Posts Tagged Trade

TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business

chomsky on tpp

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 »

, , ,

Leave a comment

Trade Deals: Magic Practiced By The Powerful and Slick

Free Trade & Globalization Machine

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

Failed Trade Policy & Immigration

NAFTA Impact on Mexico

Free Trade and the Environment

NAFTA Report Warns Of Trade Deal Environmental Disasters

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster



, , ,

Leave a comment

TPP: Corporations & Money Are the Only Priority!

TransCanada Suit - Stop TPP

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, 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.

, ,

Leave a comment

TPP – Another Weapon For Multinational Corporations

TPP - Corporate welfare

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”.

, ,

Leave a comment

They’re back – TPP Isn’t Over Yet.  Still A Threat to the Environment & More

 TPP - Stop it
Sign the petiton:  I know, it never seems to end.  Didn’t I already sign one of these?  You may have.  The problem is that just keep bringing TPP up again.  Republicans, Climate Change deniers and members of congress who owe their existence to the 1% and multinational corporations are bound and determined to get it passed.  For them it will be easy money.  For the rest of us, devastating to the environment and “We The People” as our ability to say “No” to corporations would be seriously compromised.  Recently “leaked TPP drafts and news reports show that the trade agreement would have a big impact on our climate. The TPP would weaken our environmental standards, open the floodgates to more fracking, and empower corporations to attack climate and other policies in secret trade tribunals. And it doesn’t do enough to protect our oceans, fish, trees, and wildlife.”


, ,

Leave a comment

Hate Pipelines, Well Here’s One That Might Makes Some Sense.

 California Drought - Map W US
Read this:  As California and the majority of its’ agriculture are increasingly jeopardized by drought, other options, previously ignored become feasible possibilities. Who knows, they may become the norm.  “The boon of Canada’s freshwater reserves has made some worried that it will soon be bullied into spreading the good fortune around. It may only be a matter of time before the situation puts ‘new pressure on Canada to export water,’ wrote Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason a year ago. ‘Once that tap is turned on, there may be no stopping it.’”  The logistics of this are beyond me but there is definitely and need the rest can be worked out.  I sure like this better than oil pipelines with inevitable spills and increasing CO2 levels.


, ,

Leave a comment

Free Trade Agreements like TPP Threaten Democratic Decision-making

Read this: This article from The Nation magazine, by Mike Konczal, takes a look at what is really at stake in “Free Trade” agreements like TPP.  We are told by implication and direct statements that these agreements are about “Free Trade”, but instead, they “are about which bureaucrats make decisions about markets that operate between countries.”  They are about something known as “investor-state dispute settlement”.  “Investor-state dispute settlement is a method of private arbitration by which private companies operating in foreign countries can bring lawsuits if that country violates the terms of agreed-upon trade.”  This new type of bureaucracy is essentially a method for large corporations to circumvent democracy by overriding laws and regulations put in place by a country or state.  “These bureaucratic organizations are far more accountable to the interest of corporate investors, and don’t have to balance their interests against those of public health or stability.”


, , ,

Leave a comment

Fast Track is still possible – Ask U.S. Senator Wyden (OR) to vote against it!

 TPP - Fast Track
Sign the petition: This is all part of the game of misinformation and exaggeration.  The irritating part is that it seems there are no negative consequences for doing either.  Fighting TPP is a slow process and it should be.  We have a lot to lose.  Efforts to “Fast Track” it hope to circumvent democratic scrutiny.  “So far, he has resisted the corporate pressure. But if Senator Wyden agrees to co-sponsor the Fast Track bill, it will be introduced the next day. Then the corporate lobby will use Senator Wyden’s seal of approval to claim “bipartisanship” and push other Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House to support the bill too.”


, , ,

Leave a comment