Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Path to Corporate Globalism
If you don't know what the TPP and the TTIP are, you can be forgiven. The governments and corporations involved don't want you to know because these international agreements they are negotiating are that good for them and that bad for you. If you liked NAFTA, you'll love the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP). The TPP is to the Far East what the TTIP is to Europe. These are the latest in a history of trade agreements that began in the 1930s and became institutionalized in the GATT in the postwar period. This time is different. The agreements are now being expanded to cover domestic policy as well as trade goods. They are regional rather than global like the GATT and WTO and they are set up to be controlled by and for the corporations of the world. It works like this. A foreign corporation wants to sell a product or service in the United States but US laws tax, control or otherwise impede the sale or nature of that product for safety, health, environmental or other reasons. If a foreign entity does not agree on the impact or need for such laws, that corporation can sue the US or state government for the profits it would have made had that regulation not existed. The case is adjudicated before a three-lawyer tribunal set up by the corporations. Over $3 billion of your taxes have already been paid and $14 billion in claims are pending under NAFTA and CAFTA. What that does is truly stunning. A foreign corporation has more legal rights to sue the government than you do. Tribunals made up of corporate representatives can determine how our environmental, safety, health and other regulations will be enforced. The pharmaceutical, energy and food industries will be able to influence the impact of patents, pollution and labeling. Wall Street will be able to diminish the effect of reregulation and Dodd-Frank reforms. Corporate lobbyist/advisors, 600 of them, have access to the evolving texts of these agreements. The Congress, journalists and the general public do not. There is nothing "free trade" about these agreements. They are intended to restrict trade to ensure the profits of corporations, maintain the income of doctors and other professionals and protect crony capitalists against a regulatory structure. These protectionist agreements are meant to free the corporations from the domestic political process and start a race to the bottom for standards and safeguards across the economy. But these agreements are even more than that. They are building blocks of the global power structure of the next generation. China has not been invited to join the TPP nor have the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia and India. And for good reason. The United States government is pushing a corporate capitalism that is very different from the state capitalism of most of the world. These agreements are meant to solidify the political power of the American corporation around the world as well as in the United States. The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, is completely committed to these corporate goals. They expect to use the "fast-track" congressional approval procedure where the Congress can only vote yes or no and has do so in a limited time frame. These money-oriented agreements are part of the war on the middle-class. They are supported by the Wall Street internationalists and opposed by practically everyone else, from the tea party on the right to the unions and occupy Wall Street on the left. Here's a chance for working Americans to come together and take their country back from the banks and corporations.