Wednesday, May 22, 2013

International Corporate Plans to Oversee National Governments

Have you ever heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?

This posting is not so much an article on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement being negotiated as it is a gateway to articles on the subject.  It is important to learn about this  subject because, as Dave Johnson wrote in OpEdNews, "You will be hearing a lot about the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. TPP's negotiations are being held in secret with details kept secret even from our Congress. But giant corporations are in the loop."

I would like to suggest you watch the DemocracyNow video from last June (see below) to UNDERSTAND this pending trade agreement and why it is a really big deal.  Note, however, that the video of an awards cerimony was actually an anti-TPP activist's hoax.

Here is an excerpt from Public Citizens analysis of  TPP:  " TPP is a "trade" agreement between several Pacific-rim countries that is actually about much more than just trade. It will be sold as a trade agreement (because everyone knows that "trade" is good) but much of it appears to be (from what we know) a corporate end-run around things We the People want to do to reign in the giant corporations -- like Wall Street regulation, environmental regulation and corporate taxation. " [Note: Once finalized, this trade agreement will remain open ended so that any other nations may sign on to it in the future.]

"After more than two years of negotiations under conditions of extreme secrecy, on June 12, 2012, a leaked copy of the investment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was posted at Public Citizen has verified that the text is authentic. "

"The leaked text provides stark warnings about the dangers of “trade” negotiations occurring without press, public or policymaker oversight. It reveals that negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms granting expansive new rights and privileges for foreign investors and their private corporate enforcement through extra-judicial “investor-state” tribunals." - Public Citizen

Here is just a small example I reviewed of the wording in the actual TTP document that was leaked last June:


Article 12.7: Performance Requirements
3. (c) Provided that such measures are not applied in an arbitrary or unjustifiable manner, or
do not constitute a disguised restriction on international trade or investment,
paragraphs l(b), (c), [and] [(t)], [and (h),] and 2(a) and (b), shall not be construed to
prevent a Party from adopting or maintaining measures, including environmental

(i) necessary to secure compliance with laws and regulations that are not
inconsistent with this Agreement;

(ii) necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health; or

(iii) related to the conservation of living or non-living exhaustible natural

What this example says is that national laws "necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health" cannot be applied to international trading in ways that a foreign investor considers arbitrary, unjustified or trade restrictive. Elsewhare the agreement lays out how international investors can sue governments, and this process is entirely under corporate, not government, control.

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