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Our TTIP will help you, EU told ExxonMobil

27 February 2016

TTIP protest outside the EU’s London headquarters, July 2014. Photo Global Justice Now (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

A document obtained by the Guardian newspaper exposes the reality of the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations from the EU side. The newspaper published the details earlier this week.

At a meeting in Brussels in October 2013, the then-EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht told oil giant ExxonMobil that the TTIP will help free up markets for the oil company in developing countries which currently impose national restrictions on its activities. 

‘Tantamount to corruption’

A briefing paper produced in the commission explains how, once TTIP is in place, even countries which had not signed up would in practice be forced to adopt the same “freedoms” towards penetration by multinationals.  Oil companies are desperate to break into their markets.  Campaign group War on Want has called the briefing “tantamount to corruption”.

At the time the document was written, several developing countries were resisting the bullying from multinationals by tightening national protections, applying regulations to fossil fuel companies among others. ExxonMobil has been lobbying for “trade reform” to allow it to open up shale gas fracking wells in north Africa, Asia and South America, in the name of “global free enterprise”.

The EU is negotiating the TTIP with the US under the pretence of strengthening trade and creating jobs in member countries.  The reality is clear. Any country resisting the TTIP is acting as an obstacle to corporate freedoms.

The EU trade commission has been ceded the right to negotiate all trade deals on behalf of its member states, whose national parliaments are excluded from the talks and whose peoples are barred from knowledge of the content of the deals being discussed.