Monday, March 16, 2015

Sen. Warren — Signing TPP Means Corporate-Controlled Courts Supersede National Courts


by Gaius Publius

The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) "trade" agreement issue is heating up, and if you follow this subject you may have seen seen our coverage — especially the attempt to divide the left by falsely painting TPP as "progressive":

That cynical messaging, by the way, comes from the same "Democratic" consultancy group — 270 Strategies — that assisted the failed Obama-alumnus Ro Khanna challenge to progressive Rep. Mike Honda.

I want to make two points in this piece. The first is to point out a floor speech by Elizabeth Warren excoriating TPP and its use of corporate-controlled "dispute tribunals" to bypass the court system of any nation that signs it. In essence, corporations (and only them, not labor unions or consumer groups) can sue governments for damages — in their case, loss of future, potential profit — caused by regulations (for example, banning dangerous additives to food) or by programs like "Buy American."

Click the video above to hear her; she's clear and good on this subject. She also explains how these tribunals are "corporate-controlled" (my phrasing, but the concept is hers).

I hope you get from this that TPP and its use of ISDS trade "courts" is a global corporate challenge to national sovereignty, because it's exactly that. Note, by the way, Warren's list of already-filed ISDS challenges (start at 4:20):
"A French company sued Egypt because Egypt raised its minimum wage."

"A Swedish company sued Germany because Germany decided to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster."

"A Dutch company sued the Czech Republic because the Czech Republic didn't bail out a bank that the Dutch company partially owned."
Naturally, these are outrages, a naked power and money grab. Yet this is the world that Money First is building. Our thanks to Ms. Warren for this excellent speech and for highlighting this important issue. If you think this kind of greed borders on psychopathic (or crosses that border), you'd not be wrong. If you think the enablers of these people deserve nothing but blame for serving the Money First project, you'd be right.

A note to people like "270 Strategies" — Warren just described the world you're helping to build.

KORUS Just Created Our Largest-Ever Deficit With South Korea

My second point is about our recent "trade" deal with South Korea (called KORUS), to hold it up as an example of the sweetened pre-sale promises — "more jobs, smaller trade deficits" — and the post-signature outcomes that contradict them. About KORUS, Lori Wallach of Public Citizen writes (pdf; my emphasis):
U.S. Exports Down, Imports from Korea Up and Job-Killing Trade Deficit With Korea Balloons 84 Percent on Third Anniversary of Korea Pact, Which Is TPP Template 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three years after implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), government data reveal that the administration’s promises that the pact would expand U.S. exports and create American jobs proved to be the opposite of the pact’s actual outcomes. The post-Korea FTA decline in U.S. exports to Korea and a new flood of imports from Korea have resulted in a major surge in the U.S. trade deficit with Korea that equates to nearly 85,000 lost U.S. jobs. The abysmal FTA record deals a fresh blow to the administration’s controversial bid to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), for which the Korea FTA served as the U.S. template. ...
  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea has ballooned an estimated 84 percent, or $12.7 billion, in the first three years of the Korea FTA (comparing the year before the FTA took effect to the projected third full year of implementation). In January 2015, the monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea topped $3 billion – the highest level on record.
  • The surge in the U.S. trade deficit with Korea under the FTA equates to the loss of nearly 85,000 American jobs, according to the trade-jobs ratio that the administration used to promise job gains from the deal.

  • U.S. goods exports to Korea have fallen an estimated 5 percent, or $2.2 billion, in the first three years of the Korea FTA. ...
There's quite a bit more in this packed three-page report. Or if you'd like the gist in one nice (sharable) picture:

Action Opportunity

Why show you this? Because "Fast Track" legislation, a bill that will neuter Congress in its discussion of TPP, is coming, some say like a train. If Fast Track passes, TPP will pass. If Fast Track fails, TPP won't be introduced. It's that simple. As the hash tag says, #NoFastTrack.

What can you do? Call your Senators and your Representative today; then call them again and often:

The message is simple: No Fast Track. No TPP. No corporate sovereignty. Call the Republicans too — they care about sovereignty as much as anyone, sometimes more.

Remember, Obama wants this badly; the corporations he seems to serve want this badly as well. If the Clinton Global Initiative's annual conference is any indication, Ms. Clinton will want it badly when her turn comes. On this issue, it's Money versus the rest of us, and that's not an exaggeration. We can deny our elected corporate servants the pleasure and rewards of handing money to Money. But only if we act.

Operators are waiting. And thanks!


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At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nafta, Cafta, TPP and TPIP: This IS the one world government that the reich-wing radicals have feared for decades. Do you think they even notice? They have been sicced on the UN, bit hard, and can't let go. Meanwhile, corporatism constructs a "legal" system which ensures they can do absolutely anything and get away with it.

I no longer feel that humanity is going to survive if corporatism gets control of that much power.


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