Dialect – TTIP fascists destroy EU/US democracy in giant corporate empire?

Underground chapel carved out of the rock

plus Beer Quarry Caves – John Scott

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 128Kbps, 1hr, 55mb

Beer Quarry Caves, Quarry Lane, Beer – East Devon

Location – Between Beer and Branscombe

Many of us marvel at the intricacy of stonemasons’ work on numerous stately buildings, cathedrals and churches. But do we ever stop to consider where the stone came from and the history of the excavation behind it?

Conducted Underground Tours

Our guides will take you on an hour long tour through the awe-inspiring caves with their mighty halls of vaulted roofs and pillars of Beer Stone which have been likened to a vast underground cathedral.

This vast man-made complex of underground caverns was created by centuries of quarrying the famous Beer Stone. The underground quarry, first worked by the Romans, supplied stone for 24 cathedrals including Exeter and St.Paul’s, parts of Westminster Abbey,the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. Quarried by hand, a small block weighing 4 tons, the stone was carted on horse-drawn wagons and by barges from Beer beach to its destination, sometimes involving journeys of several hundreds of miles. The quarry closed around 1920 as a new quarry opposite was opened. This closed in 2003, so there is no quarrying activity now.

TTIP: An economic NATO in formation

Trade liberalization continues to be the lowest-hanging fruit that can boost global economic expansion. The United States, having committed to finalizing two major trade agreements in parallel – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the EU and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 12 Pacific nations – sits squarely in the center of this opportunity.

While the TPP is largely driven by America’s desire to expand its ties to fast-growing Asia and give assurances to Pacific nations against real and perceived security threats from China, with the TTIP, the U.S. aspires to create a deeply integrated transatlantic market composed of the 28 EU member countries and the U.S.

The TTIP is the economic NATO. The TTIP is the new frontier in trade liberalization, an effort to write the new global trade constitution, a blueprint for deep integration trade agreements for the 21st century. The question is: How can Turkey be included in the TTIP?

When the U.S. and the EU launched the TTIP negotiations, Turkey requested a seat at the table, as per its rights as a country with a Customs Union with the EU. This request was duly rejected by both parties. The argument was that Turkey’s inclusion would “complicate the process,” which sounded like a technical excuse, but was actually a politically expedient one. Although Turkey has been vocal in its desire to develop a deeper trade relationship with the U.S., regrettably it has laid virtually none of the groundwork required to shape public opinion in the U.S. Thus, the decline of Turkey’s request was not surprising.

For now, Turkey is stuck with a limited and toothless Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S., and while the 20-year-old Customs Union continues to be the foundation of the Turkey-EU economic relationship, it was never designed to bring the type of enhanced cohesion and deeper economic integration envisioned within the TTIP. Given the high stakes, Turkey cannot afford to give up. But what realistic option does Turkey have?

In a relatively recent and important development, the U.S. has advocated for Japan’s eventual inclusion in the TPP through a provision called “docking,” a clause that would permit Japan and other countries to join the TPP at a later date without suffering any disadvantages.

For docking to be an option for Turkey, the TTIP would need to include a generic docking clause in the agreement. Turkey should initiate a major lobbying effort with the U.S. administration, key leaders in Congress, and EU decision-makers to write the necessary docking provisions into the TTIP. This would grant all countries that have longstanding trade agreements with the U.S. or the EU the right to apply to and join the TTIP.

Turkey should build a coalition of like-minded countries such as Australia, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Canada and Switzerland, among others. This must be done before the agreement goes to the U.S. Congress for a vote and to the EU Parliament for ratification.



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About dialectradio

Dialect Radio was Bristol’s first weekly internet radio show which was originally webcast in 2002. It broadcasts a mixture of local human interest stories along with analysis of community issues from right to housing to radical history.

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