Germany Says No to European Union/Canada Trade Agreement

by Vins
Published: Updated:

In a fight to stand up against corporate greed, Germany has chosen not to sign the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The partnership agreement has an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision that would allow transnational corporations to take legal action against individual governments if their laws would violate a trade agreement.

According to a 2013 United Nations report, ISDS provisions have been used in less developing or transitioning countries. The report indicates that Argentina has had more than 60 cases challenging the government under this provision and in 2001 had to pay energy company BG Group $185.3 million for the governments decision to freeze gas prices. In another report by the consumer rights advocacy group, Public Citizen, there are 17 pending claims seeking a total of $38 billion through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other deals.

The German opposition to the TTIP is seen as a stance against corporate expansion however Peter Fuchs, executive director of Berlin based NGO, PowerShift is skeptical. The TIPP is a part of a larger trade agreement called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). If Germany maintains its position on TIPP, it will create more problems for CETA to move forward, Fuchs argued in an interview with Yes!, a nonprofit reader-supported magazine.

As Fuchs concludes, “Unfortunately, you cannot trust this government at all when corporate interests are at stake, (Germany) is a staunch proponent of neoliberal trade and investment agreements.”

Source: Graham Vanbergen, “TTIP Negotiations Fall Apart As EU Big Hitters Abandons US,” True Publica (UK), October 5, 2015, http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/ttip-negotiations-fall-apart-as-eu-big-hitters-abandons-us/ [Re-posted as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations Fall Apart After Mass Protests in the EU,” Global Research, October 6, 2015, http://www.globalresearch.ca/transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-ttip-negotiations-fall-apart-following-mass-protest-in-the-eu/5479985].

Background Source: Alexis Goldstein, “Why Germany Is Backing Away From a Trade Deal that Lets Corporations Sue the Government,” YES! Magazine, August 6, 2014, http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/why-germany-is-backing-away-from-a-trade-deal-that-lets-corporations-sue-the-government.

Student Researcher: Brad Bellegarde (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)