An illuminating and chilling interview by Sam Seder of Majority Report with Harvard Law grad Lori Wallach from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch on the rights-destroying secret provisions of Barack Obama’s TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership [previously].
The proposed agreement bans “Buy American” laws, fair trade laws, and a whole host of other regulations designed to protect the environment and save citizens from rapacious banksters, as well as creating a secret tribunal system privatizing enforcement of the treaty and elevating corporations to the status of sovereign citizens. Presiding over the tribunal will be private sector corporate attorneys.
In other words, the Trans-Pacific Partnership combines the worst of NAFTA with the new corporate rights bestowed by Citizens United, the ruling that transferred ultimate control of the American political system to corporate sponsors.
Here are some of the law’s secret provisions, from an Global Trade Watch news release [PDF] issued earlier this month:
Although the TPP has been branded a “trade” agreement, the leaked text of the pact’s Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:
- limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
- extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
- establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
- allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.
The TPP offered an opportunity to develop a new model of trade agreement that could deliver the benefits of expanded trade without unduly undermining signatory nations’ domestic public interest policies or establishing special privileges for foreign corporations. President Barack Obama and countless members of Congress campaigned on fixing these investment rules to better protect the public interest. But Public Citizen’s analysis of this text shows that the U.S. positions do not reflect any of the changes that candidate Obama pledged when he recognized the threats posed by the NAFTA-style investment provisions in trade agreements.
Barack Obama is giving us lots of Change™ without any of the Hope™.
Anyone who still thinks Obama is a liberal suffers from a serious case of endocrectocraniality.
H/T to Moussequetaire.
UPDATE: Wallach writes about the TPP here.