»Trade at any Cost?« – the New foodwatch Report

foodwatch, a Schöpflin Foundation grantee, has worked with the NGO, PowerShift, to produce a report that carefully analyses the EU’s latest trade deals with Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and the South American trade bloc, Mercosur.  They presented their report – »Trade At Any Cost?« – at a press briefing in Brussels on 7th February 2018.  In light of the report, foodwatch is now calling for the EU to devise and adopt a new trade policy.

To date the trade negotiations have been carried out very much behind closed doors with almost no public scrutiny; and there has been scarcely any debate about the associated risks. Consequently, the planned deals include many of the same highly controversial proposals that appeared in the EU-US TTIP deal – which is currently on the back burner – and that are present in the EU-Canada trade deal, known as CETA, which has now come into force.  The biased investor-protection scheme is there, once again; so too are the trade committees with far-reaching powers but weak democratic accountability; and the EU’s precautionary principle for licensing products is also being sacrificed.

»The European Commission has learned nothing from the protests against TTIP and CETA«, said the head of foodwatch international, Thilo Bode.  He said that corporations’ interests – rather than the public interest – continued to be the main focus. He went on to say that this threatened to further alienate citizens from the EU, which in turn could jeopardise the very future of the EU project.