Thursday, September 13, 2012


What is the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, you may well ask. It is among the largest and potentially most important ‘free trade’ agreements the world has ever seen developed behind closed doors under a veil of secrecy. The corporate cabal behind it, including names like  Cargill, Pfizer, Nike and WalMart, has done an exceptional job of maintaining an almost total lack of transparency.600 corporate lobbyists have been granted access and input on the draft texts from the beginning, yet high-ranking members of Congress have been denied access.  However, draft texts of the proposal have appeared on Wikileaks and the website of Citizen’s Trade Campaign.

The TPP is called a ‘trade agreement,’ but of the 26 chapters under negotiation, only a few have to do directly with trade. The other chapters enshrine new rights and privileges for major corporations while weakening the power of nation states to oppose them. The TPP essentially proposes to establish a parallel system of justice where companies can sue countries on everything from affordable medicines, internet freedoms and intellectual property rights to democratically enacted labor laws and environmental protections in a tribunal of judges composed of unaccountable international trade lawyers with little to no process for appeal. This isn’t just a trade agreement, it’s a wish list of the 1%. The TPP was conceived under the second Bush administration, but it has been embraced and nurtured under Obama.

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