All comments

    Jacques Berthelot:
    20-Sep-2016

    L’idée largement répandue notamment par l’UE que passer à des accords de libre-échange en abandonnant les accords préférentiels non réciproques de Lomé serait une exigence des règles de l’OMC est fausse. Ce que l’UE aurait dû faire était de régler son conflit avec les pays d’Amérique latine exportateurs de bananes en abaissant les droits de douane sur celles-ci comme elle l’a fait finalement en décembre 2009 à l’OMC. Elle aurait pu alors demander une dérogation à l’OMC et l’obtenir comme les Etats-Unis (EU) l’ont obtenue pour l’AGOA (accord d’importations préférentiels avec les pays d’Afrique sub-saharienne), une dérogation renouvelée pour 10 ans en 2015 avec un consensus unanime de l’OMC, dont de l’UE. Qui plus est les EU se sont appuyés sur une interprétation large d’une note de bas de page de la Clause d’habilitation censée régir uniquement les accords régionaux entre pays en développement mais qu’ils ont appliquée aux accords entre pays développés (les EU) et l’afrique sub-saharienne, sans que personne ne s’en plaigne auprès de l’OMC.
    A votre service pour plus d’explications.
    Jacques Berthelot

    OULEPO ARNAUD:
    19-Sep-2016

    Mr Jacques Berthelot, je pense qu’il serait important de donner les raisons de la décision de passer de ces accords sans réciprocité le cas ACP-UE pour passer à des accords plus conformes aux règles de l’OMC dont notamment l’ACP ratifié par les Etats d’Afrique de l’ouest dont la Côte-d’Ivoire.

    Dr. Hugh Govan:
    2-Sep-2016

    Thanks for good reporting. One issue that seems to be glossed over is the lack of any independent impact assessments that would actually be able to clearly spell out the costs and benefits of the deal, enable countries to strengthen the text and allow the people to interpret the elements that will affect their lives. The push to conclude, sign and implement before such assessments have been done in each country is significant. Who is pushing and why? The baseline assessment in 2007 raised many issues that have not been addressed since, for instance, to Cite Nathan Associates 2007: "It is essential that strategies for environmental management and resource protection are mutually beneficial for all FICs, yet nationally owned. These strategies should be put in place before Pacific markets expand and should aim to strike a balance between environmental sustainability and economic growth." No assessment has been carried out either regionally or nationally on this topic - given the certainty of environmental impacts and therefore the need for increased environmental regulation any pretence at an "aid package" would have to include ongoing and increased funding to regulatory agencies. Likewise, as in many countries, the bulk of environmental control falls to indigenous communities who communally own the land. While these are sovereign rights we need to see safeguards in place or spelt out for each country and "consultation on mechanisms to identify and share best practices is appropriate because of the complexity of the issue." Being hasty and failing to carry out due diligence will fail the people of the Pacific and not serve the commonly agreed purpose of the deal. Lets hope all the independent countries follow the lead of Vanuatu, Fiji, and PNG and think it through carefully.

    Nick Dearden:
    1-Sep-2016

    "The text is very clear that grounds for appeal are very limited (discrimination, expropriation without compensation AND that the public authority may not be sued for measures of the general good"

    That is not ‘very limited’. Tribunals have been historically willing to define expropriation very broadly including ‘indirect expropriation’ which is basically policy changes that impact upon corporate profit. I can imagine that ‘general good’ will also be subject to a lot of interpretation. Much more at: http://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2016/02/zombie-isds

    "CETA does not compel EU to import any genetically GMO except those very few it already has admitted to market in the EU. Any change would need approval by member States and European Parliament - which is not a gift."

    At the outset, yes, this is true. But the regulatory cooperation chapter will entrench corporate lobbying opportunities in process related to food regulatory standards (including on GM). It will also serve to lock in any future loosening of the rules by either side on GMOs. As you yourself admit, it would make it harder to regulate GMOs already in the EU market.

    "Any imports from Canada will have to meet same conditions of animal welfare as those imposed on EU producers. This can only lead to improvement in Canada"

    Do you have any evidence on this? Like the above, what’s to stop a race to the bottom on animal welfare regulation. Look at the impact of Nafta - standards did not go up.

    "Fuel imported needs to abide by exactly same rules as applicable to fuel suppliers of the EU"

    The Fuel Quality Directive was watered down as a result of the CETA and TTIP negotiations so that those standards *for both parties* is now much lower than it would otherwise have been. It’s a great example of why we’re worried about GMO and animal welfare points above. The Canadian side clearly viewed CETA’s procurement chapter as part of a quid pro quo in exchange for a watering down of the FQD to facilitate the import of tar sands oil.

