Why It's Time to Revolt Against the Worst "Trade Agreement" in History
Odds are that you have not have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While the TPP has been under negotiation since 2008, talks have largely been done in secret and not covered by the mass media.
The media black-out is quite impressive since this is the largest corporate trade agreement to be negotiated since the World Trade Organization got underway in 1995. Commonly called a global corporate coup, the TPP makes transnational corporations more powerful than governments. Others call it “NAFTA on steroids” because it will multiply the failures of NAFTA. -
If People Knew Its Contents, It Could Not Pass
When it comes to trade, Obama has been the most secretive president. Past trade agreements were made public and discussed in the media. The Office of the US Trade Representative would publish the text on its website, even as the treaty was being negotiated.
Not this time.
The TPP is being kept secret from everyone except for the 600 corporate advisers who can read the text on their computers as it is being created, and help the US Trade Representative draft the language. These include the biggest transnational corporations like WalMart, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Pfizer and Monsanto or their trade associations. The TPP is being drafted of, by and for the transnational corporations.
Members of Congress, however, have restricted access to the text and when they do see a summary of it, they must keep the contents secret even from their constituents. The media and public have only seen sections that have been leaked.
Why are the corporations operating in secret? Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the agreement, it would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign. Kirk led the negotiations on the TPP but left recently to join a lobbying firm that represents transnational corporations. If Kirk is right -- that if people knew what was in it, it would not pass -- then, should it pass? -
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The Council of Canadians is one of 30 organizational sponsors (so far) of
a new pledge
to Flush the TPP -- to take action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations globally between now and a planned September round that will in all likelihood take place in Vancouver. The Flush the TPP campaign is still accepting organizational and individual sign-ons. Click on the image to learn more.
The new Flush the TPP website, which is focused on action against the secretive 12-country corporate rights deal, explains:
The TPP affects many issues, including worker’s rights and wages, environmental collapse and climate change, sovereignty of nations and democratic rule of law, Internet freedom and online creativity, food safety and agriculture, healthcare and financial regulation (including controls over the flow of capital), and much more.
More immediately, Global Exchange is
encouraging people to join
its #TPPTuesday Social Media Action Team, an online effort to promote and expand the growing movement against the next "NAFTA on Steroids."
We hope to confirm soon whether the 19th TPP negotiating round will take place in Vancouver as rumoured at the end of August and early September. Fair trade activists in B.C. and the northeastern United States are already discussing how to challenge this corporate rights deal in solidarity with international allies.
Council of Canadians pledges to Flush the TPP (and you can too) | The Council of Canadians