Activists in fight to stop trade deal
AGROUP of activists against a transatlantic trade deal which they say threatens Macclesfield’s businesses and services have taken their fight to the council.
Members from Global Justice Macclesfield addressed all councillors at the latest full council meeting about a new trade deal between the EU and USA which they say is ‘undemocratic’ and ultimately poses a risk to Macclesfield residents.
John Allen, from the group, raised concerns about the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which is being negotiated between the EU and US to cut trade tariffs and ease regulation to make trade easier between the two markets.
it will making goods cheaper and help businesses by opening up markets.
But there’s been a massive public backlash, with opponents saying the deal could in fact threaten small businesses facing competition from corporations and lead to the privatisation of the NHS.
Much of the concern is about a drop in EU food and environmental standards in line with more relaxed rules in the US.
Global Justice Macclesfield, which has more than 40 members and has been campaigning in the town, says this could have a real impact on Macclesfield.
John Allen, from Global Justice Macclesfield, said: “TTIP is an anti-democratic trade deal and we should be deeply concerned about this.
“One of the most toxic aspects of TTIP is the inclusion of secret and unaccountable corporate tribunals which will allow corporations to sue local and national government if decisions are made that affects their profits.”
The group wants Cheshire East Council to declare itself a TTIP Free Zone like other councils.
Natalie Abbott, from Global Justice Macclesfield, said: “Cheshire East will be affected dramatically by TTIP. It will affect the services we receive and stop the council awarding contracts to local independent suppliers, which will make Macclesfield poorer.
“Small businesses will be affected because they will come under increased, unfair pressure from much larger companies so many of our brilliant local independent shops and producers will disappear.”
A motion by councillors Janet Jackson and Alift Harewood calling on the council to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and MPs to raise concerns was referred to Cabinet for discussion.
●● Members from Global Justice Macclesfield demonstrate against TTIP