Category Archives: TTIP

The Free-Trade Miracle. 

“Global free trade provides the greatest opportunity to improve human welfare over the next decade and a half. It has already helped lift more than a billion people out of poverty over the past quarter-century. Lowering trade barriers even more could double average incomes in the poorest parts of the world over the next 15 years.

Yes, there are costs to free trade that must be better addressed; but the costs are vastly outweighed by the benefits. Yet, in rich countries today, the mood has turned against free trade. That is a tragedy.” –  Bjorn Lomborg

Here’s another example of how even very smart people confuse ‘anti-trade agreement’ sentiment with ‘anti-trade’ sentiment.

There’s certainly no argument about the benefits of free trade for people’s standard of living. Even our caveman ancestors understood that basic truth. 

Anti TPP, TTIP and CETA protests are precisely ‘PRO FREE TRADE’ protests. Those ‘trade’ agreements are nothing but about locking up large portions of the market for massive corporate profitability at the expense of our right to ‘genuine’ free trade. Meaning ‘anybody can trade with anybody’ without restriction. True free trade means no tarriffs or trade barriers. These so called trade agreements are putting up barriers inhibiting trade with huge parts of the international market. It is simply not profitable to do so when the economic consequences of trade-restrictions imposed by powerful corporations under these agreements exists. 

Project Syndicate 

Europe’s Trade Policy: Can a Phoenix Rise From the Ashes? Let’s Hope Not. Let’s Stop the TPPA too! 

Public opinion is being given taken seriously by Northern hemisphere politicians. What’s wrong with our bunch? Stop The TPP! 

There is little hope to rescue the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, an arrangement once envisioned to be a ground-breaking agreement between the world’s two largest economic blocs. Public protests against TTIP also seem close to bringing down the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and it is uncertain whether even this deal, which was not thought to be controversial, will be ratified. Social Europe

 

Basing globalization on defensible democratic principles is its best defense. – Dani Rodrik

We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Simply put, we have pushed economic globalization too far, toward an impractical version that we might call “hyperglobalization”. Some simple principles would reorient us in the right direction.

1. There is no single way to prosperity. Countries make their own choices about the institutions that suit them best.

2. Countries have the right to protect their institutional arrangements and safeguard the integrity of their regulations. Financial regulations or labor protections can be circumvented and undermined by moving operations to foreign countries. Countries should be able to prevent such “regulatory arbitrage” by placing restrictions on cross-border transactions. For example, imports from countries that are gross violators of labor rights may face restrictions when those imports demonstrably threaten to damage labor standards at home.

3. The purpose of international economic negotiations should be to increase domestic policy autonomy, while being mindful of the possible harm to trade partners. Poor and rich countries alike need greater space for pursuing their objectives. The former need to restructure their economies and promote new industries, and the latter must address domestic concerns over inequality and distributive justice. Both objectives require placing some sand in the cogs of globalization.

4. Global governance should focus on enhancing democracy, not globalization.

5. Nondemocratic countries like Russia, China and Saudi Arabia,  where the rule of law is routinely flouted and civil liberties are not protected, should not be able to count on the same rights and privileges in the international system as democracies can.

When I present these ideas to globalization advocates, they say the consequence would be a dangerous slide toward protectionism. But today the risks on the other side are greater, namely that the social strains of hyperglobalization will drive a populist backlash that undermines both globalization and democracy. Basing globalization on defensible democratic principles is its best defense.

Germans rally against planned EU trade deals with US, Canada

Thousands of people are rallying in cities across Germany to protest against planned European Union trade deals with the United States and Canada. Protesters gathered in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig and Frankfurt on Saturday may have felt emboldened by Germany’s economy minister, who declared last month that the TTIP talks had “de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.” His assertion was swiftly rejected by officials in Washington and Brussels. NZ Herald