A vast body of critics say the proposed trade deal between the US and Europe poses a major threat to the environment and sustainable commerce
The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), joining the European Union’s 28 nations and the United States in the world’s biggest free trade deal, would be a disaster for sustainability on many levels, detractors say.
Where TTIP’s supporters cite the promise of dramatic economic growth and opportunity, its increasingly vocal and diverse opponents on both continents argue it will threaten the environment, along with food safety, health services, labour rights and small businesses.
And if another looming treaty between Canada and Europe is factored in – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – then TTIP’s energy chapter will increase dependence on fossil fuels from the whole of North America, particularly gas from fracking and tar sands, campaigners say.
Court rights furore
Public attention over the last year or so has focused on the powers that global corporations would wield to sue governments for loss of revenue – in special courts – whenever national policy decisions limited or ended their operations: the so called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
Examples of this are rife from earlier trade deals. Lone Pine Resources is suing Canada for more than $250m, under...