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The secretive sovereignty-subverting Trans-Pacific Partnership smells dead - but CETA still threatens

November 26, 2016
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Analysis by Fred Elbel, CAIRCO.org.

(Note: this article is regularly updated with new information and in particular with new references.)

Good news: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) appears to be dead, according to the Washington Post article The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead, Schumer tells labor leaders, November 10, 2016, and  The EU Accepts that the TTIP Deal Dead Due To Trump Presidency, Breitbart, November 11, 2016.

Bad news: CETA remains a threat. CETA is a smaller agreement between Canada and the EU which will allow 42,000 US companies with subsidiaries in Canada to use CETA's corporate sovereignty provisions to sue the EU. CETA has been called "TTIP by the backdoor". It would allow US companies to apply pressure to EU nations even if TTIP is killed.

Why is the death of the TPP good news?

Read more below:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multinational trade agreement, negotiated in secret meetings dominated by governments and 500 trans-national corporate interests.16 The media has virtually blacked out coverage of the TPP.8

The TPP has been described as a "stealthy delivery mechanism for policies that could not survive public scrutiny," and focuses on curtailing government at all levels. In addition, it encourages trade that would harm communities and the environment­.18

The TPP was signed by President Obama’s trade representative on February 4, 2016. The 12 nations who signed the agreement now have two years to ratify or reject the agreement.64,65

The TPP on Sen. Jeff Sessions' desk - November 2015
The TPP on Sen. Jeff Sessions' desk - November, 2015

Recent revelations expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a transnational corporate coup.13 It has been reported that former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that if the people knew what was in the TPP agreement, it would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.6

 

TPP Overview

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a fundamental component of President Obama’s continuing economic agenda. It would grant a broad range of powers to trans-national corporations based overseas. According to the New York Times:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations... critics, including many Democrats in Congress, argue that the planned deal widens the opening for multinationals to sue in the United States and elsewhere, giving greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.12

The TPP is the largest pending economic treaty in history and includes countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP. Current TPP negotiation members include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.13

The TPP is a "docking" agreement, which means that any country in the TPP region (e.g., China) can add themselves just by signing on.15 The TPP would be forever. Unlike domestic laws, it would have no expiration date. It could be altered only by a consensus of all signatories.20

Ongoing TPP negotiations have been conducted in secrecy since 2008 and are now in the final stages. The Obama administration is attempting to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress so that elected officials will have no ability to review or comment on provisions. Fast track is implemented by Congress passing Trade Promotion Authority, which means that Congress surrenders all rights to amend the TPP treaty and is only allowed to vote yes or no on Obama’s final deal.9

Some of the more concerning aspects of the TPP are discussed below.

Intellectual Property

The TPP would extend copyright beyond the international 50 year standard after an author’s death by an additional 20 years, thus effectively prohibiting works from entering the public domain.3

Article 16 of the TPP wants signatories to find legal incentives to strong-arm ISPs into privately enforcing TPP copyright rules. The result could be arbitrary filtering of content, complete blockage of websites, and disclosure of ISP customer identities.3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has expressed serious concern that the TPP will:

  • Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries, as noted above.
  • Compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks on movies on DVDs, video games, and players, and for embedded software.
  • Create New Threats for Journalists and Whistleblowers.
  • Enact a "Three-Step Test" Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use.
  • Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation.1

The EFF notes that:

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens."1

Critics of the TPP say it would result in increased drug prices and could give surgeons patent protection for their procedures.14

Corporate tribunals override national sovereignty

The TPP would establish an entirely separate system of justice involving extra-judicial special tribunals. These tribunals would decide claims by foreign investors that their economic interests are harmed by a signatory nation. A multinational corporation could sue federal, state, and even local officials for impinging on corporate profits. In particular, a corporation could sue for economic damages caused by environmental and crucial safety regulations. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman explains:
 
To put this in real terms, consider a foreign corporation, located in a country that has signed on to TPP, and which has an investment interest in the Indian Point nuclear power facility in New York’s Westchester County. Under TPP, that corporate investor could seek damages from the United States, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars or more, for actions by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Westchester Country Board of Legislators or even the local Village Board that lead to a delay in the relicensing or an increase in the operating costs of the facility.22
 

A TPP leaked document made public by Wikileaks reveals that:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.13

The Huffington Post emphasizes the point:

Let that sink in for a moment: "[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals...." And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies' ability to collect what they claim are "expected future profits."16

The New York Times observes:

In all, according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.

More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord…

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”14

This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”14

Immigration

The US Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over immigration, immigrants, and work authorizations. Yet fast-track trade legislation essentially relinquishes that authority to the President.

