The media has ignored the insidious nature of the TPP

The media has ignored the insidious nature of the TPP which took six years to be written in secret, some of the Presidential candidates including my favorite Bernie Sanders spoke against it. Most of the media’s spotty pro coverage of it goes something like: Globalization requires free trade. Trade is important. TPP promises to create jobs. The critics are allowed to basically say it may be as bad for jobs as prior so called trade agreements. The TPP is a very detailed large document that is very specific in extending corporate power. It was written by corporations for corporations. The corporate media and the Washington Beltway approach this in a limited discussion which is vacuous. The media does not discuss or ask the questions which would foster real discussion which I believe would lead to a far deeper concern than now exists . Over and over they talk about increasing American jobs and the need to be part of the global economy. I would expect that any cogent discussion of so called free trade start with a synopsis of the promises verses the reality of prior trade agreements. The history of “free trade” includes the empty promises that Bill Clinton had said that NAFTA would create jobs. The country lost manufacturing jobs, it is really hard to understand how the same lame promise can be recycled for TPP which is a far broader document encompassing 12 countries and 600 participating corporations favoring greater corporate control. Corporate profits are prioritized over the citizen’s welfare and well being in TPP and TTIP. Here are some terms I want to see people who pass themselves off as knowing something about the trade agreements ought to be able to discuss the pros and cons of in the context of TPP. Indirect expropriation Regulatory homogenizing Corporate Tribunals Investor State Dispute Settlement Opportunity Costs Indirect expropriation refers to when a local state or federal government that makes a regulation to protect the interests of citizens of a said country such as protecting their drinking water gets accused of taking the right of corporations protected under the trade agreement to extract profit away. A corporation which has a foreign base or subsidiary outside that country (foreign interest ) is eligible under TPP to sue for lost opportunity cost or future projected earnings in a corporate tribunal which does not adhere to the laws of that country nor is bound to follow precedence. Regulatory homogenizing is requiring the signatory countries to align all that countries rules laws and regulations to comply with the TPP agreement Investor State Dispute clauses; ie eradicating safe water standards so foreign corporations can make more money without worrying about the public’s safety laws, the public’s health or the environmental impact. The public would have NO RECOURSE. Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses have been arranged for a corporation to protect the corporate interest of that business to operate over and usurp our judicial system. Three corporate lawyers sit as judges on a tribunal against local state and Federal governments laws that the corporations take issue with. These tribunals are not bound by precedence which has been the back bone of democratic judicial systems. Corporations can sue a government for lost opportunity costs by that government having laws to protect the publics health, safety and well being such as but not limited to safe drinking standards for instance. Corporate interest for ever greater profits would be the tribunals primary if not sole interest. Only corporations can sue in the tribunal, which becomes the highest court in the land for 18,700 corporate entities and their subsidiaries of multi national companies to sue us. There is no appeal process for the public against the tribunal’s decision. Investor State Dispute Settlement ISDS are clauses written by corporate interests . These corporations can then sue your government against perceived trade barriers. The judges in the tribunals would come from a rotating pool of corporate lawyers who one day would sit as judge and the next litigate for the corporate world, a serious conflict of interest. TPP would at least double the number of foreign subsidiaries that are eligible to go to such tribunals. It would grow from 9500 companies under all prior agreements including NAFTA, to include an additional eligible 9200. Trans Canada lost in the Keystone Pipeline case that Mr. Obama vetoed. Thereby not allowing dirty tar sand “oil: to flow through the US. Trans Canada is suing for $15 billion dollars, $3 billion of which they spent , the rest being opportunity cost or their perceived lost future profits. Trans Canada would much rather bring their case to a corporate tribunal made up of other corporate lawyers. On the one hand Obama supports TPP but wants to create a pseudo progressive legacy which he hopes vetoing Keystone will support. Succumbing to TPP will be tragic for any semblance of justice or democratic process in the future. Our health, safety and welfare will also be jeopardized. MH

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  • Marc Heineman
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-09-17 11:33:46 -0400