Tag Archives | TPP

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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President Obama Interview Reveals He’ll Risk All For TPP

Speaking of Democrats’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, “I understand the emotions behind it,” President Obama tells Matt Bai, “but when you break down the logic of their arguments, I’ve got to say that there’s not much there there.” The interview for Yahoo News was remarkable for just how willing Mr. Obama appears to be to make enemies of people he’s supposed to be friends with just to pass the TPP:

“She’s absolutely wrong,” Barack Obama said, before I could even get the question out of my mouth.

He was talking about Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and populist crusader whom Obama helped elevate to national prominence. Warren generally reserves her more acid critiques for Republicans and Wall Street, but in recent weeks she’s been leading a vocal coalition of leftist groups and lawmakers who oppose the president’s free-trade pact with 12 Asian countries.

This past week, as I had just reminded Obama, Warren launched her heaviest torpedo yet against the trade deal, alleging that some future president might use it as an excuse to undo the reregulation of Wall Street that Obama signed into law in 2010.

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#BaltimoreUprising isn’t just about Baltimore

As unrest continues in this broken and beaten down city, if we simply look at the events leading up to the Freddie Gray incident, we see a pattern – a pattern that is noticeable nationwide. A pattern of robbery, racism, injustice and inequality. Freddie Gray is the tip of the iceberg but this corruption runs deep – from TPP to FTP. #RiseUp

Watch the full episode: http://youtu.be/asonJ3tEJFw
@ActOutOnOccupy
facebook.com/ActOutOnOccupy
occupy.com/actout

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New York City Becomes A TPP-Free Zone

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Photo: Neil Ballantyne (CC)


I’m not entirely sure that the New York City Council has the power to defy federal law, but in any event it has declared New York City a TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Free Zone in protest against the controversial trade deal that President Obama is pushing so hard for. Here’s the announcement via Communications Workers of America:

On the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a “raw deal” and “huge mistake,” the New York City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution declaring the city a “TPP-free zone” and urging Congress to reject “Fast Track” legislation for the trade deal.

The TPP, a massive trade agreement covering the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations, is a giant corporate power grab that has been negotiated in secrecy for five years. Executives of the country’s biggest corporations and their lobbyists already have read the text and have had significant opportunities to shape the terms of this deal.

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TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

"With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty," said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

“With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams.

Newly leaked classified documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, if it goes through as written, will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door tribunals to challenge—and supersede—domestic laws, including environmental, labor, and public health, and other protections.

The tribunals, made infamous under NAFTA, were exposed in the “Investment Chapter” from the TPP negotiations, which was released to the public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

“The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Responding to the leak, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, declared: “With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty, expose U.S.

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Go to Prison for Sharing Files? That’s What Hollywood Wants in the Secret TPP Deal

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Photo by Neil Ballantyne (CC)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) poses massive threats to users in a dizzying number of ways. It will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States’ excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten them in the future. It contains extreme DRM anti-circumvention provisions that will make it a crime to tinker with, hack, re-sell, preserve, and otherwise control any number of digital files and devices that you own. The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP’s Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.… Read the rest

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