- Created: Monday, 23 November 2015 13:42
- Written by Steve Palmer
A cluster of economic treaties is under negotiation between the leading imperialist countries and their satellites. Imperialist powers are faced with a serious problem of profitability. All these negotiations and wheeler-dealing are no coincidence. They include:
- the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Europe and Canada, which awaits ratification;
- the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the USA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the US and a number of Asian countries;
- the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) between some 51 countries in the World Trade Organisation, which is still being negotiated.
US companies are sitting on about $1.8 trillion of idle cash which would be invested, if only it could be invested profitably. The situation is similar elsewhere: in the UK, companies’ cash reserves total about £550bn ($850bn); in Europe the figure is about €900bn ($1.1 trillion); in Japan about ¥250trn ($2.1 trillion), a staggering 51% of GDP. These enormous sums are sitting idle, not because firms don’t want to invest, but because of the lack of profitability. This situation has been going on for several years. Now capitalism is trying to break out of this stagnation with the help of these treaties, which are intended to steamroller any obstacles to capitalist exploitation.
The US, as the leading imperialist power, is the main player in these talks, but all the leading imperialist powers of Europe and Asia are also trying to cut advantageous deals at each other’s expense.