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By aquabuddha

Democracy Now! aired an interview with Lori Wallach of Citizenstrade.org. She exposes the leaked draft of the secretive trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The newly leaked TPP draft is described by Citizens Trade Campaign as containing Special Rights for Corporations.

Only 600 corporate advisers have seen the text of this agreement, while Senator Ron Wildman, Chair of the Senate Trade Committee, has been denied access to the text of the agreement for 2½ years. Essentially this new trade deal which has been kept secret from the public, as well as our elected officials, would give corporations complete control over our government.

According to Citizens Trade campaign,The new texts reveal that TPP negotiators are considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.

Fire Dog Lake notes:

œUnder the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.
Lori Wallach, in her interview with Democracy Now!, explained that corporations will have the ability to sue any government for not allowing them to pollute, for example. Lawsuits will be decided upon by a secretive tribunal made of three corporate attorneys.  

In essence, the TPP will undermine the national sovereignty of any nation that signs the agreement.

Lori Wallach states:

"It's been branded as a trade agreement but it's really enforceable global corporate governance. It requires any signatory country to confirm its laws, regulations and administrative procedures to 26 chapters of comprehensive rules, only two of which have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters sets forth a whole new corporate set of rights that handcuffs governments and limits regulations."

"œThe new rights give foreign corporations the right to privately enforce this public treaty and sue our government, raiding our treasury over the costs of complying with policies that all US companies have to comply with."

"œThis isn'™t just a bad trade agreement, it's the 1 percenters power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights."

"Across all of the countries involved, their citizen movements are saying, "This is not in our name. We do not need global enforceable corporate rights. We need more democracy. We need more accountability™.  This agreement is the antithesis."

"œNothing the public interests groups have said is reflected in the agreement. The US position on the agreement is the most extreme. It's even blocking countries involved having the ability to use financial regulations, financial stability."

It was also leaked that those involved in writing the agreement had to sign a secrecy agreement which prevents any of the text of the agreement to be known to the public four years after its complication.  

Wallach goes on to explain, "œThese agreements are not about trade, they are like cement. Once the cement dries on these agreements, you can't change the rules unless all the other countries involved agree to amend the agreement. What we are talking about here with this leak chapter is literally a parallel system of justice. Corporations would have a parallel system of private attorneys, three of them with no conflict of interest laws. The US and other countries would submit themselves to the jurisdiction of this corporate kangaroo court. These three random attorneys would have the right to order the US government to pay unlimited amounts of our tax dollars to corporations and investors who a. claim regulatory costs that need to be refunded or b. claim they aren'™t being treated well enough, regardless if the exact same policies apply to all of us."

The 8 nations currently involved are Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Vietnam and the US. Malaysia has just joined. However, the TPP is being left as an open ended agreement that any country can agree to join in the future. Wallach goes on to state, "This could very well be the last trade agreement that is negotiated  ... once it's done, any other country can join. It's an agreement that can ultimately have the entire world in it, as a set of binding corporate guarantees of new rights and privileges, enforced with cash sanctions and trade sanctions."

Wallach concludes, "It is not an exaggeration to say the TPP threatens to become a regime of binding global governance, right at the time the Occupy Movement and other movements around the globe are demanding more power and control. This is the fight back. This is locking in the bad old way, plus."

The TPP would get rid of existing laws but also prevent new progressive laws from being implemented in the future. The agreement will allow NAFTA style offshoring and give corporations patent control over medicines and seeds. Countries will not be able to ban risky financial services or issue regulations. It also meddles with how local tax dollars are spent. Cities and activists will not be able to pass laws that provide a œlocal preference for locally made products or "œBuy American".

The good news is that we still have time to stop this agreement. There is another TPP meeting scheduled during the July 4th weekend.  According to Wallach, the Obama Administration hasn't been made aware of the text of the agreement because of the secrecy of the negotiations. So its time the Occupy Movement and others make the Obama Administration aware that this secret trade agreement needs to be scrapped if he hopes to be re-elected in November.

