A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Dave Pruett via Like The Dew blog,

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” – James Madison in The Federalist Papers.

You don’t have to know much about the “trade” deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be more than a little suspicious.

First, there are the very peculiar bedfellows. Supporting the TPP are President Obama and most Congressional Republicans, the same Republicans who’ve vehemently opposed his every initiative for the past six and one-half years.

Against the TPP are most (but not all) Congressional Democrats, Ford Motor Company, virtually all trade unions and environmental groups, watchdog groups such as Public Citizen, and usual Obama allies such as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who, in a testy open letter to the President on April 25, called for greater transparency on the TPP.

Furthermore, when asked to lend his support for so-called “Fast Track” authority for the TPP, Obama water-carrier and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chafed, “So the answer is not only no, but hell no.”

Also opposed: liberal icon Noam Chomsky, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee, many Tea-Party groups, and conservative Republican editorialist and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan. Conspicuous by silence: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What’s going on here? Why the strange alliances?

Peel back the layers of the TPP and you’ll find what some believe to be a “corporate Trojan horse.” Disguised as “free trade,” the TPP’s provisions and tactics undermine Constitutional safeguards and national sovereignty. But there’s also a silver lining. The TPP exposes who, in the marbled halls of political power, is working for whom. It forces politicians to put their cards on the table, and by their hands you will know them.

In a recent interview, Chomsky called each word false in the euphemism “free trade agreement.” There’s nothing “free” about it. With nearly 30 chapters, only a half-dozen or so about international commerce, it’s not really primarily about “trade.” And, having been conducted in secret, shielded from the watchful eyes of the public and their congressional representatives, it’s hardly a broad “agreement.”

Every citizen has an obligation to find out what’s in this “deal.” That’s difficult, because the Obama administration has decided to treat TPP documents as classified. Indeed, we know the outlines of the TPP only because of leaks.

For a quick primer on what is known, start with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s two-minute video. Follow with Pat Buchanan’s op-ed “Obama’s Republican Collaborators.” And finish with Amy Goodman’s 13-minute interview on Democracy Now! with Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach.

If you still haven’t made up your mind, read the chilling “The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic” by Ellen Brown of the Public Banking Institute. Is it all hyperbole, or could things be as ominous as they seem?

The TPP, which involves 12 nations and 40% of the earth’s trade, has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” (NAFTA, recall, was the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement of 1993 negotiated during the Clinton Presidency). Every such agreement has been sold to the public by the promise that free trade floats all boats. What’s the reality? According to Buchanan, “… almost all [the big trade agreements] have led to soaring trade deficits and jobs lost to the nations with whom we signed the agreements.” Over the past four decades of free trade, America, cites Buchanan, has lost 55,000 factories and 5-6 million manufacturing jobs, all while racking up $11 trillion dollars in trade deficits.

So, who, if anyone, benefits by so-called “free trade?” Only the multinational corporations set “free” to scour the earth for the hottest sweatshops and the cheapest labor. Free trade is a global race to the bottom.

Given the dismal track record of such deals, one would expect future agreements to be negotiated in the light of day by representatives of all stakeholders. So, who’s at the table crafting the TPP?

“The Administration’s 28 trade advisory committees on different aspects of the TPP have a combined 566 members, and 480 of those members, or 85%, are senior corporate executives or industry lobbyists,” the Warren-Brown letter asserts. “Many of the advisory committees — including those on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles and clothing, and services and finance — are made up entirely of industry representatives.” Absent from that table are all congressional representatives.

In April, the Obama administration began the process of petitioning Congress for “Fast Track” authority on the TPP. Some believe that Fast Track (which originated with Richard Nixon) is executive usurpation of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: “The Congress shall have the power… to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” An end run around Congress, Fast Track minimizes oversight and public debate. It cedes negotiating authority to the executive branch and then binds Congress to an up or down vote, severely constrained by time and without adequate discussion or filibuster.

