A new word in the English language has recently been coined: investor-state.
The term refers to corporations who have the power to sue nations before a jurisdictional tribunal for infringements on their commercial interest.
Phillip Morris, for example, has sued Australia over that country’s rules requiring hazardous warning labels on cigarette packaging.
Now they say that there is nothing so useful to man in general, nor so beneficial to particular societies and individuals, as trade.
This however is a step to far by Capitalism. The notion that an agreement is clothed with a public interest and has been devoted to the public use is little than fiction intended to beautify what is disagreeable to the sufferers. US
The TPP is a far-reaching proposed multinational agreement among a dozen Pacific Rim countries (but not including China) designed to lower or eliminate tariff and trade barriers among the subscribing nations.
The pact deals with monetary tariffs, intellectual property rights, trade regulations and quotas imposed by the signatory nations with a goal of reducing those to a minimum to allow trade to flow freely among countries.
The countries involved include Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, the U.S., Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan.
Advocates note that domestic markets alone aren’t sufficient to create the sales, the return on investment and the innovation needed to advance the production of goods and services efficiently among Pacific Rim nations.
The trade agreement has been characterized as “NAFTA on steroids,”
A deal that will easily allow foreign competitors in low-wage nations or multinational companies with overseas operations to pay extremely low wages to workers and to ignore pollution and worker and consumer safety rules that prevail in the more developed countries when producing goods in less-regulated environments.
What particularly alarms ( in the USA) is that TPP critics on both sides of the political aisle is that the TTP partnership’s advocates are pushing for Congress to give the president fast-track authority to finish negotiating the deal, to limit debate on the pact’s provisions and prohibit Congress from amending the deal, giving elected representatives the power only to reject or approve the deal as a package.
The TPP is a back-room secret trade deal that will have a huge negative impact on FOOD SAFETY, internet freedom, environmental protection, national sovereignty, intellectual property and more. It is basically a permanent power grab by corporations and financial companies that will make it impossible for the citizens of countries joining the TPP to choose what laws and rules they want to live under.
The TPP is a massive giveaway to multi-national corporations like Chevron and Monsanto and Phillip Morris.
If TPP is signed it’s here forever.
So who are these investor-states?
Well, besides , Monsanto, the Bank of America, Chevron and Exxon Mobil are among them and they’ve been granted their power though a negotiated agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Ironically, only 5 of the 29 measures in this agreement speak directly to trade issues. The other 24 reach into areas previously unthinkable.
It restricts, for example, a sovereign nation’s ability to support local produce within its borders and proposes sweeping changes with regard to the internet. The United States government rejected SOPA, the bill that would have instituted rigid copyright laws on intellectual property, but those same rules are proposed under TPP.
To say that the negotiations underway lack transparency is an understatement. So far, the measures have been kept under lock and key. Even members of Congress are beginning to complain about the lack of information.
All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement.
Why should you be concerned?
TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities.
TPP will affect countries beyond the 11 that are currently involved in negotiations. Like ACTA, the TPP Agreement is a plurilateral agreement that will be used to create new heightened global IP enforcement norms. Countries that are not parties to the negotiation will likely be asked to accede to the TPP as a condition of bilateral trade agreements with the US and other TPP members.
Because we must,
truly address the secrecy or the private-industry-dominated process.
In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens.
Below is a 10 minute clip from Democracy Now which speaks to the issue:
In the World we have seen the consequences of giving corporations the same right to free speech as individuals.
Giving them nation status is an idea that should keep everyone awake at night.
Don’t just read this. Wake up and do something, even a comment might help or pass it on.