TTIP: Might is Right

TTIP: Might is Right

2015, Economics  -   13 Comments
Ratings: 8.61/10 from 188 users.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a free trade agreement currently under negotiations between Europe and the United States. As shown in the insightful new documentary TTIP: Might is Right, this agreement has stirred a great deal of controversy and protest among the masses, and for good reason.

Most citizens regard free trade as an essential component of a healthy economy; therefore, they generally believe that any new agreement between countries that falls under the banner of "free trade" must be in their best interests. Historically, however, these agreements have done more than just lift tariffs and allow for the smooth transport of imports and exports. Investment clauses written into these agreements, particularly the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause, allows corporations to sue a country when they feel their interests are slighted for any reason. In essence, these trade agreements grant foreign investors the power to call all the shots, regardless of the consequences to the country's economy, citizen rights and environmental protections.

Case in point: Canada. In 1992, the country signed onto the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States, and the unexpected repercussions of that agreement are still being felt by residents after well over two decades. As evidenced by one such consequence portrayed in the film, the ISDS clause has permitted the practice of unregulated fracking right in the backyards of unsuspecting citizens. Their protests are largely met by deaf ears, because the energy companies who host the fracking enterprises have the authority to sue the country if they feel their business model is under attack. Canada has reason to feel squeamish about interfering with corporate interests or enforcing regulations upon them; since the passing of NAFTA, they have become one of the five most frequently sued countries in the world.

TTIP negotiations are held in secret, and little is revealed to the public regarding their content. TTIP: Might is Right calls for greater transparency in the crafting of this agreement, and warns of a potential future where governments only work for the bottom line of foreign investors, and not for the people they represent. Democracy itself could crumble under the weight of litigiousness.

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2 years ago

I would never accept that. China is never held accountable like that and they're the biggest liability

Joseph Anthony
3 years ago

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is primarily a system to rip off as much money as possible to the harm of societies to satisfy the greed of corporate investors.

6 years ago

@Tomas Hart. I can only hope that some corporation that has invested in your country sues it to the point of causing your govt to have to raise taxes to the point every last citizen, including you, starves. Then you will get the point.

Prior to such agreements, there never was anything stopping a corporation from suing a nation. The agreement of course binds the country, that is what a Treaty is, rather than the country just saying it is not in our national interest to acknowledge your lawsuit. Then all the corporation has to do is go judge shopping. If you believe that it is possible for a politician to be bought, then you also must believe a judge can be bought. I have seen corrupt judges first hand. Even the supreme court of the usa, is corrupt, passing laws that are clearly against the constitution they swore to uphold.

Your argument of, no harm demonstrated yet, belies the potential for great harm. Since most of the countries that have nuclear weapons haven't caused harm with them, then make nuclear agreements for all countries to have them? These type of treaties are basically the nuclear option of corporations over nations. And that IS the purpose. The banksters (owners of the many central banks around the world) also own controlling interests in many major and smaller corporations. It is the dodge around a country's sovereignty.

The reason the Canuck Prime Minister basically states there is nothing he can do, is because he is a Prime Minion, fellow traveler, and in lock step with the incremental advancement of world socialism-communism for the banksters, that desire to control the world. If I am not mistaken, I believe he attends the Bilderberg Group meetings where it likely much of this type of scheme comes from; if not, their subservient organizations.

Unfortunately the public has been propagandized by the Free trade promoters. There is no such thing as Free Trade. It is all about Corporations gaining advantage; to eliminate smaller competitors of a particular nation to the huge multinational corporations and to gain leverage over the people. Typical of politicians promoting it, they neglect to tell you that historically, the usa has done far better without it, far better with trade protection.

Trade protection is the only sane course for a nation that is concerned about its people and its largest employer being small business -versus- those concerned with the multinational corporations owned or controlled by the banksters. Yeah Pres. Reagan fooled me too. Free trade is a scam which wiped out our thriving computer memory chip and other components industry and handed it over to Japan on a platter in the 90's by allowing them to dump their chips on our market below cost, driving our companies out of biz; then jacking the price fairly high. Now I'm sure Japan was thrilled to lose much of it to the other Asian countries in subsequent years. Always do your own homework on every last thing a politician says.

One of the big lies: "Nothing much we can do." The reality is they don't work for the people and prove it every time they say that. As a commenter above mentioned, they could use their influence to educate their nation and bully their congress or parliament or whomever necessary to rescind such ridiculous treaties.

The number one rule of investing: Buyer beware. If you cannot afford to lose it, don't risk it. Recall that some countries finally grow tired of their mineral wealth being extracted with little to show for it and nationalize those. In other nations the people could get tired of being screwed by the career politicians and vote in someone like Trump. They could vote to exit the European Union. Smart Move. Switzerland has done quite well without it.

Why not help your own countrymen with jobs by investing in your own country? Rather than feeling you should be able to sue other countries, causing them more expense to deal with what you are trying to get away with? That is the only reason to sue, is to attempt to get away with something the country doesn't like. No doubt you think it fine to pollute someone's drinking water as long as it puts more money in your pocket. We have plenty of those types of "investors" here already, go away.

Tomas Hart
6 years ago

This is so poorly made documentary.... It basically starts with the premise that ISDS is bad and screwing people and then keeps this idea all along.
Why no investor whose investment was stolen or damaged was invited to speak? Why is bad to want to have your investment protected? Showing that Canada is 4th or 5th most sued nation does not make the point either - one should ask how many cases Canada actually lost. May be none or very small number... Overall, these so-called fraudulent claims (ie mostly made up) have very low success rate, close to zero. It does happen, that is true, but were few cases were actually won in this way.