Where are the hair-on-fire Republicans incensed over the imperial presidency of Barack Obama? Firmly in Obama’s camp! The self-proclaimed party of the Constitution, the family, and God seems only too happy to sell out all three to its prime constituencies: Wall Street and K-Street. Buchanan admits the painful truth: “Fast Track is the GOP payoff to its bundlers and big donors.”

The most troubling aspect of the TPP, asserts Ellen Brown, is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which “first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959.” Brown continues:

According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe.

Imagine a scenario in which the U.S., coming to its senses about climate change, imposes a revenue-neutral carbon fee on fossil energy. According to provisions of the TPP, a fossil-fuel company in a signatory nation could then sue the U.S. for lost profits, real or imagined.

The threat is not idle. In 2012, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum received an ISDS settlement of $2.3 billion from the government of Ecuador because of that country’s apparently legal termination of an oil-concession contract. Currently, the Swedish nuclear-power utility Vattenfall is suing the German government for $4.7 billion in compensation, following Germany’s phase-out of nuclear plants in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

The ISDS provisions of the TPP are insidious: the means by which signatory nations voluntarily surrender national sovereignty to the authority of corporate tribunals, without appeal, and apparently without exit provisions. No wonder the negotiations are secret.

Packaged as a gift to the American people that will renew industry and make us more competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It’s a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda. Buyer beware. Citizens beware.

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stant's picture

Gant sucking sound 2.0

InjectTheVenom's picture

we gotta pass it before we can know what's in it !

ZerOhead's picture

It's a S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E !!!  The 5 year wait to find out what is in it will be worth it. Honest.

SubjectivObject's picture

We need to make that Core Educated Tolerant ( C A T ):

Sprise!!

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Its got what America craves, its got electrolytes!!

Comte de Saint Germain's picture

National Sovereignty?

In the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the said United States never gained a full independent status per se, nor did the British Monarchy grant those colonies such privilege:

Transcript of Treaty of Paris (1783)

The Definitive Treaty of Peace 1783

In the Name of the most Holy & undivided Trinity.

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the Hearts of the most Serene and most Potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, Arch- Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc.. and of the United States of America...

Article 1st: His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself his Heirs & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every Part thereof.

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/print_friendly.php?page=transcript&doc=6&tit...

Additionally, the United States hasn't abrogated Inter Caetera nor do they have such powers.

Coincidence that Benjamin Franklin negotiated on behalf of the United States the Treaty of Paris and acted as liaison with His Holiness Pope Pius VI?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Truth, it's what is NOT for dinner...

Treaties and Partnerships like this are just more ringfencing.

If you look at the EU pre and post, there, right there is the tell.

If you look at India pre and post british, right there too, is a tell. India was never a nation as such.

Inexorable march to teh cliff-edge, who'll turn the tide?

We? Oui?

Sequence 19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzESrhRrkTI

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) Oh regional Indian May 10, 2015 4:05 AM

reel question is..... will EU got american weapons  20% discount ?

 

smlbizman's picture

hey, if it gets us to the end faster....fasterer track that mutherfucker.....

zhandax's picture

No prob, I will assume something this secret hitting the blogsphere means it is now a done deal; or as the talking balloons on teevee say, 'Achieved sufficient momentum to overcome bipartisanship in congress'.

Muddy1's picture

The author is a real dumbass.  NAFTA is NOT North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.  It IS North America Free Trade Agreement.  If the author can't get something that simple right what other facts are wrong?

Where is Ralph Nader in all of this dicussion?  He was against NAFTA as I recall.

 

Shawnee's picture

the very definition of a stool sample......you gotta pass it to see whats in it.  as with everything w/ king hussein all stool all the time

DuneCreature's picture

Up one - Nice analogy, unsavory visuals. …. I like it.

~ DC

AIIB's picture
AIIB (not verified) May 9, 2015 7:55 PM

TROY

 

Achilles: I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_5ayprT6LM

Shad_ow's picture

If Obama is for it, why would any of us want it?  Everything that man touches smells. I am sure that includes Michelle and certainly Reggie.

