THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP)

All you really have to know is one thing…the rest is just filler. Do you know who wrote the TPP? If you said the corporations who will benefit from the agreement, you are correct. One a few legislators have read the agreement. All were threatened with criminal charges if they discussed the agreement publicly.

This agreement benefits only the major corporations.

One paragraph from the agreement:..“Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty. ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?
If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts.

Recent trade agreements have been wins for big corporations and Wall Street, along with their executives and major shareholders. They get better access to foreign markets and billions of consumers.

They also get better protection for their intellectual property – patents, trademarks and copyrights. And for their overseas factories, equipment and financial assets.

The fact is, trade agreements are no longer really about trade. Worldwide tariffs are already low. Big American corporations no longer make many products in the United States for export abroad.

The biggest things big American corporations sell overseas are ideas, designs, franchises, brands, engineering solutions, instructions and software. Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Microsoft and Pfizer, for example, are making huge profits all over the world.
But those profits don’t depend on American labor — apart from a tiny group of managers, designers and researchers in the US.

To the extent big American-based corporations any longer make stuff for export, they make most of it abroad and then export it from there, for sale all over the world — including for sale back here in the United States.

The Apple iPhone is assembled in China from components made in Japan, Singapore and a half-dozen other locales. The only things coming from the US are designs and instructions from a handful of engineers and managers in California.
Apple even stows most of its profits outside the US so it doesn’t have to pay American taxes on them.

This is why big American companies are less interested than they once were in opening other countries to goods exported from the United States and made by American workers.
They’re more interested in making sure other countries don’t run off with their patented designs and trademarks. Or restrict where they can put and shift their profits.

In fact, today’s “trade agreements” should really be called “global corporate agreements” because they’re mostly about protecting the assets and profits of these global corporations rather than increasing American jobs and wages. The deals don’t even guard against currency manipulation by other nations.

According to Economic Policy Institute, the North American Free Trade Act cost US workers almost 700,000 jobs, thereby pushing down American wages.

Since the passage of the Korea – US Free Trade Agreement, America’s trade deficit with Korea has grown more than 80 percent, equivalent to a loss of more than 70,000 additional US jobs.
The US goods trade deficit with China increased $23.9 billion last year, to $342.6 billion. Again, the ultimate result has been to keep US wages down.

The old-style trade agreements of the 1960s and 1970s increased worldwide demand for products made by American workers, and thereby helped push up American wages.
The new-style global corporate agreements mainly enhance corporate and financial profits and push down wages.

That’s why big corporations and Wall Street are so enthusiastic about the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership – the giant deal among countries responsible for 40 percent of the global economy.

That deal would give giant corporations even more patent protection overseas. It would also guard their overseas profits.

And it would allow them to challenge any nation’s health, safety and environmental laws that stand in the way of their profits – including our own.

The Administration calls the Trans Pacific Partnership a key part of its “strategy to make US engagement in the Asia-Pacific region a top priority.”

Translated: The White House thinks it will help the US contain China’s power and influence.
But it will make giant US global corporations even more powerful and influential.
White House strategists seem to think such corporations are accountable to the US government. Wrong. At most, they’re answerable to their shareholders, who demand high share prices whatever that requires.

Global deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership will boost the profits of Wall Street and big corporations, and make the richest 1 percent even richer. But they’ll bust the rest of America.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal from hell. It’s a stealth corporate coup d’etat.

It’s a giveaway to banksters. It’s a global neo-liberal rip-off. It’s a business empowering Trojan horse. It’s a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls it “a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.”

New York Times editors support it. Two decades ago, they endorsed NAFTA. On January 1, 1994, its destructive life began. It’s anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer and anti-democratic.

Corporate giants love it. Why not? They wrote it. Hundreds of pages of one-size-fits-all rules benefit them.

TPP is hugely hugely destructive, she said. It’s more than about trade. It’s a “corporate Trojan horse.” It has 29 chapters. Only five relate to trade.

The others “either handcuff our domestic governments, limit food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establish new powers for corporations.”

They promote off-shoring jobs to low-wage countries. Corporations can do whatever they please. Instead of investing domestically, they can use “our tax dollars” to operate abroad.
They can exploit national resources freely. They’ll have “rights for min(ed) (commodities), oil, gas” and others “without approval.”

TPP includes all sorts of “worrisome issues relating to Internet freedom.”

It provides a back door to earlier failed legislation. It resurrects SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and CISPA provisions. It tramples on fundamental freedoms and national sovereignty.

Think about all the things that would be really hard to get into effect as a corporation in public, a lot of them rejected here and in the other 11 countries, and that is what’s bundled in to the TPP.

And every country would be required to change its laws domestically to meet these rules.
The binding provision is each country shall ensure the conformity of domestic laws, regulations and procedures.”

Lawmakers hadn’t seen it until last year. They got access to a single chapter. Examining it is severely restricted. Their office is denied a copy. They alone can read it. Their staff is denied permission.
They can’t take detailed notes. They can’t publicly discuss what’s in it. Technical language makes it hard to understand what they read.

Congressional approval is likely. Lobby pressure is intense. “Everything is bought and sold,” said Wallach. “Honor is no exception.”

The reason there’s no deal so far “is because a lot of other countries are standing up to the worst of US corporate demands,” Wallach explained.

For how long remains to be seen. If TPP is adopted, public interest no longer will matter. The worst of all possible worlds will replace it. Corporate rights will supersede human ones. A global race to the bottom will intensify.

Signatory countries will be legally bound to support loss of personal freedoms. Sovereign laws won’t protect against poisoned food, water and air.

Ecosystems will be destroyed. Millions more jobs will shift from developed to under or less developed nations.

Corporate power will grow more exponentially. Fundamental human and civil rights may erode altogether. Not according to Times editors.

Those who oppose the TPP have the tools needed to win this debate, stop fast track and stop the TPP and other rigged agreements. If we succeed, we will have the opportunity to rethink global trade in light of two decades of experience with a failed model. It will be an opportunity to develop trade so that it protects the planet and raises the standard of living for people around the world. To achieve that opportunity, the first task is to expose the truth of what is before us.
ever be used in this way.”

My political commentary is meant to bring a heightened consciousness and real discussion to people intent on changing social, political, and economic conditions. Politics as usual is destroying our Democracy. Government corruption demands real political change, not just a new candidate in the old system. Political leadership only leads to self-serving agendas and self aggrandizement. Politicians eschew social causes for personal enrichment. Political power corrupt morality and rationality. The result is criminal behavior and Constitutional crimes.

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