Plan of Action:

Lori Wallach has written extensively on the TPP at the Huffington Post, if you want to learn more. Follow Lori Wallach on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/PCGTW

Educate your friends and family about the TPP by sending them this article and Public Citizens You Tube video.

Tweet the official White House Twitter Account @ www.twitter.com/blog44.  
Contact the White House directly.

Submit comments online to the White House. Write or call the White House.  
Create a petition at White House.gov.

Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative requesting they investigate the private nature of these meetings and block the passage of the TPP.

Get politically active at the local political party of your choosing. Inform local party officials to take action against the TPP. Help select candidates that would block the TPP or help write the party platform that would deny its passage.

If you live in one of the 8 countries involved in this agreement, contact your government officials.

Join your local Occupy Movement camp. Find out more information at occupii.org or occupywallst.org

Organize a Protest at the next TPP Meeting:

The next negotiation round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will take place in San Diego, California from July 2-10, 2012. USTR will be hosting a Direct Stakeholder Engagement event on Monday, July 2, 2012. This event will provide stakeholders the opportunity to speak directly and one-on-one with negotiators, raise questions, and share their views.  We tried this format at the last round in Dallas, and most stakeholders expressed their preference for this one-on-one engagement.  Some stakeholders said they would like the opportunity to make presentations to negotiators as in earlier negotiating rounds and we will accommodate these requests.  In addition, there will be a stakeholder briefing on July 3. The negotiation round venue and registration information will be posted shortly.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actual link: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoregon, Greydog, pgm 01

         DemocracyNow!, 6-14-'12      

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:09:16 AM PDT

  •  There's a diary on the rec list on this topic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deadicated Marxist

    with actual links.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:18:50 AM PDT

  •  meh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    compared to prior agreements, its an improvement.  it creates a strong presumption that regulations are valid.   provided a government imposing them isn't obviously corrupt and acting in bad faith, the regulations will stand.  there is certainly grounds for a reasonable person to oppose free trade in general and this instance of free.trade in particular, but the notion that this undermines sovereignty is largely nonsense

    •  OK, now I'm worried... (0+ / 0-)

      "I took a walk around the world, To ease my troubled mind. I left my body laying somewhere In the sands of time" Kryptonite 3 doors Down

      by farmerchuck on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please review user "johnny wurster"'s other... (0+ / 0-)

      ...comments on this topic, and decide for yourself if you find them valid.

      I would suggest that a concerted attempt to prevent Progressives from accepting the gravity of seriousness of the Obama administration's embrace of Corporatism in these trade agreements is underway. But please read and decide for yourselves.

      "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

      by 3rdOption on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:29:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  like I said, there's plenty of room (0+ / 0-)

        to be reality based and still oppose the agreement.  but i'll always correct the bullshit errors pushed on people by the Green Party wing of the democratic party.

        •  Slandering Progressives. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher

          It's what's for dinner.

          Or diminishing credibility through systemic, cultural ridicule.

          I'm not a Green.

          Or a member of the vile "Professional Left".

          But I am vehemently opposed to the Corporatists who want to make sure that the Democratic party stays just Corporatist enough that no one can stop the dismantling of our nation, for the benefit of the super-wealthy.

          But go ahead, continue. Tell us how evil Nader is now, please.

          "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

          by 3rdOption on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:58:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Confession: I wrote the diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3rdOption

            I'm not anti-Obama, a member of the Green Party, or a member of the professional left.  

            I specifically stated in the article that the Obama Administration hasn't been made fully aware of the text of the agreement.  This information only came out because it was leaked.

            My text: "According to Wallach, the Obama Administration hasn't been made aware of the text of the agreement because of the secrecy of the negotiations."

            The negotiations are being conducted by 600 corporate advisers in secret.

            So its our duty as citizens to inform our President that these negotiations and trade agreement need to be stopped.  Its an election years, lets use that as leverage, that is all.

