Profiting from crisis How corporations and lawyers are scavenging profits from Europe’s crisis countries

Cecilia Olivet and Pia Eberhardt, March 7 

Corporations, backed by lawyers, use international investment agreements to scavenge for profits by suing Europe’s crisis countries. While speculators making risky investments are protected, ordinary people have no such protection and – through harsh austerity policies – are being stripped of basic social rights.

Profiting from Crisis is a story about how corporations, backed by lawyers, are using international investment agreements to scavenge for profits by suing governments from Europe’s crisis countries. It shows how the global investment regime thrives on economic crises, but is very uneven in who it benefits. While speculators making risky investments are protected, ordinary people have no such protection and – through harsh austerity policies – are being stripped of basic social rights.

TTIP: A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy.

March 5,  2014 Bilaterals.org

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. As officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. The stakes, in other words, could not be higher.

EU-secretdeals.info - new website reveals texts from Europe’s U.S. and Canadian trade negotiations (TTIP, CETA)

MEDIA ADVISORY, March 07, 2014

Berlin, Brussels, Washington, Ottawa – A new website was launched today dedicated to enlarging the public debate on the EU’s controversial policies for investment protections and investor-to-state dispute settlement systems (ISDS) in the EU-US and EU-Canada trade negotiations.  

The site (http://eu-secretdeals.info) includes newly leaked investment chapters from the ongoing EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, analysis of those chapters, and other information contradicting the Commission’s position that these transatlantic trade agreements must include strong investment protections. 

Sierra Club Canada Applauds Obama’s Investment in the Great Lakes

Media Release, March 10, 2014

Sierra Club Canada Applauds Obama Administration's Investment in Restoring Michigan-Huron and Georgian Bay Water Levels

After 50 years of failing to complete the terms and conditions of a U.S. / Canada agreement to compensate for the loss of water from Lakes Michigan-Huron and Georgian Bay due to navigation dredging in the St. Clair River, President Obama’s Administration has started to act. Last Tuesday, the U.S. President approved a modest amount of funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to re-evaluate its past compensation designs in light of current knowledge and technologies. The President’s funding will get the process started. The Corps engineering analysis should take up to three years to complete.

No fracking way: how the E U - US trade agreement risks expanding fracking in Europe and the US.

No Fracking Way: How the EU-US trade deal risks expanding fracking in Europe and the US.

It was prepared by Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, Transnational Institute, PowerShift, Blue Planet Project, and Attac
France.

The full report is available here: http://sc.org/no-fracking-way

http://action.sierraclub.org/site/DocServer/FoEE_TTIP-ISDS-fracking-0603...

The worlds largest trade union demands immediate halt to TTIP-negotiations

March 5TH, 2014.  There is a lot going on in Germany right now. Yesterday we reported that a leaked document from inside the Ministry for Environment warns about the potential effects of TTIP on consumer protection and environment legislation. Now, IG Metall, a german trade union with roughly 2,4 million members (making it the largest trade union in the world), has called for an immediate halt to the ongoing negotiations on TTIP.
The IG Metall chariman, Detlef Wetzel, considers the agreement to be "dangerous", and fears how it may damage consumer protection and workers rights, as well as undermining democracy and the sovereignity of the state.
Considering the growth and jobs promised by the European Commission, Wetzel calls these projections for overly optimistic and disputes that TTIP will have any noticable benefit whatsoever. Wetzel considers the conclusions in the report from

Untangling the Trade Talks: What are the likely consequences of an EU-US trade deal for our food and environment?

Hosted by 'Friends of the Earth Europe' alongside 'Transnational Institute', 'Institute for Agriculture Trade Policy' and 'Seattle to Brussels Network'
The Press Club Brussels Start: Thursday, Mar 13 2014 1:30 PM  End: Thursday, Mar 13 2014 6:00 PM

To register, please visit

http://www.amiando.com/UntanglingTradeTalks.htm

Canada should follow EU lead on investment rules

Stuart Trew, Emma Lui, Published: Monday, 03/03/2014

What has become of the Canada-European Union free trade deal? The Harper government announced an “agreement in principle” with the EU in late October. And yet talks continue in a number of areas, notably on a controversial NAFTA-like investment protection chapter that is giving Europeans second thoughts.

Canada has no plans to further ease uranium investment rules - M inister

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Canada has no plans to further ease rules for foreign investment in uranium mines after Ottawa moved to give European Union firms more leeway, a senior official said on Thursday.

As part of a Canada-European Union free trade deal that was announced in principle last year, Ottawa waived a longstanding requirement that EU buyers take on a Canadian partner in uranium mines.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Canada did not intend to make the same offer to non-European companies such as Australia's Rio Tinto Ltd, which has uranium deposits in northern Saskatchewan.

"There are no current plans to do that," he told reporters, saying the easing of rules for European firms was a major step.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership No end in sight

Feb 25th 2014, The Economist

THE trade agreement the 12 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) hope to reach is to be “ambitious”, “comprehensive”, “high-standard” and “21st-century”. I know this, because every one of the 12 trade ministers who spoke at a press conference at the end of four days of talks in Singapore on February 25th, used at least one, and usually all four, of the terms. The talks had made great progress, they all also agreed. But “significant gaps” remain, no date or place has been chosen for their next meeting, and it was hard to avoid the conclusion that any agreement is months or years away.