Newsletter: Privatization vs. The People

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The essence of privatization today is to turn a public good into a profit center for Wall Street. US economic policy has created a wealth class that is grotesquely wealthy and under-taxed so that it has the money government needs to provide public services. This forces the government to borrow money from or sell a public service to the privateers or to create a public-private partnership (disguised corporate welfare and crony capitalism) in order to provide essential services. There is another way. We’ve reached a tipping point, as evidenced by the worldwide revolt through Occupy, the Arab Spring, the Indignados and other movements. We can reverse the trend toward privatization and inequality by claiming the commons for our mutual prosperity. If we believe in a more just, sustainable and democratic world, a world based on the common good, we will build the foundation for a world in which people work together to solve common problems and create an equitable economy that betters the lives for all.

We Stopped The TPP, Time To Stop TTIP And TiSA!

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By Popular Resistance. On January 23, 2017, President Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This action was taken because of the work of activists across the U. S. who care about a variety of issues that would be impacted by the TPP. It was the people working together in broad coalitions that made the TPP so politically toxic that politicians ran away from it. People have the power to bring transformational change. It is time to end the failed model of trade and demand a new era of globalization that strengthens protections of workers, families, communities and the planet rather than protecting corporate profits.

Angel Merkel Says TTIP Will Not Be Completed

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By Samuel Osborne for Independent – ‘We have made progress, quite a lot of progress, but they will not be concluded now’ Angela Merkel has said the TTIP trade deal will not be completed now Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. Speaking at a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama, the German Chancellor said the United States represents an important trading partner for both Germany and the European Union.

Newsletter: Time For Boldness, Clarity & Assertiveness

People have the power; protest in Ferguson City Hall in 2014.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. In this moment, the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice needs be bold, clear and assertive in putting forth an agenda that will serve the economically dispossessed, those under attack by militarized police, immigrants facing detentions and deportations and demonstrate policies that ensure economic security. Where Trump is right, as in detente with Russia, the movement will support him against the neocons and humanitarian war supporters; and we will push him further for an end to war as the primary tool of foreign policy. Both parties are confronting major fissures, leadership challenges and questions about where they go from here. Their confused leadership provides an opportunity for the popular movement to fill the leadership void with policies that put people, planet and peace over profit.

'Final Death Blow' To Pro-Corporate Deal

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By Lauren McCauley for CommonDreams. Dealing what campaigners say is the final “death blow” to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations. Canada’s International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland reportedly walked out of talks with the Wallonia delegation, which had ruled to maintain their veto against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after the parties reached a stalemate over the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. “We made new significant progress, especially on the agriculture issues, but difficulties remain, specifically on the symbolic issue of arbitration, which is politically extremely important,” Wallonia president Paul Magnette told the regional parliament. ISDS permits companies to sue governments over perceived loss of profits due to regulations or other laws. Magnette had told reporters Thursday that the delegation had particular concerns over “matters affecting U.S. companies in Canada which will benefit from the system.”

Spain: Thousands Rally Against TTIP And CETA In Madrid

People demonstrate against the TTIP and CETA trade agreements in Leipzig, Germany, Sept. 17, 2016. Thousands of people are rallying in cities across Germany to protest against planned European Union trade deals with the United States and Canada. (Photo: AP)

By Staff of Ruptly TV – Over 10,000 people rallied against the TTIP, CETA and TISA trans-atlantic free trade agreements in Madrid, Saturday. Both NGO’s and local political groups took part in the huge march to protest against the multinational trade agreements. Protesters carried large banners with messages like ‘People and planet over multinational [corporations] – No to poverty, no to inequality, no to TTIP.’

Time To Rethink Approach To Trade Agreements

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By Staff for Politico Morning Trade. Trade agreements have become politically toxic. President Obama has three trade deals he has been pursuing, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). They all need to be stopped. The administration has used secrecy as their key tool. Their view is the less people know, the more likely an agreement is to become law. Why? Becuase these agreements are unpopular. They are written by and for transnational corporations and not for the protection of people and the planet. During the 2016 election we have seen how these agreements have become politically toxic. Obama hopes to get the TPP through a lame duck session of Congress, a time when many members of Congress are in their last session because they are retiting or lost re-election. He knows he could not get the TPP through Congress at any other time this year. We need to stop these agreements and then demand a total rethinking of how trade proceeds. We can create trade agreements that serve the economy but also serve the interests of the people in safe good and services, living wages and safe conditions for workers, as well as aid the world in dealing with climate change and protecting the environment.

