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Europeans against free trade with US and Washington’s expansion - analysts

December 05, 2014, 17:42 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
Seventh round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA, in October 2014

Seventh round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA, in October 2014

© EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. More than one million Europeans have put their signatures to a note of protest against free trade talks between the United States and the European Union. The appeal contains a call addressed to the EU and the affiliated countries to avoid holding talks over the creation of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Analysts believe the sceptical Europeans are reluctant to see the hegemony of trans-Atlantic corporations (US in the first place), as well as the ensuing slump of local production and unemployment growth.

The protest against trade talks between the European Union and the United States was published two months ago on the STOP TTIP website, whose founders argue that the controversial partnership will give unprecedented powers to international corporations, hamstring democracy and the rule of law, as well as harm the environment and consumers’ rights. Mass protest demonstrations by tens of thousands have taken place in Germany, Britain, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Slovenia. Another one is due in Brussels on December 9.

“The surge of anti-Americanism in Europe is a natural process. The Europeans, first and foremost, nations' state-oriented parties in the European Union find the United States’ tighter grip ever harder to bear. Dependence on Washington makes many EU officials feel inferior. This is seen in repeated news leaks about what politicians have been telling each other in private,” the director of the Military-Political Studies Center at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations MGIMO under the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexey Podberyozkin told TASS.

“Europe is far from being enthusiastic over the United States’ attempts to use its military advantage to establish economic hegemony to cater to the selfish needs of trans-Atlantic corporations. The Europeans are aware the balance of economic potential in the world is changing not to the United States’ favor. With its proposal for trading partnership with the EU, Washington is trying to put more muscle in its waning economic performance,” Podberyozkin said.

“It is quite significant that not only the European Union countries, but also some states in the Asia-Pacific, including the United States’ old-time partner Japan are against the idea of a common free trade zone. At the recent summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Beijing the twelve member-countries gave the cold shoulder to the US idea of a common Pacific partnership, because the disadvantages of such an alliance were all too obvious,” Podberyozkin said.

“The United States is out to secure an early conclusion of a trade agreement with the European Union. The underlying reasons for such haste are clear: Washington is hurrying to reformat the current global model, in which the soaring US state debt has been eroding confidence in the US dollar. In the East, integration processes are afoot: the developing countries are gaining a firmer foothold in the global economy. The US is anxious to find prompt answers to these challenges,” says the chief research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) Alexander Gusev.

“For the European markets, a trade agreement with the United States will make life really hard. The US economy is far stronger and US goods will be phasing out European manufactures. Job cuts will follow before long. Within the EU transatlantic cooperation may potentially benefit the strongest economies — Germany, Britain, and to an extent, France. All other EU countries will lose,” says the chief of the trading policies department at the Plekhanov Russian Economics University Gennady Ivanov.

“The US dominates over Europe by its military presence, its intelligence community and its diplomacy. Now Washington has launched a campaign for its trade expansion into the EU. The United States will bar its market from European goods at least because EU goods are more expensive than their US counterparts. Many EU politicians see the trans-Atlantic cooperation project as a threat to socio-political stability in their countries,” deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee Andrey Klimov told TASS.

“The number of Europeans who have put their signatures to the message of protest against free trade with the United States — one million — speaks for itself. Here is a still stronger example: in France no less than 40% of citizens feel concerns about that possibility, and the tide of protests will keep rising.”

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