No to CETA, TTIP says La Via Campesina

Declaration by La Via Campesina North America and the European Coordination Via Campesina

April 30th, 2015

On both side of the Atlantic, peasants, farmers, farm and rural workers refuse free trade policies.

We maintain that CETA, the TTIP, TPP and related agreements are unnecessary for trade between countries, and that these agreements will limit the ability of elected governments to make laws, regulations, policies and programs in the interest of the public, farmers and our environment. While the trade-related aspects of these agreements will not benefit farmers, they will weaken important safeguards and institutions that each country’s citizens have created and which reflect important social values.

Trade agreements such as CETA, TPP and the TTIP increase corporations’ ability to control regulations for their own benefit. Trade agreement negotiators, meeting in strict secrecy promise benefits to farmers that are largely fictional. Increased exports do not increase farmer incomes, but instead lead to a race to the bottom in terms of prices paid to farmers and quality delivered to consumers. These proposed trade arrangements increasingly put farmers as well as food and farm workers in every country at the service of the multinational corporations that search the globe for lowest-cost commodities at the expense of the livelihood of farmers, migrant farm and rural workers, indigenous people, women and the poor, consumers’ health, social justice and ecological integrity.

Investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms included in these agreements give foreign investors the power to obtain judgments against elected governments when a new law or rule might compromise their current or future corporate profits. ISDS seriously compromises governments’ capacity to regulate health, environment and safety standards that were put in place to protect people.

In Europe and North America, peasants, farmers, migrants as well as agricultural and rural workers of La Via Campesina denounce CETA, TPP and the TTIP. We share and promote an alternative vision of fair trade that has its foundation in food sovereignty.

Another trade is possible. Globalize the Struggle — globalize hope!

Declaration by La Via Campesina North America and the European Coordination Via Campesina (The National Farmers Union is a member of La Via Campesina)