There is a coalition of trade unions, voluntary organisations and local activist groups campaigning against new trade deals that have been, and continue to be, negotiated behind closed doors.
These trade deals include TTIP (the EU-US trade deal), CETA (the EU-Canada trade deal) and TISA (a new global trade deal for services). There is concern about these trade deals as they go well beyond traditional goals of trade agreements and encompass a wide spectrum of public policies, including the harmonisation of regulatory standards and the increased opening of markets in the service sector and public procurement. They also contain a special court system available only to multinational companies allowing them to sue governments for policy decisions that they believe will threaten their profits.
These trade deals represent a real threat to local democracy, affecting the freedom local councils have in decision making when these decisions affect the profits of multi-national companies. Please note that I have signed up to the Trade Justice Scotland Coalition's statement:
"As a candidate for the Scottish local council elections, and given the importance of this issue for Scotland, I’m against TTIP, CETA, TISA and other trade agreements like them, because:
- A transfer of power on this scale from citizens and democratically elected
governments to corporations is undemocratic
- Governments should not fear legal action in secret courts for decisions that they make in the public interest
- By providing corporations with a separate legal arena they destroy the constitutional principle that we are all equal in the eyes of the law
- They are a serious threat to public services, potentially leading to further
privatisation and preventing future governments bringing them back into public hands
- They threaten to lower hard won regulations and standards on workers’ rights, human rights, health and safety, the environment and food safety
I pledge to oppose TTIP, CETA and other trade agreements like them, if elected."