TTIP: Bad for Democracy and Good for Corporations?

10 December 2014, 13:30 - 17:00

Is the TTIP deal an assault on democracy or an engine for global economic growth? 

Major December 10 seminar on the controversial trade deal, featuring keynote speakers from the United States and Europe. 


Advocates of the proposed trade deal between the US and EU claim it will generate global growth and signifiacnt job creation. But an ever-growing list of opponents - including US and EU unions - point out that TTIP could result in national governments being unable to enact progressive legislation for fear of being sued for compensation by major corporations, along with the wholesale privatisation of public services and a further watering down of workers' rights. 

Among the keynote speakers are:

  • Celeste Drake, of US union federation the AFLCIO; Presentation here
  • Danielle Basso, of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC);
  • Monika Hencsey, lead EC negotiator for trade and sustainable development, including labour and environment issues - presentation here

 A full programme is available here

A study commissioned by the European Commission estimates that such a deal could lead to an increase in EU GDP of 0.5%.  The Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation has stated that an agreement could lead to a 1.1% increase in Irish GDP. However, trade unions and civil society on both sides of the Atlantic have expressed grave concerns about the proposed deal and the secretive nature of the negotiations.  Unions fear that the wide-ranging trade deal could give unprecedented power and influence to transnational corporations.

Indeed new research suggests that TTIP could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs across the EU, lower government revenue and increased deficits.. 

A key element of the TTIP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause, which could see corporations suing governments for any legislation that might harm their profits. In the UK, the TUC has express fears that TTIP would result in the wholesale privatisation of the NHS and other key services. As TTIP is being negotiated mainly in secret  the negotiations lack transparency and proper democratic oversight and pose a threat to our human rights across a range of areas.

Useful Resources:

  • ETUC/AFLCIO Declaration of Joint Principles on TTIP here
  • Congress submission to EU Public Consultation on modalities for investment protection here:
  • Congress submission to European Parliament Offices on TTIP, Dublin, here
  • The Charter of Corporate Rights, David Begg blog
  • TUC Congress 2014 Composite resolution - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
  • Tom Healy (NERI) "Separating the baby from the bathwater" blog
  • Frances O'Grady - TTIP: a bad deal could be worse than no deal at all
  • IFUT Letter to Irish Times here
  • Teachers unions demand education be excluded from TTIP here
  • Is TTIP a trade off when it comes to workers rights? Ger Gibbons, SIPTU
  • European Commission TTIP site
  • Letter from Governments to EU DG Trade Commissioner here
  • weblink to the ECI anti-TTIP petition here:
  • TTIP Information network here
  • May 2015 letter to Sean Kelly, MEP , the only Irish member of the INTA committee that is considering its report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on 28 May
  • ETUI publications on TTIP here
  • TUC Blog page on TTIP here
  • Best thing since invetion of sliced pan? Tom Healy blog March 2015
  • TTIP impact study in Ireland here
  • Motion at our 2015 BDC here
  • Statement on TTIP to Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs (June 2015)
  • TTIP in Trouble? Tom Healy blog June 2015
  • TTIP Information Network presentation at our Global Solidarity Summer School





UNITE Hall 55-56 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1

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