Thursday, November 7, 2013

TPP: A 1% kill shot on democracy

As more details of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership leak out, one thing is very clear: It is not about trade. It's about destroying democracy.

Yves Smith, who blogs at the Naked Capitalist, describes how: is specifically to create a legal structure that supersedes national law. And in the particular parts that are most disturbing, what it would do to environmental regulations, labor regulations, intellectual property - the whole construct is that if national regulations inhibit the ability of corporations to profit, they as investors can sue for the lost profit opportunity. 
In an interview with Harry Shearer, she explains why so little has been written about the deal: incredible secrecy.
The U.S. trade representative is refusing to release anything, even to congressmen. They are only allowing congressmen themselves to read basically summary terms, and ... summaries really don’t tell you what the detailed terms are...
...only little bits of the text have been leaked, nobody really knows what’s happening, even the congressmen who’ve read the text have been told they can’t talk about it in any meaningful way.
Well, some people are allowed to see the text of the TPP: corporate representatives. Says Smith:
... they’re actually sharing it with something like 600 corporate representatives who are parties to this deal. So basically the corporations that have an interest in this deal going forward get to see the language. Why doesn’t the public get to see the language?
Not only is the TPP secret, but it will be secret for four years -- even after it's approved!!!
...not only is this deal secret now, it was leaked in Japan that the signatories are required to keep the terms secret for four years, which will basically insulate, you know, governments that voted it in from the wrath of the voters for a little while.
DSWright at firedoglake puts it in simpler terms:
(It's a ) 1% kill shot on democracy in the developed world.