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Barack Obama: Globalization is Here to Stay

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In a joint article for business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cooperation was vital in terms of the rapidly growing global economy and there will not be a return to a world before globalization.

“Today we find ourselves at a crossroads—the future is upon us, and we will never return to a pre-globalization economy. Germans and Americans we must seize the opportunity to shape globalization based on our values and our ideas. We owe it to our industries and our peoples—indeed, to the global community—to broaden and deepen our cooperation.” Barack Obama and Angela Merkel guest contribution to WirtschaftsWoche

TTIP “would help us grow and remain globally competitive for decades to come” and that it would “lift living standards” for both European and US “employers, workers, consumers, and farmers,” the Obama-Merkel article said.

Europeans and Americans have protested against TTIP since the trade deal was proposed three years ago. They have criticized the treaty for its secretiveness and lack of accountability. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) is currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. The contents of the competing proposals as well as of the reports on TTIP negotiations are classified from the public. After a proposed draft was leaked in March 2014, the European Commission launched a public consultation on a limited set of clauses and in January 2015 published parts of an overview; and subsequently increased security over its secrecy. Some speculation states negotiations will not be finished until 2019 or 2020. Wikileaks currently has a €100,000 reward for Europe’s most wanted secret.

Together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) these treaties represent the “Three Big T’s”, affecting 53 countries, 1.6 billion people and covering two thirds of the global economy. They aim to create a new international legal regime allowing transnational corporations to bypass domestic courts, evade environmental protections, police the internet on behalf of the content industry, limit the availability of affordable generic medicines, and drastically curtail each country’s legislative sovereignty. Of the “Three Big T’s”, the TTIP remains the least exposed to public scrutiny, and the most significant to the interests of the public.