NumbersUSA has pointed out that as a result of fast-track trade authority on the TPP, any President could much more easily expand guest worker programs without public debate. Indeed, that occurred under President Bush during five years of fast-track authority.17 As a result, in 2003, Congress objected to President Bush including immigration in trade agreements with a resolution that began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that

(1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and

(2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.17

The Hill recently reported that:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.17

As a result of these concerns, NumbersUSA sent notices to members of Congress reading in part:

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.17

Political analyst Dick Morris stated that Obama is trying to circumvent the legislative process via a treaty authority that a future president could not change. It would strip away the power of the Congress to limit immigration. Morris stated:

“I don’t think that people understand that in this deal which is a trade agreement among Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Chile, there’s a provision for free flow of workers, just like in the European Union. What It means is unrestricted immigration. It means literally that congress would not have the authority to restrict immigration because a treaty supersedes a statute under our constitution.”24

Environment

In an analysis of the leaked TPP “Investment” chapter13, Public Citizen observes that:

The leaked text would empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms that foreign firms claim violate their new substantive investor rights. There they could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine TPP foreign investor privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”19

Thus, the TPP would elevate foreign-owned corporations to the same status as sovereign governments. These corporations would be able to challenge in foreign tribunals any environmental laws and regulations that they deemed a threat to their profitability. For example, provisions would disadvantage organic farmers and those who adopt more environmentally-sound farming practices.18

TPP will limit GMO food labeling and will allow the import of foods and goods that do not meet US safe standards.20 As US News reports:

Many jurisdictions have policies to promote opportunity and ameliorate the severity of market forces. These include minimum wage laws, laws requiring employers to offer health insurance, regulations covering product safety, work-place safety, environmental protection, and more. All of these protections are at risk under the TPP. For example, the pact would prevent communities from deciding whether or not they want fracking in their area.18

Conclusion

From what we now know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a distinct and significant threat to national sovereignty and the ability of any member nation – including the United States – to regulate its trade, intellectual property, environment, and immigration.

Most troubling is what we don’t yet know about the secretive TPP.

In the interests of America and all Americans, Congress is obligated to deny fast-track TPA authority on the TPP and to reject the TPP in its entirety. Of course, that has not happened.

Update: June 24, 2015: the Senate approved fast track Trade Promotion Authority, which the House also passed on June 18, 2015. The bill goes next to the president's desk.

Article by Fred Elbel

References

1. What is TPP, Electronic Frontier Foundation

2. What Is Wrong With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Electronic Frontier Foundation, August 21, 2012 - one-page overview

3. What is the TPP, and why should you care?, Naked Security, August 28, 2012

4. Obama secretly signing away U.S. sovereignty, WorldNetDaily, October 16, 2013

5. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people, The Guardian, November 13, 2013

6. Trash the TPP: Why It's Time to Revolt Against the Worst "Trade Agreement" in History, Occupy.com, July 19, 2013

7. Leaked TPP Intellectual Property Chapter from May 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 2014

8. Media Leave Viewers In The Dark About Trans-Pacific Partnership, Media Matters, February 9, 2014

9. Immigration, Outsourcing And Now Fast-Tracking TP - When Will GOP Stand Up For Americans?, Patrick J. Buchanan, VDare, January 31, 2015

Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we threw open America’s doors to a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal. Some 40-50 million have poured in, an unprecedented expansion of the labor force.

Thus, “free-trade” Republicans and their collaborators in the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to drop the U.S. labor force into a worldwide labor pool where the average wage was but a tiny fraction of an American living wage.

Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.

10. Obama's next immigration scam - Guest workers get free pass in so-called free-trade TPP agreement, World Net Daily, March 14, 2015

11. Democrats Blast Obama’s Secret Trade Negotiations, Limits To Growth, March 18, 2015

12. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S., New York Times, March 25, 2015

13. Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

Read the full Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

The TPP Investment Chapter is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

14. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S,, The Guardian, March 25, 2015

15. Corporate Sovereignty Provisions Of TPP Agreement Would Massively Undermine Government Sovereignty, TechDirt, March 26, 2015

16. Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public, Huffington Post, March 27, 2015

17. We join unions, environmentalists and more in broad coalition against threat of anti-worker trade bill, NumbersUSA, April 14, 2015

18. Obama's Pacific Trade Deal Is No Deal At All - These trade negotiations are about corporations seeking to prevent competition, U.S. News and World Report, April 19, 2015

19. Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text, Public Citizen, March 25, 2015

20. Stop TPP – The Facts. If unavailable, this web page is archived.

21. Stop The TPP, Communications Workers of America

22. Don’t Let TPP Gut State Laws, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Politico, April 19, 2015

23. Globalization and Trade, Public Citizen

24. GOP Field Will Tighten, Asia Trade Pact Big Worry, NewsMax, April 20, 2015

Morris said, “This is huge. I hope everybody listening takes action call your senator about it. If he is a Republican he is voting wrong. “I don’t think that people understand that in this deal which is a trade agreement among Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Chile, there’s a provision for free flow of workers, just like in the European Union. What It means is unrestricted immigration. It means literally that congress would not have the authority to restrict immigration because a treaty supersedes a statute under our constitution.”

