A VENTANA DOCUMENTARY FOR THE ARTE THEME NIGHT ON THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF TTIP ON CITIZENS, CONSUMER STANDARDS, CULTURE AND DEMOCRACY.
The TTIP free trade agreement between the EU and the US will be the "biggest economic deal in history", politicians enthuse: more jobs, growth and prosperity for 800 million people, plus fair rules for globalisation. But critics warn: not only consumer, environmental and data protection will now be sacrificed to capitalism, but also our democracy.
"We are creating growth, jobs - together with the USA we are setting the rules for globalisation!" EU top trade bureaucrat Jean-Luc Demarty enthuses about the transatlantic free trade agreement TTIP. Washington, too, dreams of a market from Hawaii to the Baltic Sea for 800 million people. The West should take the lead before China and others do. Critics see the new EU-Canada free trade agreement CETA as a model and warn against lowering environmental, consumer and data protection standards in the interest of international corporations. Even supporters admit that the USA is interested in 'big data' - the massive collection and analysis of data for the advertising and cultural industries - as well as exports of its high-tech agricultural industry.
The EU Commission is already opening the door to new genetically modified foods. It is negotiating the right of companies to take legal action against democratic legislation, which could become effective in data protection, for example. And about pushing for uniform transatlantic production standards far away from any democratic public.
Free trade is a "slow-motion coup d'état", believes US civil rights activist Lori Wallach. And France's iconic director Costa Gavras demands that Europe should better draw its strength from its own cultural diversity. "European politicians," says British intellectual Glyn Moody, "no longer represent our interests." On the horizon appears the new leading question: which counts more - free trade or the free citizen - capitalism or democracy?
- 52 minutes
- A Ventana-Film production for ZDF/ARTE
- A film by Kersten Schüßler and Martin Gronemeyer
- Editing: Reinhart Lohmann (ZDF)