            I didn't write this article to persuade anyone not to vote for Obama.  I only wrote this to inform my fellow Americans and the citizens of the other 8 countries involved to take action against an undemocratic and secretive trade agreement before its too late.

            We need to make our President aware. Tweet him or write him at his website.  I'm sorry the links didn't work, but I'm sure Daily Kos users are capable of obtaining that information for themselves.

            We can and should use this as a campaign issue on both sides of the aisle.  Ask the Romney camp if he would support such a trade deal.  Hold our candidates and elected officials accountable who go on record supporting it.

            Please watch Democracy Now's archives for the interview dated on June 14th or head to Citizens Trade Campaign's website for more information.

            Peace out.

            •  president (0+ / 0-)

              The President is fully aware there are trade negotiations ongoing.  He's spoken about it on a number of occasions and meets regularly with the leaders of the other countries involved.  USTR, which reports to the White House, is conducting the negotiations along with their counterparts from the other countries, not 600 corporate advisers.  They just disagree with you on this.

              History will be kind to us because we will write it.

              by Sky Net on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 04:26:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "The President is fully aware..." (0+ / 0-)

                I agree. President Obama is fully aware of exactly what these trade policies entail, what their objectives are, and what impact they will have on the United States, our middle class, and the sovereignty of our democracy.

                And he is in favor of this policy, and this trade deal.

                President Obama touted the Panama, Colombian, and South Korean trade deals as essential components of his job creation plan, in his State of the Union speech.

                Remember?

                He has claimed to be a "strong Free trader".

                He knows exactly what he's doing.

                It's about time Progressives, and middle class America, became aware as well.

                Thanks to whoever leaked the details of this atrocity. They are the real patriots here.

                "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

                by 3rdOption on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:18:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sometimes sarcasm gets lost in text. (0+ / 0-)

              "Vile Professional Left" was sarcasm, meaning I disagree with those who attempt to smear Progressives of good conscience by sneering at them and trying to degrade or diminish their credibility in this way.

              I am, in fact, not a Green, but I also do not sneer at them with contempt the way the Corporatist Democrats consistently do.

              We need to make our President aware.
              We need to make our President aware that we are onto the fact that he is clearly attempting to break yet another series of campaign promises, and is once again favoring the super-wealthy over the American middle class.

              The Democrats rely on the Republicans being so awful and scary that the Corporatist D's can get away with virtually any betrayal and still collect Progressive votes.

              We have seen so many of these explicit betrayals that I, personally, have given up hope that there exists a core of Democrats who will become outraged enough to reform this party. I believe it is beyond reform and change must come externally.

              Just how bad must things get before Progressive Democrats accept that they have no home, and no voice, in their party?

              "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

              by 3rdOption on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:12:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Will you be saying the same thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Throw The Bums Out, 3rdOption

      ...when the entire Internet is privatized?

      ...When currently-protected fan-culture such as pics of teenage "cos-players" are prosecuted like international terrorism?

      ...When generic drugs are made illegal?

      ...When panels of corporate lawyers working on behalf of international conglomerates get a veto our last remaining consumer protections against products that could kill us?

      Because that's in the TPP too — & it's why we need to shine a bright light into these elite corporate meetings & alert the public to this threat to democracy before it's too late.

      Tell Congress: DON'T BREAK THE INTERNET! Fight CISPA! Stop Cyber Spying!

      by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 04:24:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You didn't read or fail to acknowledge (0+ / 0-)

      ...the section on the secret tribunals made up of three corporate lawyers who will get to make the final decision on laws, and regulations.

      That undermines national sovereignty.  

      Saying otherwise is an embarrassment because it proves you either don't understand the concept of sovereignty or you're simply lying.

      I hope for you're sake you were just too lazy to read.

  •  As long as Obama is championing it (3+ / 0-)

    we have nothing to fear!  Senators don't need to see this, it's only important that Obama has corporate approval to move this forward so we can WIN THE FUTURE.

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:33:01 PM PDT

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