Wikileaks Exposes Obama’s Phony Trade Bill…Only 5 of 29 Chapters About Trade
During the August recess GOP senators were told to press for the passage of the TPP Trade Agreement. Yikes!!
Wikileaks has gotten their hands on a copy of Obama’s phony TPP trade bill. It contains 29 chapters but only 5 pertain to trade. Wikileaks will be publishing the entire bill and they have already released the chapter on Investment. It’s very interesting. It is written in a such a way as to give multinational companies a huge advantage on trade. If a public hospital is built close to a private one, the private hospital has the right to sue the country for expected losses. That is outrageous. Here is where you can find the chapter on investment:
The agreement also regulates the internet and requires internet companies to gather certain data which they will be required to share with certain private companies. Many of the provisions will not only be secret before the vote in the House, but will also be kept secret for four years after the bill is signed. That means we won’t know what’s in it even after it’s passed.
According to the TPP, the United States will have to give up sovereignty on labor, immigration and the environment. The Sultan of Brunei that has just 417k subjects will have the same amount of clout as the president of the United States that has 320 million people. In fact, of the eleven countries in the TPP, an amendment can be added to the agreement with six countries and a total population of 82 million could defeat the other five countries with a total population of over 633 million.
The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits”. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations.
Do we really want to turn our laws over to large corporations? I don’t think so.