"It's A Trojan Horse" - Thousands Of Germans Protest TTIP Trade Deal One Day Before Obama Visit

Whether it is due to Trump's increasingly vocal anti-free trade rhetoric or due to the ongoing deterioration in the global economy, there has been a big change in the public's perception toward the transatlatnic deal known as TTIP in the recent months, with support for the agreement which was drafted by big corporations behind closed doors tumbling.

As Reuters reported last week, support for the transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP has fallen sharply in Germany and the United States, a survey showed on Thursday, days before Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama meet to try to breathe new life into the pact.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for the Bertelsmann Foundation, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a good thing, down from 55 percent two years ago.

 

In the United States, only 18 percent support the deal compared to 53 percent in 2014.

 

Nearly half of U.S. respondents said they did not know enough about the agreement to voice an opinion.

 

To be sure, as Michael Krieger wrote on Thursday, "the writing was already on the wall a year ago, which is why politicians were scrambling to pass TPP fast track as quickly as possible, which, of course, they did. So the good news is the public is clearly waking up. What’s a bit depressing is that it’s taken so many decades. Yes, decades."

But while Americans seemingly have more important things to be concerned about, in Germany the activists are once again making themselves heard. Recall that it was just last October when a stunning quarter million Germans packed the street of Berlin to protest Obama's "Free Trade" deal.

 

Fast forward to today when one day before Obama visits Angela Merke in Germany to pitch the trade agreement, thousands of German protesters have once again come out on the streets of Hannover to say 'No' to the controversial TTIP US-EU trade deal. Many in Germany fear it will reduce consumer protection and undermine workers’ protection.

While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe is set to create the world's largest free trade zone, many Europeans worry that the agreement would elevate corporate interest above national interest. TTIP opponents say that cheaper goods and services would only hurt the EU and help the US.

"People say the deal is going to compromise the European Union sovereignty, and would create much more secrecy, with one of the biggest concerns being that the agreement is wrapped in a big veil of secrecy that people are not happy with,” RT's Anastasia Churkina reported from Hannover.

 

According to BBC, German police estimate that about 30,000 people are taking part in the peaceful protest rally in Hannover. Many are carrying placards with slogans that read: "Stop TTIP!"

The demonstrators have also been voicing their anger over the secrecy surrounding the ongoing TTIP negotiations.

"The TTIP between the American continent and Europe is very dangerous for the democracy, for our nature and for the rights of the workers," protester Florian Rohrich told the BBC.

"The rights in America for workers are much lower. It's like the Trojan horse. They can't change our whole system. But they will - because TTIP is written by the groups, by the companies, not by the politicians," he added.

The negotiations were launched three years ago, and the next round is due to open on Monday in New York.

Obama's visit to Germany, which is the US' biggest trading partner, takes place two days after Obama stood next to the UK's David Cameron and threatened that if the country votes for Brexit it would be pushed to the "back of the queue" when it comes to trade with the US, confirming Obama increasingly sees the threat of lost trade as a diplomatic weapon. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to discuss the TTIP deal with Obama when he visits a trade show in Hannover on Sunday and Monday. We expect comparable threats to Friday's to emerge with Obama making it clear that Germany stands to lose if it does not endorse the TTIP.

Sure enough, in an interview with Bild, Obama said that "the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is one of the best ways to promote growth and create jobs." Ironically, this comes just as support for the TTIP is tumbling on both sides of the Atlantic.

Wrapping up a deal would be a "win-win situation," Angela Merkel announced in her weekly podcast, adding that "it is good for us as we will be able to appraise our competitors."

In the best-case scenario, TTIP could cover over 40 percent of global GDP and account for large shares of world trade and foreign direct investment. Washington’s ambassador to Germany, Anthony L. Gardner, said in an exclusive interview with EurActiv in 2014 that “we need this deal to help solidify further the transatlantic alliance, to provide an economic equivalent to NATO and to set the rules of world trade before others do it for us.”

Meanwhile, as Americans mostly disapprove of the TTIP as of this moment if refuse to do anything about it, this is what took place in Hannover.