The negotiations are entering a new phase in New York next week. Europe and the U.S. hope to create a major free-trade zone. "This area would escape every kind of democratic checks", protester Sebastien Franco claims.
"It would offer multinationals the opportunity to attack national laws in the area of the environment, public health, food safety etc. if they think this legislation harms their interests. When a case is started, it would not be treated by national courts but by a private instance, which has until now systematically chosen the side of the American multinationals."
Protesters targeted not just the TTIP but also similar agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. They say each of these accords benefits the biggest players, giving the example of the NAFTA deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, "which turned out to be a disaster for the Mexican and Latin American economy." Farmers fear that TTIP could put their independence at risk.