lonely bird Wrote: free trade, like capitalism, is a philosophy, good in concept and not so much in the implementation.free trade beyond the obvious issues with sovereignty will result in the continued exploitation of labor, the continued exploitation of natural resource rich countries and the continued concentration of wealth in the hands of the few.why? because there is not and cannot be any such thing as "free trade." it is, like all economic philosophies, utopian. it neglects the political part of political economy. it neglects the greed/fear response. it neglects biology, ecology, sociology, psychology, inshore, all of what makes humans human. of particular concern but not by any stretch the only concern is the environment. by ceding political power to corporations the environment can be completely ignored in the name of profit. in fact it must be ignored else lawsuits ensue.i heard on thom hartmann, iirc, that one idea behind this is to blunt china's growing economic power. yet at the same time china may be allowed into this agreement. well, anyone who thinks such an agreement will blunt china's economic power is naive at best and psychotic at worst. just what do they think would happen to the service economy in the u.s. that uses china for its manufacturing? nothing?free trade destroys industry because it destroys labor as well. and it also destroys countries, period. de-industrialization is a key sign of decline in a nation. the swapping of actual making goods for the stuffing of paper results in decline for the vast majority of the populace. by continuing to engaging in chimerical so-called free trade and deregulated capitalism the united states has happily ceded its position as the largest economy and so-called indispensable nation. ironically the exceptional nation has been proven to be unexceptional and the tpp simply reinforces this.
The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."
sbfriedman Wrote: So, if this is to be taken as fact.. that means that in some cases multinational, insanely wealthy corporations will be able and have the power to sue states? By states, I assume that means countries... And the real question is: who is on this supposed court panel?? Is this to be the equivalent of the FISA court, only made of a collection of international... what... diplomats? World leaders? Corporate lobbyists? I'm seriously confused on how that would work.. thoughts? opinions?
jaredsxtn Wrote:It looks like this proposed panel is called the 'Investor-State Dispute Settlement' and it would not be overseen by judges, but by corporate lawyers. Foreign companies would be able to go before this board and sue the US Government without ever stepping foot before an American judge. And ONLY international investors will be able to use this kangaroo court. So a foreign company could challenge an American law in this 'court' but an American company would not be able to challenge a Vietnamese law in it.
sbfriedman Wrote:So on what basis of thought leads the Obama administration and the many others that are in favor of this agreement so ready to push something like this through? Is it the thought process that there is more good than bad in it? How can one hear that part of the TPP and think it's acceptable, as long as a bunch of other good stuff gets in there too? I really fail to understand in any way how this favors anyone except large multinational corporations. Sounds like a huge step forward, toward a global economy that in the near future will really only be truly run by a handful of the most powerful corporations in the world.
Schmidt Wrote: We can rightfully be suspicious of this agreement and condemn it as being unfair to some of our workers. But is it worse than the status quo? Could we start from scratch and get a better deal for the American workers? It might take several years.
Schmidt Wrote:We can rightfully be suspicious of this agreement and condemn it as being unfair to some of our workers. But is it worse than the status quo? Could we start from scratch and get a better deal for the American workers? It might take several years.Again, I admit to not knowing all the terms of this deal, but it is easy to research the status quo...just look at Nike in Vietnam.
It is about trade, but it's really about all sorts of different agendas being worked into one big agreement that's centered around trade agreements. There are chapters on labor rights and environmental practices, as well as financial regulation and government procurement. These are connected to trade, however indirectly, but they go well beyond protections like tariffs you might think of as being in a trade agreement.So the new agreement could benefit US businesses even before any goods change hands. Leaked chapters on intellectual property have seemed to favor patent and copyright holders like pharmaceutical companies and Hollywood movie studios, as Tim Lee has written.
Schmidt Wrote:Fast track is not a new concept. It is the way just about every foreign trade agreement has been negotiated and approved in the past. If you don't trust our president to do the final negotiations, then fast track can be withdrawn...or qualified by Congress.
Fast Track Sets Aside Normal ProcedureCongress does not set aside normal procedure, debate, the ability to fix problems that turn up and agree to vote within 90 days except for trade agreements – even though trade agreements have now proven to have such a tremendous and often detrimental effect on our economy, jobs, wages and inequality. Where did the idea to do this come from? According to Public Citizen, this unusual procedure was “initially created by President Richard Nixon to get around public debate and congressional oversight.”Even for trade agreements, this use of the fast track process for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be unusual. Usually fast track is set up by Congress before a trade agreement is negotiated. This way Congress can at least say who to negotiate with and lay out a set of objectives they are directing the administration to achieve.But the TPP agreement that this fast track process will apply to is already nearly completed! So for TPP only, fast track’s special procedures to bypass the usual process – short time period, limited debate, no amendments – are only for pushing the agreement through, without the pre-designation of trade partners, objectives, and other matters that some say justifies doing so.In essence, this fast track bill, if it passes, pre-approves TPP before anyone even knows what is in it and without Congress saying in advance what should be in it.