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[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XXIV

In an early update, I wrote about the leak of the European Commission's communication strategy for "overcoming public scepticism" about TAFTA/TTIP. The key section was probably the following: "Making sure that the broad public in each of the EU Member States has a general understanding of what TTIP is (i.e. an initiative that aims at delivering growth and jobs) and what it is not (i.e. an effort to undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment)." [...]

This is something else I had not appreciated. The removal of "non-tariff barriers/measures" is one of the most contentious areas of TTIP since those "barriers" are things like health and safety regulations. The fact that their removal is being treated as "welfare-enhancing" - improving the lot of society - is a truly outrageous redefinition of both society and welfare. It might well boost the bottom lines of companies that pollute the environment, say, but that can hardly been called "welfare enhancing". Thus what are currently being counted as benefits are probably actually costs, as the Austrian economists go on to point out [...]

As I hope you can see, this [study, pdf here] is a really important contribution to the TTIP debate, since it not only examines existing studies, and subjects them to an extremely detailed analysis running to dozens of pages, but it also raises crucial issues that have so far been almost completely ignored. Key among those are the costs of TTIP - which turn out to include aspects that somehow have been magically transformed into benefits, simply by ignoring their true impact on the public. [...]