Public meeting to oppose trade deal
ACTIVISTS who are opposed to a trade deal which they say threatens Macclesfield’s businesses and services are holding a public meeting.
Members of the Macclesfield branch of Global Justice Now have decided to host the meeting about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed trade deal between the EU and USA to cut trade tariffs and ease regulation between the two markets.
They have signed up a lecturer from Manchester University to speak.
TTIP supporters say it will make goods cheaper and help businesses by opening up markets.
But campaigners say the deal could have a real impact on Macclesfield, threatening small busi- nesses which would face increased competition from corporations. They also say it would put the NHS in danger.
Earlier this month the government was forced to accept an amendment to the Queen’s Speech to make the NHS exempt from the trade deal.
Natalie Abbott, from Global Justice Maccles- field, said: “TTIP is a toxic trade deal that gives greater powers to corporations.
“It will affect the services we receive and stop the council awarding contracts to local independent suppliers, which will make Macclesfield poorer.
“Last week’s u-turn to avoid a historic defeat of the Queen’s Speech is an admission that the NHS needs protecting from TTIP.
“Our campaign is building in Macclesfield and we’ll continue to fight against TTIP.”
Cheshire East’s Cabinet has rejected a motion by Labour councillors calling on the council to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and MPs to raise concerns and commission an assessment of how TTIP will affect Cheshire East.
Janet Jackson, for Macclesfield Central, said: “We raised concerns that Cheshire East will be affected dramatically by the trade agreement and are disappointed Cabinet rejected our motion.
“Macclesfield hospital could face further privatisation of services, spiralling costs of drugs and many believe we’ll ultimately lose our hospital.
“TTIP isn’t about free trade but increasing corporate power and undermining the capacity of governments to regulate public policy.”
‘The Truth about TTIP’, with Dr Gabriel SilesBrugge, politics lecturer at the University of Manchester, is at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 29 at The Park Tavern.
●● Macclesfield members of Global Justice Now which is against the TTIP