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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."

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:56 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Foreign Relations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:56:21 AM PST

  •  Well You Need a Supreme Court That Would Agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, cslewis

    that a trade treaty violates the Constitution, which is hard to imagine with both parties having staffed the Court with corporatists. There's also the complication that the Constitution itself says that treaties become part of US law.

    Lots of us agree that the TPP as well as some earlier trade deals like NAFTA are terrible policie, but I would need to see some pretty strong arguments from our legal knowledge base to believe we could get any of them struck down as unconstitutional.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:04:14 AM PST

  •  Maybe it's time to take a more strategic view (0+ / 0-)

    on this stuff.

    It seems like we have a new market based bogeyman every few months. Maybe we should start addressing the root causes instead of standing up against the crest of the wave.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:21:36 AM PST

  •  there are 22 other free-trade agreements (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, John Crapper, codairem

    already signed and in effect for years now.  Not to mention WTO/GATT, the granddaddy of them all, which Bill Clinton negotiated back in the 90's.

    I'm glad some of us are finally waking up to this problem, but alas you are 20 years too late. Those of us who fought against the original NAFTA and WTO, lost. That fight is over.

    So my view now is this: the WTO and the free-trade treaties are here, and they are not going away (if we could not defeat just ONE of them 20 years ago, we are not going to defeat all 22 of them today). So we need to turn them to our advantage, by forcing things like minimum-wage standards, workplace safety regs, environmental protections, consumer product safety standards, etc, into the treaties themselves, where they instantly become binding on all companies and corporations all over the world.

    The corporados will of course fight us tooth and nail over that, and winning will be a long hard fight. But our current strategy, of depending on the 170-odd national governments in the world to do all this, is a miserable failure. Time to change our strategy.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:04:48 AM PST

  •  I think with this one, as was the case with TPP, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper

    we need to see the text, which some of the negotiators are also calling for. They want to see the public more engaged on the TTIP from what I read in one of the links (one must get past the initial anger hype to get to some common sense being reported unfortunately).

    There can be some upsides to such a treaty with the EU, such as possibly forcing the US to pick up some of their regulations in privacy, etc. However, to get to that end, we need to force them to bring the text to light so we can be engaged before we scream how bad it is.

    Let's face it, there was NOTHING good in the TPP because it was all being dictated to the US corporates standards. This is once again corporate standards, but on a scale we can truly understand the EU citizens are really getting tired of having their rights trampled all over as well.

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:06:58 AM PST

  •  That's not what the 11th amendment means (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    it's a federalism provision, and it doesn't apply to suits for injunctive relief against state officials in their individual capacities.  

    Too many anonymous sources to make sense of the claims about the treaty - is any of that what it says, or what unnamed "critics' say they say?

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:04:50 AM PST

    •  That would be for the courts to decide. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      But:

      Too many anonymous sources to make sense of the claims about the treaty - is any of that what it says, or what unnamed "critics' say they say?
      That's the whole point. This whole deal is being done in secret, behind closed doors.

      "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

      by Eternal Hope on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:41:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  courts largely decided it, (0+ / 0-)

        and under Rehnquist expanded it beyond what makes sense, but on its face, it only applies to states, individually and means simply that states have to be sued in state courts, not that they can't be sued at all, which in general, is not a plus.

        until the deal is done, i'm not surprised each draft isn't public. Doesn't justify selective speculation.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:02:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The best place to effect change in both the TPP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, aliasalias

    and TTIP is by pressuring lawmakers to refuse to grant fast track authority.  It is futile to think we can stop globalization but we can win the transparency fight IMHO.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:45:32 AM PST

  •  Negotiating is secret is fine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    as long as there has been a transparent and inclusive process about who is at the negotiating table.  

    That is what has been deliberately missing from both of these mega trade deals.  The corporates have excluded the civil society representatives from the process, because they don't want to deal with labor, the environment, and the objections to intellectual property expansion.  

  •  f^ck, these "free trade" agreements give me the (0+ / 0-)

    feeling that this gig is going downhill fast. Pretty soon, revolution will be the only way out. Tbh, i wouldn't mind seeing oligarchs swinging from the branches....

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