    "(a) All public services escape from commitments; authorities may anytime decide to "publicize" a service; (b) As in the EU, public awarding authorities may reserve contracts on social or environmental grounds."

    (a) The definition of ‘public services’ has been contested in the past (if private operators are involved there are strong grounds to say that it ceases to be a public service). What’s more, something that’s been privatised - such as railways in the UK - would definitely be counted as ’private’, allowing, as a minimum, corporations to sue in ISDS for attempts to renationalise.

    (b) I expect this will be thoroughly tested in dispute settlement (e.g. one of the arbitrators in a recent NAFTA case said that the very concept of environmental assessments had now been challenged by ISDS).

    "This leads farmers to over-produce, thus depresses prices, thus reinforces disappearance of producers; if this system (contrary to WTO rules) was to disappear as a follow-up of the CETA (????) Canada would have to replace subsidy to production by subsidy to producers, as in the EU, farmers becoming "gardeners of the nature" instead of industrial producers."

    There are problems with all systems, but in the EU, farmer subsidies are being paid to produce nothing, and those who’ve benefited are the biggest landowners, not small farmers. What will not help at all is the enforcement of these ’trade disciplines’ on small farmers, which prioritise a efficiency no matter what the social and environmental cost.

    admin:
    20-Aug-2016

    Yes, we have also attached it to the article now.

    DIDIER Pierre:
    18-Aug-2016

    - foreign corporations to sue governments for pretty much anything they don’t like: false: the text is very clear that grounds for appeal are very limited (discrimination, expropriation without compensation AND that the public authority may not be sued for measures of the general good
    - imports of genetically modified salmon (or others): false: CETA does not compel EU to import any genetically GMO except those very few it already has admitted to market in the EU. Any change would need approval by member States and European Parliament - which is not a gift.
    - animal welfare conditions: false: any imports from Canada will have to meet same conditions of animal welfare as those imposed on EU producers. This can only lead to improvement in Canada
    - Europe to drop its objections to the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet: false: fuel imported needs to abide by exactly same rules as applicable to fuel suppliers of the EU
    - Public procurement: false on at least two accounts: (a) all public services escape from commitments; authorities may anytime decide to "publicize" a service; (b) as in the EU, public awarding authorities may reserve contracts on social or environmental grounds.
    - government purchases of farm produce to give farmers price stability: this leads farmers to over-produce, thus depresses prices, thus reinforces disappearance of producers; if this system (contrary to WTO rules) was to disappear as a follow-up of the CETA (????) Canada would have to replace subsidy to production by subsidy to producers, as in the EU, farmers becoming "gardeners of the nature" instead of industrial producers.

    Why do you fan obviously populist counter-truth? Are you a new Donald Trump or Boris Jognson using all their lies?

    Evert-Jan:
    18-Aug-2016

    Can you share the hyperlink to the report? Is it publicly available?

    roger ross:
    8-Aug-2016

    Thank you. What a brilliant and meaningful flash mob .. We all need to touch the hearts of the machine that is promoting Ttip .. Please keep me posted for events in London and brighton. I’m excited to be part of transformation thru singing. With my best wishes. Roger

    José Oliveira:
    28-Jul-2016

    No compromise whatsoever! Down with all the corporate treaties!!!
    There can never be any reasonably justification for big companies to be granted much more previliges than all other social actors.

    KIT JONES:
    15-Jul-2016

    THIS IS WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST THIS FALL HERE IN THE USA, AS WELL AS IN THE OTHER 11 NATIONS INVOLVED IN THIS TOXIC MESS!!! BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID.
    AND THEN.....
    STOP the Unconstitutional TRANS-PACIFIC "PARTNERSHIP" so-called "free trade" treaty!!!!!
    #NoLameDuck2016 Congressional session!!!

    Jennifer Jones:
    7-Jul-2016

    This is well intentioned - but so terribly naive and inaccurate

    Nothing in the TPP can increase drug prices; the maximum price of a drug is determined by the PMPRB. It may increase costs but that’s not the same thing.

    "Pharmaceutical development can reach costs as high as $1.3 billion".
    Really? You know this to be true? Because you’ve read that it is?

    "The TPP influences drug prices by strengthening intellectual property rights and preventing generic drug production.
    Two ways such rights are strengthened include making “evergreening” easier for innovative firms and by granting data exclusivity to pharmaceutical products."
    The TPP may delay generic marketing but it cant prevent it. And nothing about the data exclusivity regime current;y in place in Canada is altered as a result of the TPP.