The_Prisoner's picture

The fascists currently in power in Australia love the TPP.

farmerunder's picture

I wonder if they really love it, or know they will be cutoff if they dont tow the line of our so called coalition of the willing. I saw an article here in Aust recently that said we would be ahead financially according to US modelling, WTF?, who relies on others to tell them what is good for them?. We are just puppets of these globalists and I hope I wake up one day and the zombies have realised whats going on around them.

HowdyDoody's picture

But everbody will be better off under TPP. Free poniez and unicorns for everyone. A glorious utopia awaits. But step into this shower room first.

espirit's picture

If Unicorns taste anything like Ponies, I'm in.

fel.temp.reparatio's picture

So did the fascists previously in power in Australia. Here's Gillard talking it up before knowing what it even was.

Seasmoke's picture

There is even a gun grab in there. 

The_Prisoner's picture

There's everything in there. The corporations will have free reign to sue countries for regulating their products.

It's Big Agriculture and Big Pharma wet dream.For no country will be able to appose the use of any product once proved by the "honest" FDA.

The court will be selected by the corporations as well.

disabledvet's picture

So the Government "creates inflation" by simply printing fiat monies without any backing and then "big business" responds by saying "give us free trade or your free shit army is dead."

Sounds pretty simple to me.

farmerunder's picture

One thing I have worked out about humans is that they fail to act/respond unless they are directly affected by something. We really are a selfish, self centred animal, that cares for not much apart from ourselves. I aslo note with interest that people who seem to have the least in this world are the more giving and are "awake" to whats going on around them. I believe that until our socieities are purged of the free shit u speak of, the zombies will rule the streets.

GCT's picture

The treaty should be called the free labor trade agreement.  Cheap labor is all this treaty is about as the big boy club shifts factories to these lower labor countries.  The repubs along with Clinton (by the way who gets most of the blame for NAFTA in a Republican controlled Congress at the time) passed NAFTA.  China is getting expensive!

@The prisoner

Big business does not sue the government as that would require using a country's legal system.  ISDS allows business to arbitrate in SECRET no less with arbitraters employed by 15 of the largest laws firms in the world.  There are 15 to 20 arbitrators in the world that work for these firms.  They meet in secret without using any legal system but their own.  The arbatrator's decision is final period and cannot be appealed.  Oh and by the way these same law firms represent the same big corporations in our legal system. These 15 to 20 people control the world with their decisions without any government of the world able to appeal the decision.  Their decisions also put you and I and all people on the hook for their decisions.  Corporations can arbitrate for almost anything but most of it is being done for a preceived loss of profits with regulations.  The EPA wants cleaner air well they can arbitrate to get it over turned along with the fines levied against our country because they may lose profits complying with the new regulation. 

Now if you or I,or for that matter any level of government that signs this treaty wants to enforce a regulation and a corporation, we must use our legal system.  So I guess our legal systems suck if your a big mega corporation as it apears it is too primitive for the big biy club.  The rest of us pleebs must use this screwed up system and spend more then most ever make to fight these corporations. The ISDS is insidious and takes all rights of all government away.  This treaty will most likely pass and we will once again take another big fucking screwing as good paying jobs in this country go away.

What really bothers me to be honest all is why people do not do some research on some of this shit.  We all know Dems and Repubs are corrupt and yet we allow these fuckers to pass and sign shit like this to basically fuck the good people of the world.  No matter how it is stated or how it is presented to the public these treaties are job killers as corporations seek the cheapest and least regulated labor pools.  Right now Vietnam and Cambodia are primary recipients of new factories for global corporations.  Why?  Because labor is cheaper then China and other countries now!  China has threated these countries for some time now.

Prisoner you speak of approval by the FDA and there was a case in Canada where their FDA disapproved a drug and the corporation arbitrated and won.  Canada must now sell the product and the taxpayer paid I think 400 million in damages.  ISDS is a corporations dream to fuck us all.  Yet us pleebs must use the legal system, what a sham.

espirit's picture

You really need to watch the movie 'Idiocracy'.