I come from the country (Czechia) which tries to become investor in foreign countries as until now we were mostly attracting foreigners to invest in my country. But as our economy grows and our firms and investors are becoming more international they are trying to invest in foreign countries too. And of course I want their investment to be protected!

6 years ago

" as far as I know, no gov . has ever said; because of the claims , we don't do it "
This guy is lying !!!
Couple of years ago , a USA company wanted to start fracking in my country. Ppl got upset, and there were a lot of protests
Our prime minister apeared on TV explaining that he can't stop the company , because they WILL SUE my country, and we can't afford it.And he showed a letter from the company, with very clear legal terms : "we WILL sue ".
This was on TV .- public information.

7 years ago

Corporatism = Fascism. Political Modus Operandi: If YOU say nothing then the politicians tell themselves YOU don't care, so are free to do what benefits themselves most. Typically that is to sell YOU out. The politicians sell out the citizenry for money. How much did the one or two politicians pocket (or even most of them if that is the case) who said, "but wait, if we say no, our country may get sued"? Maybe not every time but I've seen it even at the local level when a big company comes to town.

It is all up to YOU. Gather together and share the burdens of standing up. I have seen it work many times against big companies and big govt. In the case of big govt sometimes it is necessary to discover a viable alternative, which they will not want to pursue until you force them to by steadfastly resisting their current path.

It is ridiculous to believe that lawyers are not abusing the provisions for suing the countries on behalf of a company's investors for personal gain. The question is why do the countries like Canada allow it? See the explanation at the beginning...!

Which countries are they most likely to target? Those with World Bank or IMF loans. Makes for wonderful leverage if World Bank assigns the deciders.

A borrower nor lender never be! True as it ever was. For countries as well as individuals. Nothing worse that a rat locked on to your short hairs.

7 years ago

seems to me that as easy as it was to get ISDS implemented, it would be just as easy to put and end to it. The simple hand movement of a signature got you in...The simple hand movement of the middle finger to get you out. The sort of propaganda that was used in the past, to convince a nation and its people to go to war just isnt possible anymore. I just cant see the US military declaring war on a friendly nation to enforce these sleazy lawsuits. Canada really needs to take control of its nations resources. Why would Canada allow a foreign company to drill its land and take its resources... Oh, because its a banana republic.. really? REALLY CANADA? Youre goin out like that?

Alex J.
7 years ago

An incredibly documentary about a little known world. It is scary the overall influence of ISDS and really does harm against competitive marketplaces as well as self governing nation states.

In the end, a strong administrative government with legal and financial acumen are the only countries that should sign on to a trade deal with an ISDS clause. It's sort of the double edged sword that comes with more access to investors. If i were a nation, i think it would be wise to study Netherlands and Singapore who are countries with high FDI but also provide a very good commonwealth for the majority of their citizens.

7 years ago

I appreciate your optimism, however I cannot subscribe to your belief that God, courage, or whistleblowers have a leg to stand on.. the world is changing and whatever our 'habits' are, politicians dont screw us blind..they screw us eyes wide shut. What the World Bank & multi-nationals want..they leaps n bounds..or by baby steps.

Dean Harrington
7 years ago

It is clear that TPP/TPIP/TISA are a combined effort by economic entities to control the resources in a nation not their own. This is just another form of colonialism and mirrors the old British East India Company policies that turned India into an opium producer to balance trade costs with China, low-cost fabric producer which ended up destroying such production in Britain and low-cost labor which trailed the Empire all over it's vast colonies.
It made a few very rich and certainly did little for your average British citizen. The poor debtors were sent off to Australia and New Zealand to offset the social costs in the Crown's policies so as not to mar the manufacturing, urban centers that arose during Britain's Industrial faze with the poor littering city streets with their presence.
The other part of this equation which is seldom seen, if not outright hidden, is that the FED in the U.S. is owned and controlled by the 'City of London' ... those private and privileged banks are the tail wagging the dog which is U.S. military might. In the end, Mao's dictum that 'power comes out of the barrel of a gun' is as true today as it has been in the past.
To end this continued imbalance in a drive for corporate control over a nation's interest these banks and their corporate arms splendidly arrayed in Shivanic fashion need their curly-cues clipped. Only nation states can achieve this and these 'supposed' trade deals are being put in place to end the threat of national powers effecting profits of an economic elite!

don duncan
7 years ago

It's not good journalism to blindly quote govt. propaganda, e.g., the "free trade agreement" called TTIP. Free trade does not require govt. regulation, only the enforcement of property rights. It certainly doesn't require secret negotiations or keeping the results secret after the fact. Every time the govt. does anything in secret, we get screwed. But it won't stop as long as people let it continue. The govt. will do as much to the people as they allow. It will never self restrain. It it ever claims it did, it is lying again, as usual. This monster we created to protect us is now our biggest danger, both abroad and home. Abroad it may start WWIII. Home we suffer excessive taxation and economic interference that has created a depression, e.g., unemployment over 20% with no end in sight.

7 years ago

The world is changing and this 'habit' we have of allowing our politicians to screw us blind is ending. The free flow of information is the reason why. Thank God for the courage of whistleblowers everywhere.