This Transatlantic Trade Deal is a Full-Frontal Assault on Democracy

page: 1
12
<<   2 >>

log in

join

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:16 PM
link   
This Transatlantic Trade Deal is a Full-Frontal Assault on Democracy
Brussels has kept quiet about a treaty that would let rapacious companies subvert our laws, rights and national sovereignty

by George Monbiot

www.commondreams.org...

Treaties seem to be the approach Big Business is using to subvert the will and laws of sovereign nations these days. Each one seems to be worse then the last.

We are living the Corporate World protrayed by such films as Rollerball (the original), Alien and others. And it's all being done in secret, without any public debate on merits.

I've always had my concerns in this area, but it's truly a hydra.

NAFTA
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Now this Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal



Remember that referendum about whether we should create a single market with the United States? You know, the one that asked whether corporations should have the power to strike down our laws? No, I don't either. Mind you, I spent 10 minutes looking for my watch the other day before I realised I was wearing it. Forgetting about the referendum is another sign of ageing. Because there must have been one, mustn't there? After all that agonising over whether or not we should stay in the European Union, the government wouldn't cede our sovereignty to some shadowy, undemocratic body without consulting us. Would it?

The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections. Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.

The mechanism through which this is achieved is known as investor-state dispute settlement. It's already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet.


NAFTA, the same; TPP, the same.

It's an extortion racket.

Then there is this:

The The Compensation for Nuclear Damage

good catch from Wrabbit2000 affecting Fukushima

(see: www.abovetopsecret.com...)

All to protect Big Business Revenues (hence profits). Who is protecting the people's revenues (collective and individual)

Friends, please read the article for more information and specific examples that will make things much more understandable.

Such as:



In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada's patent laws are changed.

edit on 5-11-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:21 PM
link   
While we are all looking the other way........
This TPP had me worried a while back
Rainbows
Jane
edit on 5-11-2013 by angelchemuel because: keyboard!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:47 PM
link   
Truly nasty business this. No longer do they need storm troopers in black boots to take over your country, corporate lawyers can do far worse than any SS unit ever could.
I hadn't even heard about this as the TPP was the last one on my radar.
They're even sneaking these by people that try to watch.
Time grows short for real change.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:32 PM
link   
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Being a little slow to catch on...

... what are we supposed to do about this?



Help



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:33 PM
link   
It amazes me that people still fail to see how damaging NAFTA, etc have been to this country.

You talk to some people and they still think clinton is a hero because of them.

This looks like just one more nail in the american economy.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:42 PM
link   
Afterthought: What if this amounts to "tossing a bone" to China in exchange for continuing to finance US debt?
It seems to me the companies who would benefit most would be Chinese since they have such lax environmental and safety laws. It would be Chinese corporations suing to institute their laws in the US and Europe. Makes for a sneaky end-run around all our hard fought laws to stop harm to the planet and workers.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:54 PM
link   
Oh, I know the OP is relying on an "activists" website, stating opinion.

However, there is another side to this. This is an agreement to create a free trade area covering perhaps 50% of the global GDP. We need such an area where the constituents don't play silly games with each other to hobble trading progress, such as the perpetual interference with e.g. Boeing and Airbus.

If the main democracies cannot make such agreements, then we may as well cede the stage to the autocracies, like China. Anyone here want to live under a Chinese system? If so, turn off ATS because that'll be banned.

Regards



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:57 PM
link   
reply to post by paraphi
 


EU has superior environmental and health regulations compared to US.

Should EU lower their standards or US rise?

Corporations are losing lots of potential profit due to EU high standards.
edit on 5-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:07 PM
link   

Cabin
reply to post by paraphi
 


EU has superior environmental and health regulations compared to US.

Should EU lower their standards or US rise?


Is there any evidence that environmental, health and / or labour regulations will be impacted? No. Perhaps, the US will benefit and improve their practices to EU levels and the Constitution be damned! Perhaps our US cousins will be exposed to half decent pork and change some of their industrial farming practices and introduce half decent animal welfare. We live in hope. US bacon is crap, let's face it!

Either way, trade is good. Free trade is better.

Regards



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:19 PM
link   
reply to post by paraphi
 


I agree there is nothing known evidence on the matter. What makes me worried is the investor-state legal issue, where investors (corporations) can sue foreign governments for potential profit lost due to local environmental standards. There is evidence of that point affecting local governments in raising the standards. Also EU has stated that they are willing to take a look at what could be done in a more coordinated matter, whatever that means.

Also it would highly affect future environmental decisions. I do not want companies having the option of sueing a government who raised their standards, which affected their profit.

There have been cases before, where some government/nation is sued for having too high standards, affecting potential income of the corporation. Just some cases mentioned in the article: www.theguardian.com...


The Australian government, after massive debates in and out of parliament, decided that cigarettes should be sold in plain packets, marked only with shocking health warnings. The decision was validated by the Australian supreme court. But, using a trade agreement Australia struck with Hong Kong, the tobacco company Philip Morris has asked an offshore tribunal to award it a vast sum in compensation for the loss of what it calls its intellectual property.

During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people's energy and water bills (does this sound familiar?). It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation. In El Salvador, local communities managed at great cost (three campaigners were murdered) to persuade the government to refuse permission for a vast gold mine which threatened to contaminate their water supplies. A victory for democracy? Not for long, perhaps. The Canadian company which sought to dig the mine is now suing El Salvador for $315m – for the loss of its anticipated future profits.

