In a poll taken at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Congress in Berlin, Germany, 90% of the voters overwhelmingly rejected the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal, supporting the statement that “the TPP should not go ahead and must be scrapped.”
Only 10% of the voters agreed that “The TPP should be approved if it includes enforceable labour and environmental standards and it excludes Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and extended medical patents.” It is widely believed that such conditions will not be met in a final deal.
Public Services International (PSI) General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli commented that: “Trade agreements such as the TPP will remove the right of national governments to enact policies, laws and regulations in the people’s interests. These so-called free trade deals will not deliver sustainable jobs or development; people need to understand that these treaties are really about guaranteeing multinational corporations’ profits and cement investors’ rights.”
She went on to thank the ITUC for ensuring the harmful effects of trade agreements were given prominence at the ITUC forum and said “Multinational corporations are the last to need new and special rights, especially ones that harm workers and undermine public services.”
In related news, Dr Margaret Chan, General Secretary of the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that: “Something is fundamentally wrong in this world when a corporation can challenge government policies introduced to protect the public from a product that kills.”
Referring to the use of trade agreements by large tobacco companies to sue countries for lost profits when governments implement public policy measures to reduce smoking, Chan said, “If these agreements open trade – yet close access to affordable medicines, we have to ask: Is this really progress at all, especially with the costs of care soaring everywhere? "
PSI looks forward to united global action to stop harmful trade agreements such as the TPP, TISA and TTIP.
The ITUC Congress will close on Friday 24 May 2014.