Companies Rebel against TTIP

The article in Frankfurter Rundschau introduces the position of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the free trade agreement TTIP in the oponing sides of the 1,200 companies spanning KMU gegen TTIP (SME against TTIP) initiative versus the BVMW (German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses). The main argument, laid out by KMUgegenTTIP-initiator Martina Römmelt-Fella from Fella Maschinenbau, is that SMEs on both sides of the treaty would economically suffer from TTIP.

“’Most small and medium-sized enterprises will not benefit from TTIP – in fact, quite the opposite, as it is precisely sustainable companies or regional artisanal firms that will be the losers,’ says Ulrike Saade, one of the co-founders of the campaign and managing director of Velokonzept, a Berlin-based agency for green mobility. But their voice, she says, is not given a fair hearing by the trade associations. “It’s the industrial conglomerates and large corporations who dominate the debate,” says Saade. She says any criticism of TTIP by the BVMW (German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses), for example, is fading away.”

The author goes on to argue that free trade treaties in general would be welcomed by the SMEs, but potential loss of jobs and clients seem to dominate with the criticial opponents:

“An independent study of TTIP by the Tufts University in Massachusetts came to similar conclusions: 600,000 jobs would be lost in Europe; exports and GDP would shrink; wages and tax revenues would go down. The EU Commission on the other hand is predicting that TTIP will result in slightly stronger economic growth. Jenny Krutzinna is another signatory to the “KMU gegen TTIP” campaign. She is self-employed and runs a so-called co-working space in Frankfurt am Main – it is a sort of community office for freelancers and start-ups. She is concerned that many young small businesses will simply close up shop if things are made even more difficult for them as a result of TTIP. ‘If that happens, we will lose clients,’ says Krutzinna. But the young businesswoman does not want to complain. ‘We SMEs need to get more engaged, otherwise we can hardly expect to be taken seriously. We need to do our own form of lobbying.’”

Frankfurter Rundschau, 5.10.2015: „Companies Rebel against TTIP“,1472780,32088426.html