Home World Events Economy See Why This Secret Free Trade Treaty Is a BAD, BAD Deal

See Why This Secret Free Trade Treaty Is a BAD, BAD Deal

Well, that headline sounds pretty dramatic, but this is pretty huge, and it’s all being done behind closed doors.

Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it’s a massive free trade deal that the Obama administration has done its utmost to fast-track so Congress won’t be able to edit or stall the agreement. It must be noted that according to the above video, the Republicans are supporting the president in this venture.

According to Choice, business lobbyists in the U.S. have read drafts of the massive free trade agreement. Just not many of the rest of us.

If it becomes reality, it’ll be the single biggest trade agreement in the world, and if it wasn’t for WikiLeaks, we wouldn’t know much about it. In brief, the TPP will govern international trade relations and investments, and it’ll give corporations the right to sue sovereign states in an international court not bound by the laws of any country.

“The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor, in a statement. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health, and public transport policies.”

Shipping containers at a dock. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is all about satisfying big corporate interests say critics.  (Lauren Manning/flickr)
Shipping containers at a dock. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is all about satisfying big corporate interests, say critics. (Lauren Manning/flickr)

A WikiLeaks statement said that the TTP will intensify the power of global corporations by creating a supranational court where foreign firms can “sue” states and acquire taxpayer reparation for the loss of “expected future profits.”

These tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems.

The current TPP negotiation member states are:

  • The United States
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Malaysia
  • Chile
  • Singapore
  • Peru
  • Vietnam
  • New Zealand
  • Brunei

Combined, they account for 40 percent of the world’s GDP, and there are more states that have shown interest in joining these 12. Critics are saying the agreement will weaken labor laws, create higher costs for medicines, lower wages, and increase outsourcing, among other things.

According to economist Robert Reich in the video above, the TPP is a “Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom”, giving big corporations and Wall Street bankers the means to eradicate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of profits.

Do you have the right to know more about the shadowy TPP before it becomes law? You’d hope so, but don’t bet on it.

Rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Wellington, New Zealand during November last year. (Image: Wikipedia)
Rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Wellington, New Zealand, during November last year. (Image: Wikipedia)

James Burke
What keeps the world ticking? James is always looking for the answer and the latest news from around the globe. When he's not behind his computer, he's basking in the Thailand sun, or dreaming of the southern hemisphere, where he grew up in rural Australia.

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