25. Only Two Republicans Admit They Actually Read Secret Obama Trade Deal—Both Unsupportive, Breitbart, May 8, 2015

“This means the President could update the agreement ‘as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries,’” Sessions wrote about the living agreement in his “critical alert” to members across Capitol Hill about concerns with the deal last week. “The ‘living agreement’ provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Again: these changes would not be subject to congressional approval.

26. ‘Critical Alert': Jeff Sessions Warns America Against Potentially Disastrous Obama Trade Deal, Breitbart, May 3, 2015

Sessions notes that specific language, and other language throughout the TPA, “offers an obvious way for the Administration to expand the number and duration of foreign worker entries under the concept that the movement of foreign workers into U.S. jobs constitutes ‘trade in services.’”

...“Language already present in both TPA and TPP provide the basis for admitting more foreign workers, and for longer periods of time, and language could later be added to TPP or any future trade deal to further increase such admissions.”

27. Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill, The Guardian, May 27, 2015

...Fast-tracking the TPP, meaning its passage through Congress without having its contents available for debate or amendments, was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators. The US Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – the fast-tracking bill – by a 65-33 margin on 14 May. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 62-38 to bring the debate on TPA to a close.

Those impressive majorities follow months of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing by the world’s most well-heeled multinational corporations with just a handful of holdouts.

Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate:

    - Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 &ldq

    - The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.

    - The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors...

   -  In just 24 hours, Wyden and five of those Democratic holdouts – Michael Bennet of Colorado, Dianne Feinstein of California, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, and Bill Nelson of Florida – caved and voted for fast-track.

    - Bennet, Murray, and Wyden – all running for re-election in 2016 – received $105,900 between the three of them. Bennet, who comes from the more purple state of Colorado, got $53,700 in corporate campaign donations between January and March 2015, according to Channing’s research...

28. This Is How Little It Cost Goldman To Bribe America's Senators To Fast Track Obama's TPP Bill, ZeroHedge, May 30, 2013.

...The result: it took a paltry $1.15 million in bribes to get everyone in the Senate on the same page. And the biggest shocker: with a total of $195,550 in "donations", or more than double the second largest donor UPS, was none other than Goldman Sachs...

29. TPP campaign contributions, Taylor Channing,  Scribd, May 25, 2015. 

30. Extreme secrecy eroding support for Obama's trade pact, Politico, May 4, 2015.

31. Don’t Let TPP Gut State Laws, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Politico, April 19, 2015.

32. How the Trans-Pacific Partnership would impact public health, Expose The TPP, 2015.

33. Should Congress Trust America’s Economic Future to this President?, Breitbart, May 1, 2015.

34. Dick Morris: GOP Field Will Tighten, Asia Trade Pact Big Worry, NewsMax, April 20, 2015.

35. Obama's Pacific Trade Deal Is No Deal At All - These trade negotiations are about corporations seeking to prevent competition, U.S. News and World Report, April 19, 2015.

36. Secret Deal Could Contain a Myriad of Gun Restrictions, Ammo Bans!, Gun Owners of America, May 7, 2015.

37. Obama Working Against Democrats to Push ‘Fast-Track’ Trade Bill, Breitbart, May 10, 2015.

38. Wikileaks Exposes Obama’s Phony Trade Bill…Only 5 of 29 Chapters About Trade, Red Statements, June 1, 2015.

39. If You Really Think TPP Is About 'Trade' Then Your Analysis Is Already Wrong, TechDirt, May, 2015.

40. On a Fast Track to National Ruin, ?Patrick J. Buchanan, Taki’s Magazine, May 8, 2015.

41. 10 Ways The TPP Would Hurt U.S. Working Families, Communications Workers of America, May, 2015.

42. TPP, TTIP, and Congress: the elephant in the room, Bilaterals, August 5, 2013.

43. The Rising of the Beast: TPP is the planned Communist Utopian dream, Canada Free Press, June 10, 2015.

In sum and substance, the TPP appears to be one of the most important end-game mechanisms necessary to usher in a state of global governance.”

