It's NAFTA for Asia. And it could be even bigger than NAFTA because more countries than the original 10 can join later.
Public Citizens' director, Lori Wallach, says the leaked documents show U.S. negotiators want to let foreign tribunals overrule U.S. law. They can order U.S. taxpayers to pay foreign corporations that don't want to obey our laws.
As Salon.com's Josh Eidelson reports,
Consumer groups and unions are particularly outraged over the administration’s plan that would allow corporations from TPP countries to bring suit before a multinational tribunal when laws or regulations in another member country harm their profits.
...[T]he current TPP proposal confers no equivalent power for labor unions to challenge anti-union or anti-worker policies in other countries.Some of the worst provisions leaked include:
- Restriction of U.S. federal and state officials regulation of foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
- Extension of incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
- Establishment of a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws
While this is a disappointment coming from the Obama adminstration, don't be fooled into thinking Romney has anything better in store for workers. He told an audience in New Hampshire in January that we have to "open up trade" and "do something about the regulations in this country."
It will take more than an election to defeat anti-worker trade deals like the TPP.