Saturday, April 23, 2016

Forget Trade: TPP Gives Corporations Veto Power Over National Laws

That's not hyperbole.  Under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, corporations can force countries to repeal all laws protecting consumer health and safety, clean water, clean air, safe food - anything that might cost a corporation a single penny in profits.

Ever wonder what it's like to live in a third-world country?   In a Randian paradise where only corporations have rights? Where the Kinder-Morgan can frack the fuck out of your front yard for free?  When Congress approves TPP, we'll find out.

Congress isn't just not debating it, Members who want to see what's in it must do so alone in a locked room and aren't allowed to bring a record devise-- or even a pen and paper! Those who have done so say only two of the 26 chapters cover traditional trade matters. The bulk of the document, which must be accepted or rejected without any modification, consists of new rights and privileges for multinational corporations (especially international banks and pharmaceutical companies) and irrevocable constraints on government regulation. The document makes it easier for companies to move jobs offshore, take control of natural resources and prevent the regulation of financial services. Kiss the whole concept of "Buy American" or even "buy local" bye-bye-- banned under the agreement.

Conventional courts cannot adjudicate individual trade disputes in the countries where they occur. All disagreements must be decided by “Investor State Dispute Resolution” conducted by TPP Tribunals staffed by lawyers from the private sector who are empowered to force governments to pay unlimited fines to corporations that believe their profits are in jeopardy.

Plotted in secret, the TPP is a corporate coup d’état benefitting the drug, energy, banking and agribusiness industries. It was supposed to take effect this year but the process was delayed when Australia refused to submit to the corporate court system and New Zealand objected to pharmaceutical companies determining the price of drugs sold in New Zealand. All countries denounced America’s demand that regulations on financial speculation be eliminated and drug patent monopolies be extended so that the introduction of generic equivalents could be postponed for years.

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