Davos: “Zombie” TPP trade deal threatens our fractured world

Amsterdam, 24 January 2018:  Friends of the Earth International has warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could threaten people and planet if signed and ratified by national parliaments in March this year.

The remarks came as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Australian Trade Minister and other leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos (23-26 January) celebrated the conclusion of the deal between 11 countries countries in Asia-Pacific.

Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth International trade campaigner, said:

“It is no wonder the corporate elite at Davos are celebrating this zombie TPP deal. It enables foreign companies to sue governments in secret trade tribunals for almost any measure that harms their expected profits.”

The topic of this year’s World Economic Forum “Creating a shared future in a fractured world”.

Cossar-Gilbert added:

“The TPP threatens ‘our fractured world’ and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by undermining regulation on food safety, access to medicine, chemical use and climate change. Sadly, world leaders at Davos remain addicted to failed neoliberal policies. When leaders and trade officials leave the comfort of the Davos ski resort, environmentalists, trade unions and farmers will be there to stop the zombie TPP deal and other corporate trade deals.”


More info:

  • Neoliberalism: A form of free market fundamentalism that has been the dominant global economic ideology for the last 30 years which profit and “efficiency” are the central goals of society.  It is a framework focused on reducing the role of the state and taxation, while promoting privatization, deregulation and corporate trade deals. According to Friends of the Earth International, this has led to soaring inequality, whereby just 8 people have the same wealth as half the world’s population and an environmental crisis in the form of unprecedented species loss and dangerous climate change.

Trade deals must not be negotiated in secret

Trade deals affect people’s everyday lives from the food we eat to the energy we use, and should not be discussed in secret, behind closed doors. Yet sadly, this is exactly what is happening at this year’s upcoming World Trade Organization meeting in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December.

Friends of the Earth International has been advocating for a fair and sustainable trade agenda for over two decades, yet this is the first time we have been banned from participating in the WTO.

In an unprecedented move, the Argentine government revoked our accreditation, together with 60 individuals from a diverse range of trade unions, farmers’ and consumer rights organisations.

The official reason for our ban is that we have “been making explicate calls for violent protests on social media, desiring to create scenes of chaos and intimidation.” Yet this information can be disproved simply by checking our Twitter account, which has never made incitements to violence.
“Locking people out of the WTO will only further undermine its legitimacy.”

At the same time, we do not shy away disagreeing with many of the pro-corporate policies and deals being pushed by the WTO and the Argentine government, which are often stumbling blocks for action on climate change.

When India’s National Solar Mission, which aims to bring energy to millions of people by building 100 GW of solar energy, was found “guilty” by the WTO of creating local jobs, we spoke up.

We have also protested WTO policies that penalise and prohibit developing countries from undertaking public stockholding programmes. This blocks food sovereignty for the world’s poorest, and livelihoods for peasant, indigenous and small-scale farmers, yet allows the EU and USA to provide massive global market distorting subsidies that beef up agribusiness interests while ruining farmers abroad.

A crackdown on our rights to debate and oppose such trade policies is an attack on our ability to decide what kind of world we want to live in.Read more >>