EU/U.S. — Transatlantic Convergence
by William F. Jasper
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Flying largely under the radar, the first round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) took off July 8 through 12 in Washington, D.C. Although most Americans have barely heard of TTIP — if they’ve heard of it at all — this plan for economic and political merger of the United States and the European Union will assume ever greater urgency over the next year as the negotiation process concludes and we move closer and closer to a vote in Congress.
The divisive national debate over NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) a decade ago provides a preview of the tumult to come. But, as with NAFTA, before any national “debate” is allowed to occur on TTIP, its advocates want to be sure they have already built up an unstoppable momentum. This strategy succeeded with NAFTA, though barely; once the American public began to learn what was in the agreement, the Clinton White House and NAFTA proponents in Congress had to resort to all-out deception, bribery, and political arm-twisting and logrolling to push it through.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could face even stiffer opposition, once knowledge of it gets out. Thus, its proponents have been busy creating what will appear to be widespread consensus in favor of TTIP — by lining up (and buying up) support from Big Business, Big Labor, Big Banking, Big Green, and Big Media — before average Americans even learn that this transatlantic freight train is about to run over them.