Tag Archives | trade

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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‘Holy Grail’ of Leaks Claims TISA is a Detailed Plot for Corporate Takeover

At a protest in Geneva last year. (Photo: Annette Dubois/flickr/cc)

At a protest in Geneva last year. (Photo: Annette Dubois/flickr/cc)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Deirdre’s posts here.

Days ahead of another round of secret international negotiations, WikiLeaks on Wednesday released what it described as “a modern journalistic holy grail: the secret Core Text for the largest ‘trade deal’ in history.”

That deal is the Trade in Services Agreement, or TISA, currently being negotiated by 52 nations that together account for two-thirds of global GDP. Those nations are the United States, the 28 members of the European Union, and 23 other countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Israel. According to WikiLeaks, TISA “is the largest component of the United States’ strategic neoliberal ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate,” which also includes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP).

“Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order shaped for transnational corporations, but a new economic ‘grand enclosure,’ which excludes China and all other BRICS countries,” declared WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assangein a press statement.… Read the rest

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Leaked TISA Docs Expose Corporate Plan For Reshaping Global Economy

"It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing," said Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. (Image created by Common Dreams)

“It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing,” said Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. (Image created by Common Dreams)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Sarah Lazare’s posts here.

An enormous corporate-friendly treaty that many people haven’t heard of was thrust into the public limelight Wednesday when famed publisher of government and corporate secrets, WikiLeaks, released 17 documents from closed-door negotiations between countries that together comprise two-thirds of the word’s economy.

Analysts warn that preliminary review shows that the pact, known as the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), is aimed at further privatizing and deregulating vital services, from transportation to healthcare, with a potentially devastating impact for people of the countries involved in the deal, and the world more broadly.… 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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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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Why Cuba, and Why Now? One Missing Perspective on the Story

Unpolluted Caribbean Beach, similar to the endangered beached of Cuba. (Photo: Hugo Marin)

Unpolluted Caribbean Beach, similar to the endangered beached of Cuba. (Photo: Hugo Marin)

Hugo Marin and Joyce Meghan, writing at Common Dreams:

The so-called “thaw” between the United States and Cuba has been celebrated by many on the political Left and Right in the United States, while disdained by those on the far Right. What has been absent from the conversation has been the voice of the Pro-Global South and the Cuban people in Cuba. It is critical for Westerners involved in this debate to organize the information in a global and historical context that centers on the Cuban people and their interests.

The mid-far Left views the thaw as a path toward a positive relationship with Cuba and a means to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison. The bipartisan center views this as a path toward a diplomatic relationship with Cuba that would include vast capitalist opportunities for US corporations.

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Obama’s Trade Chief Pushes Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Michael Froman official portrait.jpg

Michael Froman, US Trade Representative

This should give those wary of a One World Government some New Year jitters: the US Government’s trade representative wants the much-reviled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to expand, reports the New York Times:

For Michael B. Froman, President Obama’s chief evangelist for expanding global trade, skepticism comes with the territory.

He and his colleagues have clocked more than 1,500 meetings on Capitol Hill to promote the president’s big potential trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — and still its prospects for passage look as problematic as ever.

Even before Mr. Froman began facing a leery Congress, he had to persuade wary colleagues at the White House that it was worth pursuing. They scoffed that the original T.P.P. concept, conceived during the administration of George W. Bush, was too small, with only four Asian countries as members. And in the chaotic days of 2009, when Mr. Froman was deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, embarking on a campaign to advance a new trade agenda seemed less important than averting a global financial collapse.

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Death Follows McCain To The Ukraine As Armenia-Ultimatum to Screw Over Russia Fails Again for the EU and the U.S.

ukraine-protestvia chycho

It has become obvious that what’s going on in Ukraine is an extension of the cold war as the U.S. and the EU try and peddle a modified version of the Armenia-ultimatum to their people. Sound complicated? It’s not really. What’s going on in Ukraine is an economic proxy war that has turned sour.

The trade deal that the EU has offered the Ukraine is garbage. To find out how bad it is all we have to do is look at why Armenia ended up telling the EU to shove it when they tried to jam the same deal down their throats.

In September 2013, Armenia called off an Armenia-EU Association Agreement after they found out that the trade deal was not really about easing trade restrictions with the EU but about screwing over Russia, and themselves by extension:

“The apparently smooth progress towards a final deal came to a shuddering halt in early September, when President Serzh Sargsyan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and announced plans to join another economic bloc, the Moscow-led Customs Union.

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United States Eases Regulations on Exporting Weapons: “Quit Arming the Fucking World, Man”, Bill Hicks

via chycho
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So, it looks like “in a boon for military contractors, the United States is relaxing controls on military exports, allowing some U.S.-made military parts to flow to nearly any country in the world with little oversight.”

Considering these latest revelations, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing a few wise words from one of the greatest teachers that I have ever come across, Bill Hicks:

“Quit arming the fucking world, man…. We keep arming these little countries and then going blowing the shit out of ‘em. We’re like the bullies of the globe. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing a pistol at the sheep herder’s feet.”

Bill Hicks on Arming The world

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Iran and America Joined at the Hip by Snake Venom Antidote

Picture: Julie Anne Workman (CC)

When the US government needs anti-venin effective against Afghanistan’s venomous snakes (there’s eight species, by the way) it turns to Iran…

Via Newser:

The US leads the charge when it comes to economic sanctions against Iran—but when American soldiers’ health is at stake, the military is willing to do a little business with the Islamic republic. Iran produces antivenin against the poisonous snakes of Afghanistan; our own antivenins are toothless against such bites, as they’re made from domestic species. Working through a middleman, the US has bought 115 $310 vials of the stuff since January 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal’s reporting has prompted a military review to see whether the practice violates sanctions rules. If so, a government waiver may be needed.

Check your tourniquet and keep reading.

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