Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries (United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan) will meet in late September in Atlanta as they look to conclude years of negotiations on creating one of the world’s biggest free-trade zones, negotiation sources said Thursday, as reported by the Japan Times.
They want the deal closed before Canada’s general election on October 19th. It is also a top priority for the US bad deal maker, Barack Obama.
TPP or the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty is not truly a free trade agreement so much as it is an agreement on regulations.
The one clause everyone should oppose is the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” or ISDS. It surrenders sovereignty to large multinational corporations. Lawsuits decided by an international court could force local, state and federal governments to change their laws to suit the corporations and financial settlements would come from U.S. taxpayers.
The information comes only from Wikileaks and it’s not known how that leaked chapter on ISDS will actually pan out because of the secrecy employed. It’s so secret we won’t know until four years after the treaty is in force, according to a March 25th article in the New York Times.
One of the fears is that foreign corporations would be allowed to sue the US government for actions, laws, policies, court rulings, regulations, rules that undermine their investment EXPECTATIONS.
According to a classified document, international companies operating in North America, South America and Asia will be able to sue local, state and federal governments before international tribunals put together by the bureaucrats in the World Bank or the UN.
As feared, it subjugates the U.S. Constitution and laws to a global court. The lawsuits will be extremely expensive.
They can mandate our governments change their laws to meet company demands. It’s about corporate interests, not free trade and competition according to the NY Times.
The leaked chapter will not be declassified for four years after the TTP is in force or if the agreement ends.
According to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.
More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord.
A similar accord under negotiation with Europe has already provoked an outcry there.
Foreign investors could demand cash compensation if member nations “expropriate or nationalize a covered investment either directly or indirectly.” Opponents fear “indirect expropriation” will be interpreted broadly, especially by deep-pocketed multinational companies opposing regulatory or legal changes that diminish the value of their investments.
For a president who claims he is opposed to the rich, he sure seems willing to cater to them.