Zero Hedge: April 23, 2016
Whether it is due to Trump’s increasingly vocal anti-free trade rhetoric or due to the ongoing deterioration in the global economy, there has been a big change in the public’s perception toward the transatlatnic deal known as TTIP in the recent months, with support for the agreement which was drafted by big corporations behind closed doors tumbling.
As Reuters reported last week, support for the transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP has fallen sharply in Germany and the United States, a survey showed on Thursday, days before Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama meet to try to breathe new life into the pact.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for the Bertelsmann Foundation, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a good thing, down from 55 percent two years ago. In the United States, only 18 percent support the deal compared to 53 percent in 2014. Nearly half of U.S. respondents said they did not know enough about the agreement to voice an opinion.
To be sure, as Michael Krieger wrote on Thursday, “the writing was already on the wall a year ago, which is why politicians were scrambling to pass TPP fast track as quickly as possible, which, of course, they did. So the good news is the public is clearly waking up. What’s a bit depressing is that it’s taken so many decades. Yes, decades.”
But while Americans seemingly have more important things to be concerned about, in Germany the activists are once again making themselves heard. Recall that it was just last October when a stunning quarter million Germans packed the street of Berlin to protest Obama’s “Free Trade” deal.
Fast forward to today when one day before Obama visits Angela Merke in Germany to pitch the trade agreement, thousands of German protesters have once again come out on the streets of Hannover to say ‘No’ to the controversial TTIP US-EU trade deal. Many in Germany fear it will reduce consumer protection and undermine workers’ protection.
While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe is set to create the world’s largest free trade zone, many Europeans worry that the agreement would elevate corporate interest above national interest. TTIP opponents say that cheaper goods and services would only hurt the EU and help the US.
“People say the deal is going to compromise the European Union sovereignty, and would create much more secrecy, with one of the biggest concerns being that the agreement is wrapped in a big veil of secrecy that people are not happy with,” RT’s Anastasia Churkina reported from Hannover.
According to BBC, German police estimate that about 30,000 people are taking part in the peaceful protest rally in Hannover. Many are carrying placards with slogans that read: “Stop TTIP!”
The demonstrators have also been voicing their anger over the secrecy surrounding the ongoing TTIP negotiations.
TTIP between the American continent and Europe is very dangerous for
the democracy, for our nature and for the rights of the workers,”
protester Florian Rohrich told the BBC.
“The rights in America for
workers are much lower. It’s like the Trojan horse. They can’t change
our whole system. But they will – because TTIP is written by the groups,
by the companies, not by the politicians,” he added.
The negotiations were launched three years ago, and the next round is due to open on Monday in New York.
(read the full article at zero hedge)