November 7, 2015

Just a few things wrong with the TPP: An invasion of America by law rather than by troops

 Public Citizen's analysis of TPP

Worse anti-public-interest provisions relative to past U.S. trade pacts
  • The TPP Intellectual Property Chapter would roll back the “May 2007” reforms for access to medicines.
  • The TPP Environment Chapter would roll back the “May 2007” reforms by eliminating most of the seven Multilateral Environmental Agreements that past pacts have enforced.
  • The TPP Investment Chapter would expand the scope of policies that can be challenged and the basis for such challenges, including for the first time ever allowing investor-state dispute settlement  enforcement of World Trade Organization intellectual property terms and new challenges to financial regulations.
  • With Japanese, Australian and other firms newly empowered to launch ISDS [investor-state dispute settlement] attacks against the United States, the TPP would double U.S. ISDS exposure with more than 9,200 additional subsidiaries operating here of corporations from TPP nations newly empowered to launch ISDS cases against the U.S. government.
  • The TPP E-Commerce chapter would undermine consumer privacy protections for sensitive personal health, financial and other data when it crosses borders by exposing such policies to challenge as a violation of the TPP limits on regulation of data flows.
  • TPP “Sanitary and Phytosanitary” chapter terms would impose new limits on imported food safety relative to past pacts. This includes new challenges to U.S. border inspection systems that can be launched based on extremely subjective requirements that inspections must “limited to what is reasonable and necessary” as determine by a TPP tribunal.
Anti-public interest provisions that are the same as past U.S. pacts
  • The TPP Investment Chapter would eliminate many of the risks and costs of relocating American jobs to low-wage countries, incentivizing more American job offshoring.
  • The TPP procurement chapter would offshore our tax dollars to create jobs overseas instead of at home by giving firms operating in any TPP nation equal access to many U.S. government procurement contracts, rather than us continuing to give preference to local firms to build and maintain our public libraries, parks, post offices and universities.
  • The TPP would grant foreign firms greater rights than domestic firms enjoy under U.S. law and in U.S. courts. One class of interests – foreign firms – could privately enforce this public treaty by skirting domestic laws and courts to challenge U.S. federal, state and local decisions and policies on grounds not available in U.S. law and do so before extrajudicial ISDS tribunals authorized to order payment of unlimited sums of taxpayer dollars.
  • There are no new safeguards that limit ISDS tribunals’ discretion to issue ever-expanding interpretations of governments’ obligations to investors and order compensation on that basis.
  • The TPP would ban the use of capital controls and other macroprudential financial regulations used to prevent speculative bubbles and financial crises.

The TPP can take effect only if the U.S. Congress approves it, given the rules specifying the conditions that must be met for the TPP to go into effect. The TPP’s fate in Congress is uncertain at best given that since the trade authority vote, the small bloc of members of the U.S. House of Representatives who made the narrow margin of passage possible have expressed concerns that the text release shows were not addressed.
Ten U.S. presidential candidates have pushed anti-TPP messages in their campaigning, stoking U.S. voters’ ire about the pact.

An unprecedented number and wide array of organizations oppose any attempt to railroad the TPP through Congress by using the Fast Track process. Groups united on this extend well beyond labor unions and include consumer, Internet freedom, senior, health, food safety, environmental, human rights, faith, LGBTQ, student and civil rights organizations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lessons learned from WWII. No need for war before the surrender treaty. At the worst, regime change to get the right signatories as in 1963 domestically, or Iran 1953. On the other side of the argument, Putin and the Allies defend the Westphalian nation state system and the UN preference for democratic legitimacy. The nazis were constrained by public opinion to promise short wars, e.g. victory in Russia in 6 weeks. In 1943 when Germany was losing badly Himmler took over suppressing dissent. The US has no popularly imposed time limit on wars, similarly for the eventual replacement of the Constitution by treaty deals.