Archive for category Trade
Watch and read: The linked article and video below by Alexandra Rosenmann from the AlterNet is from an interview with Noam Chomsky discussing TPIP. Chomsky says TPIP “has nothing to do with reducing tariffs, (and calls) it ‘pretty extreme’.” Greenpeace, having recently released a portion of the agreement (about 280 pages) says: “Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents. They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business.”
Chomsky points out that “so-called free-trade agreements are not free-trade agreements. To a larger extent they’re not even trade agreements. These are investor rights agreements.” By all means, let’s protect investors above all else. In the short video you’ll hear exactly what Chomsky says. Read the rest of this entry »
Read these: Trade deals are good for everyone, or so the propaganda goes. Beginning with George H.W. Bush, then Bill Clinton, then George W. Bush and now Barack Obama, all of our presidents seem to love them. We’ve had NAFTA, CAFTA and other less well know trade deals and are waiting for the mighty pen to drop, committing us to TPP. Each one has been touted as a fix for workers, trade, corporations, investors, oh and don’t worry about labor protections, the environment, safety, etc. It is all covered and will be good. So what do the American people and the leaders of smaller economies around the world do? What can they do? They resist a little, try to get the word out and then cross their fingers and sign.
What happens shortly after the ink dries has been a very well hidden but quite different story. These trade deals, largely written by corporations, have led to massive reductions in trade for small farmers, greatly reduced wages, loss of local farms and industry, devastated local economies, environmental pollution, degradation in safety standards among other destructive effects. They have been good for corporations, their investors and some others, so I guess that is what we call a win / win.
Understanding these trade deals is difficult and you will seldom see much on our beloved news/entertainment media. Below are several links to well documented and detailed reports giving a “not so rosy” review of the existing trade deals and of course the impending TPP deal (what many are calling NAFTA on steroids). There is a lot to read, so do it in pieces and at your own pace, but please read. You / We need to understand these agreements and maybe begin to abstain from participating in these abusive endeavors to further the power and wealth of the few.
NAFTA, CAFTA & Other Trade Deals
Read this: A primary reason to oppose TPP is being illustrated right now. Following in the example of trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA, TPP will add further protections to ensure corporate profits at the expense of democratic principles. “TransCanada announced Wednesday that they are filing a lawsuit under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) asking for 15 billion dollars in costs and damages from the American people. TransCanadas’s justification is simple: “TransCanada asserts that the “U.S. administration’s decision to deny a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline was arbitrary and unjustified.”
Other groups, such as Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska disagree. “The rejection of Keystone XL was justified in order to protect the land, water and property rights of farmers and ranchers,” she said. “This desperate attempt by TransCanada is a move to show their shareholders they have a viable project when they have hit a dead end.” As Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder, said, “This isn’t going to get the pipeline built, and it is going to remind Americans how many of our rights these agreements give away … the idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane.” While rejecting the pipeline Obama said, “Keystone XL was not in America’s national interest. It would not have contributed to our economy, lowered gas prices or contributed to our energy security, and it would have posed a serious threat to land and water along the route and to the climate by significantly increasing carbon emissions.” Most important, however, was that the American people expressed their opposition to this pipeline, part of its’ democratic process.
Incorporated into these trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA and soon TPP) are protections for corporate profit that go far beyond anything most American citizens (citizens of any nation for that matter) would approve. Like so many laws, they are created behind closed doors, the press is excluded and we find out the consequences later. TPP, the latest example, has followed this blueprint to the tee. Now that congress is ready to finalize its’ passage we are finally learning of the dangers. This has to stop. If there is a way to modify these (overly protective) portions of the existing trade agreements they may be salvageable. If not, we should pull out of these agreements completely. The realization and acceleration of climate change (as Naomi Klein partially titled her recent book) CHANGES EVERYTHING.
So where does this leave us on Keystone XL? “Keystone XL is dead and nothing about this legal maneuvering changes that,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said. What about the TransCanada suit? We have to wait and see on that one? In the mean time, do everything you can to help kill TPP unless these types of corporate protection are removed. This will require democratic participation.
Read this: If you believe corporations are people and should have the rights of people, then you need read no further.
The wealthy once ruled the world via monarchies and eventually oligarchies using their wealth and power to expand and conquer as far and wide as they could. As the world was settled and states became relatively stable those efforts became difficult. Power needed a different means to continue to expand and control. Around 1900 efforts focused on enabling fictitious entities, called corporations, to assume the rights of people and in the USA to eventually grant corporations the constitutional rights of personhood. “We The People” virtually became “We The Corporations” since real people (other than billionaires) had no way to really compete. Government and laws are now created by and for the wealthy and corporations are the primary controllers of that wealth. Step one complete.
The next logical step was to expand this corporate power (legal rights) worldwide and it is close to being complete. The goal is essentially to expand and conquer country after country, not physically (although force is often part of the equation) but legally. Multinational corporations, in the name of international trade agreements, have and are doing just that. Agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and now TPP are examples of trade agreements created to leverage and protect multinational corporations, at the expense of people (particularly poor and defenseless) by giving corporations the power to override laws and regulation that sovereign states create to protect the health, environment, labor and general welfare of their existence. These trade agreements whittle away at the ability of people to say “No” to any corporation’s ability to make a profit even when the result of that profit has devastating effects.
Read the article in the link below, found in The Nation Magazine, by John Nichols, where he goes into some detail on the pending TPP agreement and its’ real repercussions. Get angry and remember CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE. What they have become is a mechanism for the powerful to continue to invade and conquer. Check out MoveToAmend and maybe become a supporter. We need more than just reversing “Citizens United”.