Although the ink is not dry and the debate not over on the proposed āfree tradeā deals with the US and Canada this has not deterred the European Commission launching the debate on the plurinational version – the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) – See Morning Star article here –Ā and only this week it gave notice of a proposed bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam with all the usual anti-democratic ISDS clauses.
In Berlin, the German Government has opened a reading room for Members of the Bundestag to study the TTIP text, but no mobile phones (so no pictures) and only limited written notes allowed. So much for transparency!
The text of the TTIP labour chapter has been in the public domain since the end of last year, it can be read here.
CTUF readers and supporters should note that text:
- contains no obligation on investors to abide by ILO standards;
- confers no right on the part of States, trade unions or workers to enforce ILO standards against investors ā whether through ISDS or anywhere else;
- upholds only the right to collective bargaining and not the obligation of states to promote collective bargaining as required by ILO Convention 98;
- does not oblige States to ensure their laws and practices comply with ILO Core Conventions (including 87 and 98), whether or not they have ratified them (Art 4(4) requires only implementation of Conventions already ratified by the State in question);
- contain no protection against investors relying on differences in trade union rights (such as the right to strike) in one State compared to another in order to argue they have ben unjustifiably discriminated against ā for example could a European State with superior trade union rights than the UK be sued by an investor because that Stateās rights were not as inferior as the UKās and therefore the investor was suffering discrimination.