While the Trans Pacific Partnership has been in the news, there is another sinister trade deal in the works -- the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Like the TPP, it is being negotiated in secret, with only big corporations who have all the right connections being allowed to be a party to the agreement.
Advocates of the TIPP argue that the goal of the agreement is what they call “regulatory harmonization,” echoing similar calls from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The idea is to standardize U.S. and European regulations on a variety of matters including finance, the environment, labor, and online data protection. Critics worry the final agreement could result in the most lax, corporate-friendly regulations for all countries involved. One potential provision is the EU’s desire for a “Regulatory Cooperation Council” that would be tasked with evaluating existing regulations and coordinating future rules. Another potential provision is the so-called “investor-state dispute settlement,” which would allow corporations to sue governments without being bound by domestic laws.
President Obama can't have it both ways. His Secretary of State can't make strident denunciations of climate change deniers while Obama is secretly negotiating trade deals that are undermining the very protections against climate change that John Kerry is championing. So, which is it?
And this deal undermines our sovereignty. Our rules would no longer be governed by government agencies that are accountable to the taxpayers. They would be governed by a "regulatory cooperative council" which is answerable to nobody and which would not necessarily consist of people from the US. This is the same sort of unelected control that we revolted against back in 1776. So if the Regulatory Cooperative Council decided that the EPA had to throw out its Clean Water Act because it was not corporate-friendly enough, then who will be there to protect us when pollution makes a place unlivable?
The agreement remains largely a secret, and the USTR’s Dan Mullaney has expressed the belief that negotiators need private space to negotiate in the national interest.So by that logic, let's close Congressional sessions, kick the press out of the White House, and not allow any outside input into proposed rules and regulations. After all, it would be in the "national interest."