In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada's patent laws are changed.

These companies (along with hundreds of others) are using the investor-state dispute rules embedded in trade treaties signed by the countries they are suing. The rules are enforced by panels which have none of the safeguards we expect in our own courts. The hearings are held in secret. The judges are corporate lawyers, many of whom work for companies of the kind whose cases they hear. Citizens and communities affected by their decisions have no legal standing. There is no right of appeal on the merits of the case. Yet they can overthrow the sovereignty of parliaments and the rulings of supreme courts.

You don't believe it? Here's what one of the judges on these tribunals says about his work. "When I wake up at night and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign states have agreed to investment arbitration at all ... Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament."

There are no corresponding rights for citizens. We can't use these tribunals to demand better protections from corporate greed. As the Democracy Centre says, this is "a privatised justice system for global corporations".

Even if these suits don't succeed, they can exert a powerful chilling effect on legislation. One Canadian government official, speaking about the rules introduced by the North American Free Trade Agreement, remarked: "I've seen the letters from the New York and DC law firms coming up to the Canadian government on virtually every new environmental regulation and proposition in the last five years. They involved dry-cleaning chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, patent law. Virtually all of the new initiatives were targeted and most of them never saw the light of day." Democracy, as a meaningful proposition, is impossible under these circumstances.


I have nothing against losing tariffs, but this is making me very worried about possible future consequences on raising the standards.
edit on 5-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:25 PM
link   
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


lol "Free" trade. lol

NAFTA gave a lot of power to corporations - the rest of the deals are just tying up the loose ends for them.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:36 PM
link   

f4andHALFtoads
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Being a little slow to catch on...

... what are we supposed to do about this?



Help


I honestly don't know other then spread the word and call elected federal officials.

One would think the "sovereignity" bunch would be all over this - Libertarians especially. But I'm hearing and reading next to nothing.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:38 PM
link   

Asktheanimals
Afterthought: What if this amounts to "tossing a bone" to China in exchange for continuing to finance US debt?
It seems to me the companies who would benefit most would be Chinese since they have such lax environmental and safety laws. It would be Chinese corporations suing to institute their laws in the US and Europe. Makes for a sneaky end-run around all our hard fought laws to stop harm to the planet and workers.


No - Big Multinationals Corporations will benefit regardless of nation of origin.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:39 PM
link   

Cabin
reply to post by paraphi
 


EU has superior environmental and health regulations compared to US.

Should EU lower their standards or US rise?

Corporations are losing lots of potential profit due to EU high standards.
edit on 5-11-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)


And the EU has the right to set standards for THEIR MEMBERS.

Corporations do no have a RIGHT to PROFIT. (Except in these treaties)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:41 PM
link   
reply to post by Cabin
 


This post seems to contradict your previous one.

And it SHOULD WORRY YOU.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:41 PM
link   

soficrow
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


lol "Free" trade. lol

NAFTA gave a lot of power to corporations - the rest of the deals are just tying up the loose ends for them.




Definition of Free Trade - Private Profit at Public Expense.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:26 PM
link   

FyreByrd

soficrow
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


lol "Free" trade. lol

NAFTA gave a lot of power to corporations - the rest of the deals are just tying up the loose ends for them.




Definition of Free Trade - Private Profit at Public Expense.


The ones that engineered all this are Neocons.
They sold themselves to each other on how they will help the third world with the first world citizens paying for it.
All the first world citizens have to take a cut in pay and standard of living but not the ones engineering it. Their profits have never been better. They do not care about individual countries unless there is an angle they can use to their benefit like the military for example.

Think of Romney and his "Spreading the Wealth to China" quote. Perfect example of a Neocon Fascists.

edit on 5-11-2013 by jacobe001 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:04 PM
link   
We need to create trade agreements that establish international standards, and countries and corporations that don't comply should be hit with tariffs and big fines.

Maybe it is time to completely outlaw corporations, or write laws that corporate entities can't own property, in order to assign repsonsibility to actual living people who will be held responsible for the actions of the corporations.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:51 PM
link   

poet1b

We need to create trade agreements that establish international standards, and countries and corporations that don't comply should be hit with tariffs and big fines.

Maybe it is time to completely outlaw corporations, or write laws that corporate entities can't own property, in order to assign repsonsibility to actual living people who will be held responsible for the actions of the corporations.



Personally, I'm in favor of a Corporate Death Penalty for Crimes Against Humanity.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:07 AM
link   
I rather hope the spying between the UK and the USA etc is not a ruse to suddenly make friends with the USA, forgive and sell out! - if you take my meaning.

I loathe these corporations that fiddle taxes and have more power than our elected governments (for whatever use they are today except to toady to the 'enemy'

I do feel that our laws are being manipulated to put in place certain people who fiddle and dislodge the very essence some of the laws were put in place to protect and this, surely, as said above, is the corner stone that needs to be taken out and a new law breaking down the sized of these corporations and making them accountable in each country for whatever they get up to, if its against public interest.

Its only since these companies can disappear into the mist of corporation law and protection that so much of this corruption has been got away with.



new topics
top topics
 
12
<<   2 >>

log in

join