George Monbiot has CETA in his sights
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, abbreviated as CETA, has attracted broad criticism this week following an impassioned piece by George Monbiot in the UK Guardian.
The treaty is promoted by its Canadian and EU backers as a key to opening cross Atlantic trade and therefor increasing wealth. Its critics point out that allowing global corporations to sue governments whenever government policy threatens their projected profits, it effectively hands over control of policy to the private sector.
Monbiot describes this as the end of governing in the interests of the people. In other words, the end of democracy as we understand it.
Many existing trade agreements include such clauses. Canada has paid $170 million in compensation to American corporations under the first seven years of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Mexico $240 million.
One “Trade Treaty” after another – and we have to stop them all
Corporate lobbyists and their captive governments try to wear down our resistance with one trade treaty after another.
* A private corporate tribunal has supremacy over sovereign government legislation. For example, the tribunal could fine an elected government whose legislation, environmental protection and other social policies would reduce corporation profits.
* Similar in the banking sector, monetary policy would be dictated by Wall Street
* Agriculture policy would have been dictated, especially with regard to GMOs and ag-subsidies. Monsanto and the like would have had free access and no government could pass legislation prohibiting genetically modified seeds.
* Standards for health and nutrition would be limited so they do not reduce profits.
* Labor laws would be weakened to US standards which have virtually no protection for workers.
CETA treaty is equivalent to the land treaties illiterate African chiefs were induced to sign in the 19th Century.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) allows any corporation to sue governments. It threatens to tear down laws protecting us from exploitation and prevent parliaments. Like TTIP, CETA threatens to lock in privatisation, making renationalisation or attempts by cities to take control of failing public services impossible. Like TTIP, it uses a broad definition of investment and expropriation to allow corporations to sue governments when they believe their “future anticipated profits” might be threatened by new laws.
for deeper analysis see
Intellectual Property Rights And Free Trade Agreements
a group of highly concentrated transnational corporations in the knowledge industries such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech, and entertainment pack so much lobbying clout that they can convince the governments of the industrialized world to bully developing countries to “harmonize” their copyright, patent and trademarks laws into a global intellectual property regime.