TTIP Only Benefits Large Cooperations

Martina Römmelt-Fella, businesswoman and founder of the initiative KMU gegen TTIP (SMEs against TTIP Germany), is being interviewed by the Main-Echo on why she opposes the free trade treaty. Besides the intransparency of the negotiations the parallel legal system by the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement, a focus is being put on how little representation opposing SMEs find in the current debate:

“In recent months the trade associations have only talked about the opportunities – not about the risks. The same applies to the Industrie- und Handelskammern (IHKn – Germany’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry) who received a clear order on this from their umbrella organisation, the DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry), saying it would be best if they did not discuss the subject. From the very beginning we SMEs have not been included and now we are supposed to act as cheerleaders.”

Asked about an alternative approach after bringing the negotiations to an halt, she goes on to say:

“TTIP only benefits large corporations – and they do nothing in this region to create a liveable environment; and unlike our SMEs, most of them do not even pay tax. So we are calling for all the negotiating documents to be made public.
On-going we need to focus on setting up a Positive List system to include specific branches of industry and products; and we need to limit the power of international corporations through the introduction of effective competition rules and regulations. Environmental, social and consumer protection standards all need to be strengthened. And for me it is also very important that we protect the regional economic structures that govern rural agriculture, the crafts and the provision of municipal public services.”

Main-Echo, 11.10.2015: “TTIP Only Benefits Large Cooperations”,3833350