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TTIP the biggest trade deal the world has ever seen is practically invisible to people – Tóibín

26 January, 2016

Peadar Tóibín, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Jobs and Innovation, spoke today following a meeting of Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation with a range of stakeholders who expressed their concerns regarding Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The Meath West Td said:

“The Oireachtas Committee heard today from a range of opinions today on the negative consequences TTIP will have on food standards, public health, workers’ rights, small business and farming in Ireland. Darina Allen, the Irish Cancer Society and Trócaire all gave evidence that the TTIP negotiations presented significant threats to Irish people.  

“TTIP is a trade agreement unprecedented in its scale, which has been negotiated under extreme secrecy with extensive input from powerful corporate lobbies. Public understanding for such an important deal is incredibly low. The truth is a large proportion of TDs do not know what is contained within the proposed treaty nor understand its implications.

“The outcome of these negotiations will force democratic states to adopt policies and practices favourable to big business in Europe and America even if it is at odds with the wishes of the people.

“Under TTIP, Irish farmers and food producers will be forced to compete directly with the mega-factory farms of the United States which produce meat at to a lower standard at a much lower per unit cost.

“It will leave vital public services such as healthcare and water open to privatisation by companies who will not be obliged to provide the same standard of service as would be expected from a publicly owned utility.

“The impact that TTIP could have on climate change and global poverty has also been highlighted. TTIP and the inclusion of ISDS tip the balance of power in favour of multinational corporations and away from democratic states when it comes to policy making. We have already seen examples in Canada where fracking companies have used the ISDS mechanism to sue the state for its environmental protection policies.” 

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