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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is coming, and it could give multinational corporations even more influence over global policy. That’s what critics of the trade deal between 12 countries along the Pacific Rim (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam) are saying. It’s not helping that the contents of the agreement have largely been kept secret, even though the TPP is the biggest trade deal since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.
What’s known about the TPP’s 29 chapters — of which only five cover trade, and only three have been leaked — has sent chills through activists on both ends of the political spectrum. Here’s a breakdown of the five biggest issues the TPP presents:
It’s Being Kept Secret From the World
Thanks to leaks published by Citizens Trade Campaign and WikiLeaks, we’ve seen draft chapters of the environmental, investment and intellectual property sections of the TPP. But the rest is a mystery, and mainstream media coverage has been scant.
Obama himself has remarked that “objections, protest, rumors” and “conspiracy theories” around the TPP are inevitable, reflecting a “lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations.”
That “lack of knowledge” isn’t elective, however. Though TPP stakeholders, including 600 corporations and multiple labor unions, including the AFL-CIO, are allowed access to the draft, the public is not. Even Congress is being kept on a short leash — while a few Congress members have been allowed to read draft text of the trade agreement, they’ve also been sworn to secrecy about what they’ve seen.
“I read some sections of a draft of the TPP that identified sections that were still being negotiated, that did not identify what positions were being taken by which countries,” Florida Representative Alan Grayson told VICE News.
“A number of staffers from the Trade Representative’s office came, brought the document with them, and insisted on staying in the room and looking at me as I read the document.”
His general take on what he read, even if he can’t reveal the details? “It would be a punch in the face to the middle class of America. But I can’t tell you why.”
The investor-state dispute settlement provision (ISDS) of the TPP would allow foreign investors to sue governments over domestic policy that might diminish their profits. Hypothetically, for instance, an agribusiness company could sue a country that bans GMOs in order to recoup lost profits. This has already been possible, to some extent, under NAFTA — as in the cases “Eli Lilly v. Canada” and “Metalclad v. Mexico” — yet these rules do not apply to countries governed by the WTO. The TPP would extend NAFTA-style ISDS to the 12 participating countries.
Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told VICE News that the ISDS “would formalize the elevation of individual corporations and investors to equal status with nation states.”
Grayson is ferociously clear about what the effect will be: “The TPP would destroy our ability to govern ourselves. In large part, what you’d see is something between corporate rule and anarchy… It establishes a Hobbesian war of all against all.”
TTP is not perfect, but it is gradually moving towards a more balanced position.
originally posted by: Kali74
a reply to: CloudsTasteMetallic
It always amazes me that this doesn't get talked about much on ATS. This is one of the mother lode conspiracies and only a handful of us post about it. This is what corporations and the 1% of the the 1% having been buying politicians for. This is one of the most major reasons the hatred between people who vote the two party system has been being stoked so furiously as to be on the brink of civil war...
Think about how many people you know or see in political discussions that nothing matters to them more than pissing off a democrat/republican/liberal/conservative/teaparty/occupier/leftist/rightwinger, fewer and fewer people care if their guy is right for the job only that it's not the other guy. Perfect set-up to flood Congress and the Courts with paid puppets.
All of that has lead to the TPP... not the New World Order but the Old World Order taking it's throne.
How in the world do you think that they will ever make free trade between corporations balanced without government intervention?