Farqued Up's picture

Rejoice! GMOs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let those pesky Europeans eat cake, baked with GMO flour, of course. 

Worldwide!

Monsanto is running for Soylent Green status! And all of this time I've been brainwashed into thinking it was Exxon, alas, they have lost their mojo. Monsanto is Dr Evil and the POTUS is Minime.

True Blue's picture

And didn't I see something about more 'guest workers'?

The Civilization cycle is the amplified induction wave of the business cycle.

unicorn's picture

finally zerohedge goes against this treaty. good.

DeusHedge's picture

This obviously supports corporate power when globalization is about to have full impact, but way long term it may not be so bad.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

no tariffs-hate the tariff-think of the children...93 million out of work in usa with these past trade deals, this new one will fix that, 150 million out of work is coming..

the wonder of central fiat banks and income tax- gave america the tools to build an empire for a world elite..

multi national mega corps and banks...and standard of living in the west was raped..

too many dot's to connect

(if america stayed with the pre 1913 funding of fed gov (tariff income only) could we have fought in iraq and afganistan? how many fewer wars and civilian deaths would have been avoided)

eyes wide shut. kill the banksters and the free trade pols.

espirit's picture

Just think of putting the chillun's to work for slave wages.

It'll keep them off the streets at night.

Elliott Eldrich's picture

It's not just that the TPP is a hideous monstrosity, or that the more one learns about it the more it appears to be nothing less than a globalist coup; it's seeing how utterly servile our so-called "leaders" are to these corporatist bastards. "We The People" are no longer represented in any meaningful way, that much is painfully obvious. 

"When in the Course of human events..."

suteibu's picture

It's just flat out treason against the peoples of sovereign nations....all of them.

Every person that signs their name to this pact, regardless of their nationality, should be subject to 17th and 18th century-style maritime punishment...televised live.

A Lunatic's picture

Moar Treason.....

ZerOhead's picture

If that's at all possible.

They are dialed in at  11 on the treason scale already...

A Lunatic's picture

I guess anything goes when there is no one who will hold them accountable or bring them to Justice.....

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Considering this is something akin to double top secret, I am surprised anyone heard about it at all.

lakecity55's picture

TPTB are going to Jade Helm all of US anr replace US with Chinese.

MedTechEntrepreneur's picture

Somebody...please get this party started! We have no other recourse at this point!

Farqued Up's picture

Treason is increasing exponentially. The collapse will follow the same trajectory. Collapse will have many facets.

Radical Marijuana's picture

An minute and half long video metaphor for the "economy:"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvcGM6maGGk

Exploding iceberg in Antarctica!

Bit by bit, the people that control the people that control the government of the USA have been hollowing its economic system out. They want to destroy the republic, and they are clearly succeeding in doing so. I can not think of anything but implausible series of political miracles that could change that … There MUST come some time in the future when that video above is a good metaphor for what finally has to happen. However, the difference is that the collapse of the American economic system is on an astronomically amplified scale, with consequences that are quite impossible to fully imagine.

rejected's picture

Just like NAFTA, CAFTA and the rest,,, the scum in DC will ratify it. It wil be unconstitutional like most other treaties and law passed but who pays attention to that relic in these modern days.

Trucker Glock's picture

Unconstitutional?  Isn't it the Constitution that grants them the power to do this dirty shit?  Wake up, Constitution-huggers.

ZerOhead's picture

I'm sure that it will be well worth waiting the 5 years after passage to find out about! Honest Injun since these guys are all real schmart lawyers!

Besides all those other trade deals that sent all that nasty industrial pollution of ours over to China and Mexico worked out real well in the end didn't they?

Except for China becoming the Pentagons new #1 fake enemy and all...

Wild Theories's picture

TPP includes every major nation in the Asia-pacific but China, including Vietnam, so no, that's seeing China as a real enemy, not fake.

ZerOhead's picture

So you are telling me China is not already maximizing it's exports with most favored nation status?

Read Brandon Smith's articles sometime. This is the Globalists NWO agenda.