    "Evergreening is the renewing of patent protection on pre-existing drugs through minor adjustments. Previously, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights flexibilities under the World Trade Organization, allowed countries to control patent term length through high requirements for patent renewal."
    Patents dont get ’renewed’

    Nothing in Canada’s patent regime is altered by the TPP either - all those requirements are pre existing.

    "Data exclusivity refers to the protection companies are granted on information related to their patented medications. The TPP requires that new pharmaceutical products receive at least five years of data protection — and existing products that have new uses receive at least three years — which can extend beyond the patent period. As a result, generic drug manufacturers must wait until exclusivity ends, or conduct their own expensive and time-consuming clinical trials, before being able to sell generic drugs — once again, keeping drug prices high."
    Nonsense - Canada already provides 8 years of data protection across the board!

    "By raising the prices of medications, the TPP makes it more difficult for patients to access their medications."
    the TPP cannot raise the price of medications!

    "By switching to a single-payer purchasing system, rather than the expensive multi-payer system we currently use, the bulk savings and reduced administrative costs are substantial. Such a system would effectively neutralize the price increases of the TPP while providing Canadians with fair and equitable access to resources that will restore their health."

    A single payer drug program is a great idea but effectively neutralizing the (non existent) price increases of the TPP? Not so much

    For the record I am stridently anti TPP but I do not think the credibility of opposition to the TPP is enhanced by naive and poorly researched pieces like this one.

    Luciana:
    28-Jun-2016

    Compañeros/as, creo que es una nota fundamental la que publican aquí, La política de los tratados de libre comercio sí aparece como una cuestión del macrismo, especialmente porque el kirchnerismo sostenía, en "su modelo", una política de mayor industrialización (a favor de grupos concentrados nacionales), que llevaba a la oposición a la firma de TLC. Además, el kirchenismo era hijo de la política anti-neolibral de los 90`s, al igual que el resto de los "progresismos" latinoamericanos.
    Sin embargo, el kirchnerismo sí pagó 5 demandas en el Ciadi, en vez de salirse del sistema de arbitraje como sí lo hicieron Bolivia, Venezuela y Ecuador. Con esto se cayó el relato de la defensa de la jurisdicción nacional. Hoy, decir NO al libre comercio es decir también NO al pago de las demandas en el CIADI, y NO a los tribunales arbitrales extranjeros que sólo benefician a las grandes corporaciones!

    Ahmed Salem Amr Khaddad:
    26-Jun-2016

    WSRW is a fake NGO sponsored by algeria relays to attack Morocco and Western Sahara unity. WSRW is not talking on behalf of the Western Sahara community but on behalf of the algerian military regime. Erik Hagen is well known for his round-trips to algeria to get orders and $$$ envelopes. He is spying the Scandinavian governments for the account of the algeria military regime. WSRW can’t be credible because of corruption and tax avoidance! Thanks

    Jennifer Jones:
    13-Jun-2016

    Honestly, I expect a higher standard of reporting from the Guardian.
    Let me say at the outset I am no fan of ISDS, but to claim that "ISDS provisions allow foreign corporations to sue the Australian government in an international tribunal if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that significantly hurt their interests" is at the very least, outrageous hyperbole.
    ISDS provisions only allow corporations to bring actions if a Government acts in a manner inconsistent with its treaty obligations that is contrary to the interests of the corporation - so you left out the critically important bit.
    The problem with nonsense reporting like this is that it actually undermines the credibility of legitimate and well informed anti-ISDS advocacy, as we all get tarred with the same hyperbolic, scare-mongering brush.
    Next time, do your homework please.

    Ahmed Salem:
    6-Jun-2016

    Danish MPs should listen to native Western Saharawi not to algeria diplomats&DK NGOs funded by algeria like Afrika Kontakt. NGOs sponsored by algeria will look for the status quo to keep the algerian sponsorship: human absurdity!
    Thanks

    Jess Chesnut:
    28-May-2016

    HELP...This could be the wake up call needed to publicize the issues on how these new generation trade (NOT) deals will inflict corporate control on the everyday happenings of everyday people. We need to safeguard the MUSH group.

    ignasi orobitg gene:
    19-May-2016

    Hello
    very briefly
    TTIP want to change the rights of citizens by customer

    Nicolas Roux:
    13-May-2016
    Jotay point net:
    13-May-2016

    Très beau article mais la prochaine fois ayez l’amabilité de nous cité quand vous reprenez nos photo

    Marcelo Maciel:
    5-May-2016

    En español. El arbitraje en este caso será el camino que deberá seguirse. Otro caso, de mayor envergadura es el caso de la tabacalera Philips Morris contra el gobierno de ROU.

    En el marco del convenio de inversiones sin dudas este acuerdo es fuente de derecho entre los dos países. ( EEUU-ROU)

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