Monday, October 21, 2013

Beware the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The latest supposed free trade treaty is nothing of the sort:

The Obama administration has been negotiating the TPP in secret for more than three years. Unlike past trade agreements, the text of the TPP is classified and members of Congress have restricted access to it. If they do read the text, they are not allowed to copy it or discuss any specifics of it. However, more than 600 corporate advisers have direct access to the text on their computers.

. . . the TPP goes far beyond a trade deal. Only five of the twenty nine chapters contain provisions related to trade. The other chapters consist of provisions related to patent protections, investor state rights and finance deregulation, among others. The TPP is a backdoor corporate power grab to advance the stalled WTO agenda. Or as Sachie Mizohata writes in Asia Times, “The TPP is a Trojan horse, branded as a ‘free trade’ agreement, but having nothing to do with fair and equitable treatment. In reality, it is precisely ‘a wish list of the 1% – a worldwide corporate power’. “

. . .

Countries negotiating with the United States need to realize that if the TPP becomes law they will be under the thumb of Monsanto, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wal-Mart and other US-based transnational corporations.  They will have lost their sovereignty. Rodrigo Contreras, Chile’s lead TPP negotiator recently up and quit to warn people of the dangers of TPP highlighting how big financial institutions will dominate their governments and how the TPP “will become a threat for our countries: it will restrict our development options in health and education, in biological and cultural diversity, and in the design of public policies and the transformation of our economies. It will also generate pressures from increasingly active social movements, who are not willing to grant a pass to governments that accept an outcome of the TPP negotiations that limits possibilities to increase the prosperity and well-being of our countries.” The TPP will destroy the sovereignty of the nations who agree to its terms.

The destruction of sovereignty includes the United States.  One of the most egregious outcomes of the TPP, if it passes, is the way it will undermine our national sovereignty as well as the ability of state and local governments to pass laws.  All laws will have to be brought into compliance with the TPP. This means that public institutions like schools and hospitals can no longer give preference to buying local products and consumers may be barred from knowing whether the foods we buy contain GMOs. It means the “Buy America” laws will be illegal so Americans will be forced to spend their money on foreign products that create a massive trade deficit.  And if we pass laws that interfere with expected corporate profits, those laws can be challenged in a special court, an international trade tribunal that operates outside of our legal system and that is staffed largely by corporate lawyers on leave from their corporate jobs.  There will be no appeal to traditional courts from these rigged trade tribunals.

Do what you can to oppose this monstrosity while there is still time, or the South and our sister States will be all the closer to openly pledging allegiance to the flag of Chase-Sony-McDonalds-etc. (which is secretly what the American Empire’s flag symbolizes now - loyalty to corporate domination, not to the Church, the fatherland, the traditions, etc.).

For more information, please have a look at these sites:

A short slide-show type presentation:

Another in-depth look at the TPP:

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