Hundreds Of Thousands March In Germany Against TTIP, CETA

Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 17, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

By Jon Queally for Common Dreams – Taking aim at both the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and theComprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), European Union deals with the United States and Canada respectively, opponents say the agreements are not really concerned with expanding trade but rather increasing corporate power. “CETA and TTIP threaten environmental and consumer protection for millions of people in Europe and North America,” said Jennifer Morgan, co-executive director of Greenpeace International.

TiSA May Be Even Greater Threat Than TTIP

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By Staff of Global Justice Now – A global trade deal currently being negotiated in secret and involving 50 different countries could prove to be a serious threat to public services according to a briefing published today by campaign group Global Justice Now. The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) is a proposed international trade treaty between 23 parties, including the European Union and the United States. Unlike most trade deals, TISA is about services, not goods.

France Demands An End To TTIP Talks

A sign against the TTIP free trade agreement in Frankfurt, Germany. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

By Sean Farrell for The Guardian – France has been sceptical about TTIP from the start and has threatened to block the deal, arguing the US has offered little in return for concessions made by Europe. All 28 EU member states and the European parliament will have to ratify TTIP before it comes into force. Fekl’s statement follows similarly gloomy comments from the German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel. He said on Sunday: “The negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.”

TTIP Has Failed – But No One Is Admitting It, Says German Vice-Chancellor

Protesters rally against the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements, April 2016 Getty

By Alexandra Sims, Jon Stonem for the Independent. The free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have failed, but “nobody is really admitting it”, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said. Talks over the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as TTIP, have made little progress in recent years. The 14th round of negotiations between American and EU officials took place in Brussels in July. It was the third round in six months. At the time, the talks were thought to be in trouble after a number of leading European politicians expressed concern about TTIP’s effects and the US’s reluctance to accept changes to the proposed deal. In May, cracks emerged when France threatened to block the deal. President Hollande said he would “never accept” the deal in its current guise because of the rules it enforces on France and the rest of Europe – particularly in relation to farming and culture – claiming they are too friendly to US businesses. “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets,” Mr Hollande is reported as saying at a meeting of left-wing politicians in Paris

Prepare For TPP’s Big Brother: The Trade In Services Agreement

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By Paola Casale for Economy In Crisis – Not much is known about the Trade in Services Agreement, otherwise known as TISA. However the little that has been made public, or the little that has been leaked, has caused much concern. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pales in comparison to TISA and it makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seem small. It is, however, most similar to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Brussels: TTIP Game Over Actions Stop Negotiations

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By Flush the TPP. Brussels, Belgium – As the 14th round of TTIP negotiations commenced, fair trade activists began their ‘games’ to raise awareness of the anti-democratic nature of the agreement and to slow its progress. Early on, there were actions to ‘rebrand’ the negotiations, a tactic also known as ‘brandalism.’ On the first day of negotiations, with the help of the animal kingdom, activists found that the negotiations had been moved. Nevertheless, hundreds of activists succeeded in making a lot of noise outside with a casserole demonstration. Some of the negotiators unwittingly carried the TTIP Game Over message inside.

Newsletter: Brexit Backlash Against EU, A Revolt Against Elites

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The globalized economy is not working for most people of the world. International trade agreements and new government structures like the European Union serve corporate power and put the people and planet aside to ensure profits continue to come first. They undermine democracy and national sovereignty, leaving people feeling more powerless. By pushing austerity and commodification of public services, people are now more economically insecure with less wealth and lower incomes. The response of many is anger. Some protest austerity, others blame people of a different skin color, heritage or ethnicity. The surprise vote in the UK to leave the European Union is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, example of the blowback economic and political elites are getting for their actions. Brexit shows we have our work to do to educate people that this is not about racism and anger at ethnic groups, but is really the battle between the people and the elites. It is a conflict over whether we the people will have the power to decide our futures, whether we can create a fair economy that serves more than the 1% and whether we can act in ways that are consistent with the needs of the environmental crisis we face.

Revolving Door In Office Of U.S. Trade Representative, Part 1

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By Bill Waren for Medium – The Obama White House and the Republican leadership in Congress are pushing hard for three massive and environmentally- destructive[2] trade agreements: the Trans Pacific Partnership[3], the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership[4] and the Trade in Services Agreement[5]. These three agreements and similar deals going back to the North American Free Trade Agreement reflect the philosophy and culture of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which assume that many forms of regulation by democratic institutions inhibit global economic growth.[6]