by Rebel Fagin
The opposite of democracy is corpratocracy and nowhere is this more apparent then with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a 12 nation secret trade treaty that involves 40% of the world’s G.D.P. It is the largest trade treaty yet. The TPP is an economic shot at China’s 57-member Development Bank. There are 29 chapters, 2 of which deal with trade. As of April, WikiLeaks and RedGE have revealed 2 chapters as well as other portions of the text. With fast track legislation the U.S. Congress will be able to vote either for or against the entire treaty, but not amend it.
This is a secret corporate treaty. Three individuals per government and 600 ‘trade advisors’ (lobbyists) can see the entire treaty. These lobbyists, including employees of Chevron, Halliburton, Walmart, and Monsanto, helped write the treaty. A few members of Congress have seen portions of the document. They were forbidden to take notes or make copies. It appears that lobbyists can deny members of Congress access to a treaty that directly affects Americans!
The Intellectual Property Rights Chapter would limit access by extending patents, trademarks, and copyright durations. The patens on medicine would effectively eliminate generic drugs. Surgical methods, machines, and compositions of material would also be patent protected. This chapter includes laws banning temporary electric storage. Every image you download is a temporary electric image. Will we have to pay to view content on line?
There was a mention of climate change, but the U.S. shot that down pretty quickly. The U.S. representative on agriculture is Islam Siddiqui, formerly of Monsanto. Don’t expect G.M.O. labeling out of this legislation.
The Enforcement Chapter is most chilling. This chapter repeats the portions of the rejected SOPA & ACTA Treaties that addressed surveillance and enforcement. The TPP criminalizes ‘Buy Local’ and ‘Buy American’ as illegal trade restraints while it encourages offshoring jobs. Most union protections would be illegal. Wages would be set by the lowest paid of any member nation. Be prepared to compete with Vietnam and Malaysia. Corporations could sue for lost profits or potential lost profits. Most U.S. environmental and regulatory laws would be overturned. Tobacco companies could sue the U.S. Government for lost profits from the last 40 years of cancer warnings.
The TPP uses its own international court that somehow has jurisdiction over you and me. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) court is empowered to sue sovereign countries on behalf of corporations. If we passed a law banning toxic chemicals the manufacturers could skip U.S. courts (and laws) and challenge our rights to legislate our own communities in an ISDS court.
ISDS courts heard fewer than 100 cases from 1959 – 2002. In 2012 they heard 58 cases. The TPP enhances the court’s authority and alters its structure. Three corporate lawyers would perform duel roles of one day being counsel for a corporation and the next sitting in judgment, passing sentence. Who do you think they’d favor? There would be no safeguards for human rights and secret evidence would be permitted. Arthur Stamoulis of the Citizens Trade Campaign stated: “The Tribunals that adjudicate these cases don’t have the power to literally demand that a government change its policies, but they can award payments worth millions, even billions of dollars, such that if a country doesn’t want additional cases brought against it, gets in line.” Our ability to regulate capitalism, protect our environment, our families, and our jobs, is no longer ours. America will cease to be a sovereign state as it melts into this corporate New World Order.
Multinational corporations are big, huge – so were the dinosaurs. One direct action that brought about the demise of the dinosaurs was when three-foot tall, bipeds snatched the giant’s eggs, leaving them no prodigy. These smaller dinosaurs were the ancestors of all mammals. We must again become the egg snatchers of our collective past and bring down these dinosaurs.
Sources: WikiLeaks 11/13/13, 3/28/15, International Business Times 11/13/13, Washington Post 2/25/15, This Changes Everything © 2014, Project Censored 2014, Project Censored 2015, Democracy Now 11/16/14, 4/16/15, Corporations & Democracy 3/24/15, 4/14/15, Forthright Radio 1/21/15
Rebel can be read at the Sonoma County Peace Press & dailycensored.com