" /> José Bové - TTIP : An insane project that threathens our common choices

TTIP : An insane project that threathens our common choices

Interview with Mediapart information website
Thématiques > Commerce international > TTIP : An insane project that threathens our common choices
12 mai 2014

Mediapart : Do you support the ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between Europe and the United States ?
José Bové : Since the early 1990s, I fight for the deregulation of exchange as imposed by the WTO because it presumes global trade to be an end in itself and refuses to take into account the social and environmental regulations. Today, the WTO is blocked mainly by the agricultural component. Thus, the major powers, especially the United States and the European Union bypass the obstacle by imposing a new generation of very comprehensive bilateral free trade agreements. TTIP is the latest in line. TTIP is an unhealthy project directly threatening our collective choices, especially for food. Tariffs on industrial products are now virtually zero - there is only the environmental and social standards of production as obstacles. So European agriculture is at stake. For example, U.S. companies seeking to export their beef fed with hormones in Europe would ruin thousands of European farmers who raise their animals with grass. Mountain regions will be particularly affected. The system of controlled designation of origin (AOC ) is also at risk.
Fortunately, there is opposition on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, many organizations of civil society are fiercely opposed to the opening of the negotiations that threaten progressive legislation such as the Buy American Act, which allow to relocate the economy.

Mediapart : The revelations about spying on Europeans by the NSA do they complicate these negotiations ?
José Bové : They make them quasi-impossible : how can one negotiate with a partner who cheats openly ? In addition, NSA spying is not limited European politicians. Industrial espionage is a reality. I find it hard to believe that European companies working in innovative fields are also closely monitored. We need a thorough parliamentary inquiry before any further negotiations.

Mediapart : If you become president of the commission, which transparency guarantees will you respect by during negotiations of the TTIP ?
José Bové : Transparency must be total and the European Commission must consult and involve all stakeholders. So far, it has a tendency to take into account the views and wishes of the boards of large companies.Even I, as Substitute for the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament did not even have access to the documents submitted by Commissioner De Gucht (European Commissioner for Trade , ed), who has the duty to inform the European Parliament on the progress of negotiations. Transparency stops at coordinators of the different parliamentary groups, seven in all and for all. It is also forbidden for them to disseminate any information.

Mediapart : Do you support the inclusion of the arbitration mechanism between government and investor, for which consultation was initiated by the European Commission to until July ? What is your view on these devices called ISDS ?
José Bové : This arbitration mechanism between investors and states is a threat to democracy and public interest. It offers the opportunity for large companies to attack the laws and regulations that would, in their view, have a negative impact on their return on investment. For example, Veolia has not hesitated to use the ISDS when the Egyptian government revised the minimum wage. American society Pine Low undermine the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing decided by Quebec and request $ 250 million in compensation.
Composed of three international judges, the arbitral tribunals operate in the great opacity. Their decisions are final. I do not understand how politicians can thus bind their own hands accepting the ISDS. The European Commission has come to understand the problem and decided to open a public consultation until the end of June 2014. But if the EC thinks that this debate is put on hold for the duration of the campaign for the European elections, it is mistaken.

Mediapart : A free trade agreement between the EU and Canada is about to be concluded after several years of negotiations. It should be presented to the European Parliament before the TTIP. Do you support it ?
José Bové : I am opposed to the ratification of a free trade agreement with Canada for the same reasons. Rather than continue in the impasse of indiscriminate liberalization, the EU would benefit offering the United States and Canada the establishment of a transatlantic agreement to fight against tax evasion. Because multinationals use all existing faults and invent complex procedures to pay the smallest amount of taxes possible. We can not accept that some countries (Ireland, Netherlands , Luxembourg) and some North American states (Delaware ) play against the common interest.