Greater Manchester Trade Action Network (GMTAN) is a network of people from the Greater Manchester area who are concerned about the impact of international trade on the lives of us all. We campaign fairness and transparency in trade relations and to protect the environment, public services, independent businesses and workers rights from the abuse of corporate global power.
GMTAN has emerged from the successful Europe-wide campaign to stop TTIP. Since that victory, the old Stop-TTIP MCR group has evolved in GMTAN and continues to address the threats from CETA and the trade negotiations following Brexit.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty, negotiated in secret between the European Union and the USA. The first round of negotiations between European Commission and US officials took place in July 2013, the treaty was indefinitely postponed in November 2016.
The primary aim of TTIP was not to stimulate trade through removing tariffs between the EU and USA, as these are already at minimal levels, but 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.
Most worrying of all, TTIP sought to grant foreign investors a new right to sue sovereign governments in front of corporate arbitration tribunals for loss of profits resulting from public policy decisions. This ‘investor-State dispute settlement’ mechanism effectively elevated transnational capital to a status equivalent to the nation-state itself, and threatened to undermine the most basic principles of democracy in the EU and USA alike.
We meet every fourth Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the cafe at Manchester Central Library for discussion and action planning. Please call 07579008189 or email us if you have any questions or want to join our mailing list.