The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), branded as a trade agreement and negotiated in unprecedented secrecy, is actually an enforceable transfer of sovereignty from nations and their people to foreign corporations.
As of December 2012, eleven countries were involved—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—with the possibility of more joining in the future due to inclusion of an unusual “docking agreement.”
While the public, US Congress, and the press are locked out, 600 corporate advisors are meeting with officials of signatory governments behind closed doors to complete text for the world’s biggest multinational trade agreement, which aims to penalize countries that protect their workers, consumers, or environment.
Leaked text from the thirty-chapter agreement has revealed that negotiators have already agreed to many radical terms, granting expansive new rights and privileges for foreign investors and their enforcement through extrajudicial “investor-state” tribunals. Through these, corporations would be given special authority to dispute laws, regulations, and court decisions. Foreign firms could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation for “financial damages” to “expected future profits” caused by efforts to protect domestic finance, health, labor, environment, land use, and other laws they claim undermine their new TPP privileges.
There is almost no progressive movement or campaign whose goals are not threatened, as vast swaths of public-interest policy achieved through decades of struggle are targeted. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, reported that once this top-secret TPP is agreed to, its rules will be set in stone. No rule can be changed without all countries’ consent to amend the agreement. People of the world will be locked into corporate domination.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens a Regime of
Corporate Global Governance
Kevin Zeese, “Obama’s ‘Employment Creation’ Program: Massive Outsourcing of American Jobs,” Global Research, September 10, 2012, http://www.globalresearch.ca/obamas-employment-creation-program-massive-outsourcing-of-american-jobs/5304005.
Lori Wallach, “Breaking ’08 Pledge, Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations,” Democracy Now!, June 14, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc.
Andrew Gavin Marshall, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: This Is What Corporate Governance Looks Like,” Truthout, November 20, 2012, http://truth-out.org/news/item/12857-the-trans-pacific-partnership-this-is-what-corporate-governance-looks-like.
Lori Wallach, “Can a ‘Dracula Strategy’ Bring Trans-Pacific Partnership into the Sunlight?,” Yes! Magazine, November 21, 2012, http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/can-dracula-strategy-bring-trans-pacific-partnership-into-sunlight.
Student Researcher: Kyndace Safa (College of Marin)
Community Researcher: Tricia Boreta
Faculty Evaluators: Susan Rahman (College of Marin); Andy Lee Roth (Sonoma State University)