15819363284_cbd110c5f4_zTTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and its bed-fellows TSA (Trade in Services Agreement) and TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) are huge free trade deals designed to make things easier for big international corporations. The only rationale for these agreements is that they increase GDP.

Trade is useful when it allows people to share goods and skills. But much trade today is merely exploitative, taking advantage of differential pay rates and living conditions around the world. The effect of such trade is to destroy real value for both producers and consumers, annexing as much trade wealth as possible to intermediaries. This is the reverse of productive trade, which brings producers and consumers closer together to the benefit of both.

The movement for productive trade embraces both Fair Trade, which helps producers to access markets while retaining a higher proportion of the value of their labour, and campaigning groups such as Global Trade Watch in the U.S. and the U.K.-based Global Justice Now. In Europe, 450 organisations are collaborating to challenge TTIP, while in the U.S. 2,000 organisations are on the case.


Picture credit: Global Justice Now/Jess Hurd/NoTTIP, Creative Commons