Monday, December 10, 2012

TPP: Stop this Monster!


The TPP and the Slow-Motion Corporate Coup By Lori Wallach, Yes! Magazine 09 December 12.  http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/14942-the-tpp-and-the-slow-motion-corporate-coup

What Would the TPP Do?

[Excerpted] Eleven countries are now involved-Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States-and there is an open invitation for more to join. Think of the TPP as a NAFTA on steroids, which could encompass half of the world.

This is the largest, most potentially damaging agreement since the 1995 establishment of the WTO. And you may never have heard about it before. That's because the negotiations, which have been underway for three years, are being conducted in extreme secrecy. The public, Congress, and the press are locked out, but the 600 official corporate advisors have access to the negotiating texts....

Most of the TPP's proposed provisions instead comprise a corporate power grab. The TPP would includeextreme protections for foreign investors, which would help corporations offshore American jobs to low-wage countries. These terms would require governments to provide foreign investors a guaranteed "minimum standard of treatment" when they relocate, including special privileges and rights that domestic firms and investors do not enjoy. Foreign firms-or foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms-could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation when investors claim that U.S. government actions undermine a corporation's expected future profits. Seriously.

Equal Status for Corporations and Country

The investor rules would elevate individual foreign firms and investors to the same status as the sovereign nations that would be party to the TPP. Corporations and investors would be empowered to privately enforce the agreement by suing a signatory government before the World Bank and other foreign tribunals. In this "investor-state dispute resolution," three private-sector lawyers, who rotate between suing governments and acting as "judges," could order governments to pay large amounts of our tax dollars to investors who do not want to follow the same laws as domestic firms. 

The TPP also would expose to attack green and sweat-free procurement rules that specify that only recycled paper, non-old-growth wood products, renewable-source energy, or products made under fair labor standards can be purchased with government funds. Under these terms, democracies would no longer be able to decide that we want to invest our tax dollars to create jobs at home or to create markets for green energy or morally produced goods. Instead, the TPP would require our governments to send our money offshore and spend it with firms trashing human rights and the environment.

The TPP would limit financial regulation by forbidding bans on risky derivatives and other dangerous financial products, as well as the use of capital controls to counter wild surges of speculative investments in and out of countries, which destabilize the global economy. The massive financial firms that caused the financial crisis could use these terms to roll back the new financial regulations implemented in the U.S. and around the world.

As far as health care goes, the TPP would grant new monopoly privileges to Big Pharma that would jack up medicine prices and cut consumers' access to life-saving medicines in the developing countrie.....

Read the entire article linked above

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