Protests in Germany against transatlantic TTIP and CETA trade deals

BBC News

Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Berlin, Germany, 17 September, 2016.

About 80,000 people turned out in Berlin alone. Reuters

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting in cities across Germany against a proposed transatlantic trade deal between the EU and the US.

Protesters say the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will lower European standards on food and environmental protection, and could lead to outsourcing and job-losses.

Supporters of the deal say it promises to lower tariffs and promote growth.

The demonstrators are also protesting against a similar deal with Canada.

There were large crowds carrying flags and banners in seven German cities, including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt, all braving cool and wet weather.

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“I want us to get rid of TTIP and for European social and environmental standards to be respected, maintained and improved,” said Peter Clausing in Berlin.

Many demonstrators think the deal would lead to exploitation of people by businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.

“It will be the enterprises and banks that will have power over people worldwide”, said Tobias Kuhn. “That is a no-go. People need to know that and we will protest until there’s no chance of that happening anymore.”

Protesters hold a giant snake with dollar notes in its mouth to demonstrate against the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements with a giant puppet on 17 September, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

A snake swallowing dollar notes is how these demonstrators in Berlin see the deal. GETTY IMAGES

Protesters dressed as America and Europe march to demonstrate against the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements on September 17, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

Figures representing Europe and America carry a banner in Berlin. Other slogans read “democracy instead of TTIP” — Getty Images

The EU and the US began negotiating the trade deal in 2013, aiming to create the world’s biggest free trade market with 850 million consumers.

A new round of talks is due to start in October, and President Obama says he wants the deal to be concluded before he leaves office in January.

A similar but smaller trade deal between the EU and Canada, called the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), is due to be signed in October.

Demonstrators protest against the massive transatlantic trade deals CETA and TTIP on 17 September 2016 in Munich, southern Germany.

Many people braved the weather in the southern city of Munich. AFP

A man with a mask of United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a demonstration against the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA in Berlin, Saturday, 17 September 17, 2016.

There appeared to be a certain apprehension of a deal with a possible future Trump presidency. AP

The objective of the proposed TTIP deal is to remove or reduce barriers to commerce between the US and the EU. Negotiators are working towards eliminating most tariffs.

But the plans face opposition in Europe from citizens as well as some governments.

The French government has strongly opposed it, with President Francois Hollande casting doubt on when the deal would be reached.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel backs TTIP, but Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel last month said the talks on TTIP had “de facto failed”.

Mr Gabriel, who is the chairman of the CDU’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) does support the CETA deal with Canada, which he sees as a counterweight to China’s increasing economic power.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37396796

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One Response to “Protests in Germany against transatlantic TTIP and CETA trade deals”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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