Storm Clouds Gathering- The TPP would create a system of shadowy trade tribunals which would allow companies to to override and nullify laws in any member country.
These tribunals are extrajudicial. Their authority is outside above national justice systems. The arbitrators are unelected, and completely unaccountable to the people.
The laws which will be subject to this new agreement include (but are not limited to) intellectual property rights, food and product safety, environmental standards, and just about any regulation that may affect the way companies do business.
Under the TPP, if a country passes a law to protect its citizens or reduce pollution in a particular sector, a multinational corporation which is affected by that law can take that country to a tribunal. The ruling will be legally binding. It doesn’t matter what people voted for.
An example of what this will look can be found in Uruguay, which has been sued by the Philip Morris tobacco company. Uruguay passed a law requiring particularly aggressive warning labels on cigarettes. These warning labels have been very effective. Smoking in Uruguay has declined by about 4 percent annually. Obviously that’s bad for business.
The fact that intellectual property rights are covered by the TPP has grave implications for the future of the internet. Under this agreement companies claiming to be harmed by lenient copyright enforcement would have a backdoor means to push new draconian regulations on every participating country. This would bypass normal legislative processes completely.
Don’t live in one of the countries implicated in the TPP? Have no fear, chances are they’re cooking something up for you as well. The TPP is only one of several alphabet soup trade agreements currently in the works. The TTIP (aka the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) would extend this system of extrajudicial trade tribunals to the entire European Union.
If they get away with phase one of this power grab you can rest assured that there will be more to come.
This isn’t about trade. This isn’t about jobs. This is about power, power that is being covertly shifted farther and farther away from the people.