11 Nations Sign TPP Deal
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Signatory countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – America withdrew, China excluded.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation earlier called TPP “a secretive, multinational trade agreement that threatened to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.”
It’s NAFTA on steroids, a stealth corporate coup d’etat, a giveaway to corporate predators, a neoliberal ripoff, a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.
Corporate predators and lobbyists representing them wrote the agreement, exclusively benefitting business interests at the expense of public health and welfare.
On Thursday in Santiago, Chile, 11 nations signed the renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Provisions lobbied for by Big Pharma were excluded from the deal, subject to possible later inclusion.
Americans at least temporarily were saved from a deeply flawed deal, grievously harming consumers in all signatory countries.
CPTPP revisions leave most of its harmful provisions intact – including the infamous investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system.
It lets corporate predators sue governments before a rigged panel of three corporate lawyers for virtually unlimited compensation from taxpayers on what they claim violates their rights – including alleged loss of “expected future profits.”
Rulings in their favor can be gotten by claiming laws protecting public health or ecosanity violate their trade agreement rights.
Rulings are not subject to appeal. If a nation refuses to pay, the suing corporation can seize its assets to obtain compensation.
ISDS amounts to extrajudicial rigging, occurring outside of a nation’s courts. It incentivizes offshoring of jobs by providing special privileges and rights for firms relocating operations abroad.
A global race to the bottom is facilitated. Signing on to CPTPP would have greatly increased US exposure to ISDS attacks – by empowering corporate predators in all signatory countries.
Why any nation would agree to abandon consumer rights, ecosanity, and greatly increased vulnerability to ISDS attacks is incomprehensible.
To its credit, the Trump administration wants ISDS rolled back in ongoing NAFTA renegotiations.
Corporate lobbyists are going all-out to block this proposal – aided by 11 CPTPP nations agreeing to include it in their agreement.
In America, unions, consumer and environmental groups, Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, even Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts oppose ISDS.
The most significant provisions of CPTPP, NAFTA and similar deals are investment rules, not trade-related ones.
They’re about maximizing corporate profits at the expense of public health, safety and ecosanity.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”