Tag Archives | TPP

The Trans-­Pacific Partnership: A Neoliberal Escalation

Jared Moore flushes the truth out of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), generally dubbed a “trade” agreement but in truth, oh so much more. Via bilaterals.org:

In 1994 it was NAFTA. Today it’s the TPP.

TPP Leesburg Rally

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the current project aimed at forwarding the political objectives of neoliberalism. And it’s a serious one, much larger than NAFTA and with a more ambitious scope. What started out as a relatively small partnership between three countries now includes twelve, spearheaded by the United States and together comprising forty percent of the world economy. Mexico joined the group in 2012.

Despite the enormous potential impact of the TPP, it’s likely you haven’t heard much detail about the deal’s contents. After campaigning as a champion of transparency, Barack Obama has ensured that the TPP be kept hidden from the public. This is a decision without precedent, leaving some to conclude: “Now that many people have caught on to the fact that free trade agreements have negative consequences, transparency has ended.” All of the countries involved, including Mexico, have reportedly agreed not to reveal its contents to the public until “four years from entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, four years from the close of the negotiations.”

What we do know about the deal, we know from individuals who have taken great risks by illegally leaking portions through the webpage WikiLeaks.

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It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Human Rights

Recently several human rights groups have documented that the US State Department has upgraded the status of some countries, notably Malaysia and Cuba, regarding human trafficking in order to improve diplomatic relations with those countries. Human trafficking, which is modern day slavery, is the illegal buying and selling of people, typically for forced labor or forced prostitution. According to news reports, some diplomats privately say that human rights workers are naive “purists” and should recognize that diplomatic interests properly outweigh human rights interests.

625px-Les_Mortels_sont_égaux,_ce_n'est_pas_la_naissance_c'est_la_seule_vertu_qui_fait_la_différence

As a human rights worker, I know it is vitally important to tell the truth about human rights and not to falsify official reports about human rights in order to achieve diplomatic goals.

Human rights workers are rarely “purists.” They fight a lonely battle, often knowing there is little they can do in the offending country and knowing that “good” countries such as the US often will choose to elevate diplomatic goals over human rights goals.… Read the rest

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Bounty on Its Head: Wikileaks Raising €100K Reward for Secret Text of TTIP

(Image: CD / CC BY 3.0)

(Image: CD / CC BY 3.0)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Jon Queally’s articles here.

The full text of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) now has a bounty on its head.

Launched publicly on Tuesday, the media outlet Wikileaks announced its creation of a crowd-sourcing effort that aims to raise a €100,000 reward for the full text of the the TTIP, the corporate-friendly trade pact currently being negotiated in secret by the United States and member countries of the European Union.

Financial pledges towards the bounty, said Wikileaks, have already been made by a number of high profile activists and luminaries from Europe and the U.S., including former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, esteemed UK fashion designer and environmental campaigner Dame Vivenne Westwood, journalist Glenn Greenwald, award-winning Australian film-maker and investigative journalist John Pilger, Belarusian philosopher and theorist Evgeny Morozov, and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.… Read the rest

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TPPA – the End of Democratic Sovereignty in New Zealand

TPP image via Office of the United States Trade Representative.

TPP image via Office of the United States Trade Representative.

After much speculation and insubstantial promises, we now find ourselves inching closer to the final stages of the TPP agreement. The empty rhetoric and political bombast is coming fast and thick, with some key show-downs taking place amidst a general feeling that we’re quickly running out of time to force a withdraw. While there are further protests scheduled and some time left, unless there is mass large-scale revolt, it is hard to feel in any way optimistic that this deal won’t go ahead.

The wild claims of the National government regarding the apparently substantial positive effects that this trade agreement will have, have been made to look suitably flimsy and dishonest by reports that show the damning and definitive evidence to the contrary; when all the facts are assessed, the data points to the true overarching problem – that we are on the verge of a global neoliberal confidence scam that effectively undermines our democratic sovereignty.… Read the rest

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Poisoning the Democratic Well

Alex Indigo (CC BY 2.0)

Alex Indigo (CC BY 2.0)

Murray Dobbin writes at CounterPunch:

Opponents of so-called free trade deals have always struggled with the question of why these international treaties don’t generate more alarm and vocal opposition from Canadians. These treaties, after all, trump all other Canadian authority to make laws — provincial legislatures, Parliament, the courts and even the Constitution. If, instead of being bored by news of another ho-hum “trade deal,” Canadians were told that a panel of three international trade lawyers would be reviewing all new laws and determining, in secret, which ones passed muster by meeting with the approval of their giant corporate clients, would they react differently?

That is effectively what all of these corporate rights treaties establish: extra-judicial rulings whose objective is to protect the profits against laws passed in the public interest. The clauses that allow such suits are referred to as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

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WikiLeaks Places $100,000 Bounty on Missing Chapters of TPP Agreement

WikiLeaks has launched a campaign to crowd-source a $100,000 reward for America’s Most Wanted Secret: the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Over the last two years WikiLeaks has published three chapters of this super-secret global deal, despite unprecedented efforts by negotiating governments to keep it under wraps. US Senator Elizabeth Warren has said

“[They] can’t make this deal public because if the American people saw what was in it, they would be opposed to it.”

The remaining 26 chapters of the deal are closely held by negotiators and the big corporations that have been given privileged access. Today, WikiLeaks is taking steps to bring about the public’s rightful access to the missing chapters of this monster trade pact.

The TPP is the largest agreement of its kind in history: a multi-trillion dollar international treaty being negotiated in secret by the US, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia and 7 other countries. The treaty aims to create a new international legal regime that will allow transnational corporations to bypass domestic courts, evade environmental protections, police the internet on behalf of the content industry, limit the availability of affordable generic medicines, and drastically curtail each country’s legislative sovereignty.… Read the rest

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The TPP is Not a Trade Agreement

Dave Johnson writes at Campaign for America’s Future:

“Trade” is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear “trade” and the brain stops working. People think, “Of course, trade is good.” And that ends the discussion.

Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem. It enables advocates to say things like, “95 percent of the world lives outside the U.S.” as if that has anything to do with TPP. It lets them say, “We know that exports support American jobs” to sell a corporate rights agreement. It enables them to say nonsense like this about a corporate rights agreement designed to send American jobs to Vietnam so a few “investors” can pocket the wage difference: “Exports of U.S.

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The TPP, the Biomassacre and the End Game for the Great Forests of the Northwest

Michael Donnelly writes at CounterPunch:

The Charge and Retreat of the Faux-Resistance

New York’s Third Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ecocide) had a banner week. First, the media and social memes were ubiquitous on the hours-long Faux Resistance mounted against the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal pushed by Obama. Wyden’s joining other Dems in the faux resistance got big media play and allowed die-hard Dem boosters to ignore (for a few hours, anyway) his long-standing role as TPP’s main sponsor of the (fait accompli) Senate legislation – at the behest of the usual oligarchs.

Other “liberal” Dems, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Christopher Coons of Delaware, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and others also took cover and voted with the faux resistance on Tuesday’s meaningless procedural vote. Predictably, the resistance quickly collapsed after the press releases went out and a dealwas cut by Wyden et al.

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