Friday, November 06, 2015

Nightmarish TPP Text Revealed

Nightmarish TPP Text Revealed

by Stephen Lendman

TPP now revealed in full is one of the latest examples of how fascists running things in Washington harm public welfare and safety - in bed with predatory monied interests exclusively. Theirs alone matter.

This outrageous deal hangs the vast majority of Americans out to dry, sacrificing them on the altar of corporate profits as a be all and end all, an example of over-the-top greed and contempt for ordinary people.

Monied interests crafted their own sweetheart deal with full Obama administration support, a dagger in the heart of consumer safety and welfare.

Obama lied claiming it has “strong protections for workers and the environment…(It) puts American workers first.” TPP is nightmarishly anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-environment, contemptuously spurning the public interest.

It’s sweeping, massive in length and detail - 30 chapters containing over 2,000 pages, a huge task for anyone to digest and fully understand.

It’s a one-sided corporate giveaway, a heist now revealed in plain sight, revealing entirely lost American values. Whatever once existed disappeared down a sinkhole of big monied interests, given added power to exploit ordinary people in all TPP signatory countries, they alone benefitting.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said the deal confirms its worst fears about undermining popular rights, including “online and over our digital devices and content.”

“The investment chapter defines ‘intellectual property’ as an asset that can be subject to the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process.” Companies can sue any TPP nation, claiming rules it introduced allegedly harmed their copyright interests, with vast TPP afforded latitude to prevail.

The E-Commerce chapter is hugely anti-consumer, able to claim an “arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade” to be determined in a corporate-controlled investment court, “not by a data protection authority or human rights tribunal,” EFF explained.

The Article 14.10 Net Neutrality provision is deplorably weak - “meaningless,” said EFF. “Rather than establishing any sort of enforceable obligation, the parties merely ‘recognise the benefits’ of the access and use of services and applications of a consumer's choice, the connection of end-user devices of the consumer's choice, and the availability of information on network management practices.”  Development of strong,  meaningful global Net Neutrality standards is impeded.

The Telecommunications Chapter fails to protect end users’ privacy and security - “causing serious human rights infringements of users,” said EFF.

It called the text’s release at this time “somewhat fishy,” seeming to comply with Fast Track provisions - requiring full online disclosure 30 days after notifying Congress Obama intends to sign the deal.

“Only after 60 days from the release (so a full 90 days from submitting the deal for signature) can Obama sign (it, then put it) before Congress for ratification,” EFF explained.

“So far, no one has (formally) indicated…White House…intent(ion) to sign.” If so, at least three months remain before Obama can officially enact it into law. 

“(G)iven how underhanded this administration has been about the TPP all of these years, we have reason to be suspicious, and we fear that they could be surreptitiously moving ahead with the Fast Track trade approval process,” EFF stressed.

The administration proved time and again it can’t be trusted. On virtually everything mattering most to public welfare, it sided with dark forces profiting at its expense.

EFF intends going all-out “to ensure this agreement never gets ratified (by Congress) or any other country that is a party to this deal. (G)overnment officials need to hear from us loud and clear that we won’t stand by and let them trade away our rights to powerful multinational corporations.”

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch (GTW) was just as outspoken. TPP is “Worse Than We Thought,” it headlined. GTW director Lori Wallach said negotiating authorities “resorted to such extreme secrecy during (talks) because the text shows that the TPP would offshore more American jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in (corporate-controlled) tribunals.”

“When the administration says it used the TPP to renegotiate NAFTA, few expected that meant doubling down on the worst job-killing, wage-suppressing NAFTA terms, expanding limits on food safety and rolling back past reforms on environmental standards and access to affordable drugs.”

It remains to be seen how Congress reacts. Members say one thing, then do another. Many indicated their support depends on assuring access to affordable drugs. TPP does the opposite, assuring greater escalated prices than already.

Its text “confirms that demands made by Congress and key constituencies were not fulfilled,” said GTW. “(T)he final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official US trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest,” Wallach explained.

She believes TPP’s fate in Congress “is uncertain at best given that since (Fast Track approval), House members providing its margin of victory possible “expressed concerns that the text released shows (their interests) not addressed.

Hopefully Wallach is right, saying with Obama’s “myth-based sales job” exposed, congressional passage is “further dimm(ed).” Sustained public outrage is all the more important.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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