South Africa and Indonesia, which have already been sued over decisions made for the benefit of their populations, are beginning to question, or even rip up, trade agreements with the EU.

What’s more, a growing movement of people is opposing secretive corporate trade deals, demanding that governments be accountable to people rather than to big business. Such a movement can create a very different trade system – one which works for people and planet rather than profit.

What are we doing?

Global Justice Now is playing a lead role in challenging TTIP and CETA, and building the UK movement against the deals.

More than 50 campaign groups and trade unions came together to hold No TTIP protests around the country in days of actions in 2014 and 2015. 50,000 people in the UK added their views to the EU consultation on special courts for corporations. And over three million across Europe signed a petition against TTIP.

With our network of groups and supporters, we are breaking the media blackout on the threats posed by TTIP, generating discussion of the issue in the local and national press.

Photo credit: Bali WTO protests 2013, End WTO