Trade Treaties and their Global Impact: who makes these rules, and who benefits?

We have heard a great deal about trade agreements ever since the UK Brexit Referendum, but the actual contents of these suggested treaties have remained opaque. What exactly are World Trade Organisation rules? How have they operated internationally in the past? Whose interests do they serve? In their absence, how do bilateral or group arrangements function, and what determines the power relationship between the participants? These issues are crucial to national and international prosperity, and to the political and economic balance of our increasingly globalised world.  John Hilary has worked on international trade issues across a range of NGOs, including for 12 years at the international campaigning organisation War on Want, where he was Executive Director. He has lectured and written widely about trade matters, and his introductory guide to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been translated into 12 European languages. His book, The Poverty of Capitalism, Economic Meltdown and the Struggle for What Comes Next was published by Pluto Press in 2013, and he co-edited the Routledge publication Free Trade and Transnational Labour the following year. He is Honorary Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham University, and has recently served as Head of Trade Policy for the Labour Party. He will discuss the background and content of current trading deals in the context of Brexit and beyond, and the implications they hold for the future.   Guardian Articles.   Blog on TTIP.

13th May 2019


Recipe for Ruin: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

HilaryThe Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) now under negotiation between the EU and the US is set to be the most significant trade liberalising agreement the world has ever seen. This treaty, and especially its proposals for investor-state dispute settlement, will empower corporations to override government laws protecting public health, environmental regulations and social policies where these interfere with corporate profiteering. Tax payers and citizens will once again be left dealing with the consequences and footing the bill.  John Hilary, an expert on global trade issues, will discuss this alarming situation with us. He is the Executive Director of War on Want, and his recent book, The Poverty of Capitalism, is published by Pluto Press this October.