TPP – NAFTA on Steroids

By Lance Coles, Communications Director

              The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “it’s a steamroller that will be more crushing to American jobs and the middle class than the wave of outsourcing  unleashed  by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990’s” said journalist, Isaiah Poole.

              The TPP discussions are going on now and have been since late 2009, and this little talked about secret pact will have little to do with free trade, “It can be more accurately be described as a pact designed to increase the wealth and power of corny capitalists.” said Dean Baker, Co-Director for Economic and Policy Research.

              The apparent intent of the pact is use international trade agreements to create regulations  that will be more favorable to corporations. “Indeed, the Trans-Pacific Partnership could end up empowering multinational corporations to bypass, among other things, individual countries’ efforts to protect the environment, stop price-gouging on life-saving medicines, and maintain equal access to anyone who want to post content or do commerce on the internet.” said Poole, “Meanwhile the deal would do not do anything to arrest the corporate race to the bottom that is undermining American wages.”

              The TPP would backdoor deregulation for financial firms wrecking the economy. Floods of unsafe foods and products would be allowed in the country. A ban on Buy America policies, and foreign corporations will be empowered to attack our environment and health policies in a foreign tribunal.

              The agreement is not only intended to open the markets of goods and services between the twelve partners, but it will establish horizontal guidelines to dictate how regulation is put in place and what regulation is unnecessary, said Yorgos Altintzis. This would open the door for big capital to get around regulations bringing us back into a recession.

              Foreign investors can skirt domestic courts and laws and sue governments directly before tribunals of three private sector lawyers operating under World Bank and United Nation rules. History shows that just by threatening to use such a tribunal, a company can achieve a “chilling effect” on a government that wants to design or enact new regulations and policies.

              Baker said, The TPP will create rules that will favor big business at the expense of the population of both the United States and in other countries

              Some examples of what TPP could do are:

·       It would require the U.S. to import food that does not meet U.S. safety standards (modified foods) and limit food labeling.

·       It would require internet service providers to “police” user-activity and treat individual violators as large-scale for-profit violators, and people could be banned from all internet use. It could make downloading music a crime where you computer could be seized. Streaming services, like Pandora, would get much more expensive. The TPP could prevent blind from reading eBooks, and deaf from inserting closed captioning onto protected DVD’s. It would impact lending services a public libraries.

·       It would be a Bankster’s delight, because TPP would roll back reregulation of Wall Street which would prohibit bans on risky financial services and undermine “too big to fail” regulations.

·       It would offer incentives for off shoring jobs and would take away elected officials rights to Buy American or Buy Local.

·       It would bring longer monopoly control on drugs by big PhaRMA and cause higher prices for consumers, and it would cut off millions in developing counties from life-saving medicines. This would also mean extra cost to patients and a bigger burden on health budgets.

              Foreign firms would gain: rights to acquire land, natural resources, factories without government review. Special treatment for relocating. Compensation for loss of :expected future profits from health, labor and environmental laws. They would have the right to move capital without limits. They will have new rights over vast definitions of investment, intellectual property, permits derivatives, ban performance requirements and domestic content rules.

              The AFL-CIO and many other organizations are saying “slush the TPP” and develop “fair trade” pacts that would benefit workers and consumers around the globe, not just corporations. said Poole.

              The TPP is the answer to the question: “how can we make the rich richer?”

              It is imperative that everyone contact their elected representatives and ask them to stop TPP.tpp map


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