Thursday, August 22, 2013

The menace of the Trans-Pacific Parnership (TPP)

Wenonah Hauter of the Food & Water Watch harshes on the Trans-Pacific Parnership, one of the two major neoliberal trade treaties the Obama Administration is currently negotiating under the high secrecy to which it is addicted (The Un-American Way Other Words 08/21/2013):

This controversial agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It’s comprised of the United States plus 11 other nations that border the Pacific Ocean. The TPP would boost liquefied natural gas exports and food imports. This increases the real dangers posed by reckless fracking for natural gas and the growth of imported food from several countries whose safety standards fall far short of our own.

The TPP could become the biggest corporate power grab in U.S. history. This deal would establish a regime under which corporations would acquire an equal status to countries, allowing them to take legal action against governments both at the national and local levels.

With this power, multinational corporations — especially energy companies — could overturn laws enacted to protect the public and the environment if they were to deem that those protections violated the profit-based terms of this trade agreement. ...

The TPP would encourage increasing the amount of seafood we take in without requiring the trading partners to ban the use of illegal chemicals.
The closing line from which the title comes is, "Undermining laws that U.S. citizens voted to put in place isn't the American way."

I don't like that formulation. Because it is part of the Constitution that ratified treaties are just as much a part of the law of the land as the text of Constitution itself.

But the way the TPP is shaping up, it will become a vehicle for overturning important laws that need to stay in force.

The TPP and its equally malign twin, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are both really bad ideas in the form in which they are currently conceived: neoliberal treaties designed to benefit multinational corporations at the expense of the vast majority of workers.

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