44. Big Pharma Revealed As Puppetmaster Behind TPP Secrecy, ZeroHedge, June 10, 2015.

45. TPA Safeguards Won't Protect American Workers, NumbersUSA, June 3, 2015.

46. 10 Reasons Why You Should Oppose TPP and TTIP, New American, June 5, 2015.

47. Jeff Sessions Issues Final ‘Critical Alert’: Obamatrade Just Like Amnesty, Obamacare, Breitbart, June 11, 2015.

48. 5 Reasons Free Traders Should Oppose Obamatrade, Breitbart, June 11, 2015.

49. Fast-tracking Obama’s EU-inspired ‘Pacific Union,’ surrendering treaty powers, Right Side News, June 9, 2015.

50. Can you trust other countries to store your data? You might have to, American Thinker, June 6, 2015.

51. The Sovereignty-Busting Trans-Pacific Partnership - What's so bad about it?, by Fred Elbel, The Social Contract, June 21, 2015.

52. Politicians can only view secret trade pact in special viewing room, ARS Technica, August 14, 2015.

53. Jeff Sessions: Obamatrade Can Be Killed, Breitbart, October 5, 2015.

Negotiators in Atlanta have reached an agreement on the 12-nation global trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), meaning the trade deal is likely to come up for a vote early next year.

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) of Alabama – who led the populist revolt against fast-track and TPP – wants Americans to understand TPP can still be killed.

Obamatrade collectively refers to Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which is the controversial fast-track mechanism for ramming bills through Congress with minimum scrutiny, and the three major trade deals that would be guaranteed these ‘fast-track’ protections before a page of them had been made public: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Sessions has previously pointed out that these three trade deals collectively encompass 90 percent of global GDP...

Under fast track authority (TPA), which passed in June of this year, Congress cedes its ability to amend the trade deals negotiated by Obama, and lowers the 67 vote treaty threshold to a mere simple majority. The Senate even surrenders its 60 vote filibuster. After the passage of fast track, the only off-ramp that exists to block Obama’s trade deals is controlled by Paul Ryan, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Congressional leadership– depriving individual members of their ability to exercise control.

Historically, no trade deal moved through Congress with the fast track mechanism has ever been blocked...

A recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request also revealed that there is a chapter in TPP that addresses temporary entry provisions of foreign workers. Additionally, because TPP is a “living agreement,” it can be changed subsequent to its adoption. This means that a group of twelve nations– and any new nation member that gets added to the partnership– would be able to advance changes to America’s immigration policies.

As Breitbart News has previously reported, Sen. Sessions has highlighted how TPP “would give the Sultan of Brunei—who has implemented Sharia Law in his nation and banned Christmas, literally—an ‘equal vote to that of the United States.'”...'

54. No More "Free Trade" Treaties: It's Time for Genuine Free Trade, Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge,  October 7, 2015.

55. Leaked TPP Intellectual Property Chapter Sparks Global Outcry, Alex Newman, New American, October 12, 2015.

56. The Predators Behind the TPP, Karel van Wolferen, the Unz Review, October 19, 2015:

A major cause of contemporary political ills in the world is the misnomers that help hide what the strong and rich aspire to and already control. A perfect example of this is the ubiquitous term ‘trade’ in what the media are telling us these days about the TPP and the TTIP – the transpacific and transatlantic treaties that seek to organize business activity under one monumental umbrella of new rules. These have been peddled as trade treaties, and hence as being great for growth and jobs, happiness and social well-being. But neither the TPP, tying the United States, a bit of Latin America and a series of East Asian countries together, nor its TTIP companion that is meant to shape American-European business relations, is primarily about trade, if stimulating genuine trade comes into it at all. It is primarily about power. Two kinds of it.

One is aimed at creating global disadvantages for China’s industrial power and putting brakes on what the two formerly communist giants on the Eurasian continent are developing together. The other is power of a collectivity of large politically well-connected corporations to engage in conduct unchecked by national rules, which seen by eyes unaffected by neoliberal dogma would be recognized as predation...

Powerful corporations have been allowed to swallow the state; they have as the power sensitive economist James Galbraith calls it, created a ‘predator state’, which they of course exploit for their own expansion. There is no frame of reference with which we can more convincingly define the TPP.

57. Full TPP Text Reveals A Very Bad Deal for America, Breitbart, November 5, 2015.

...Ultimately, the TPP is a complex series of rules and regulations intended to manage the economic relations between the 12 nations party to the agreement. And its meticulous design serves to benefit each country’s “national champion” companies and industries, with the big winners in the U.S. being the major Wall Street banks, insurance companies, and multinational manufacturer-outsourcers.
 
One big example of this complex hypocrisy: The TPP has, in addition to 30 main chapters, a total of 58 side agreements (called “side letters.”) And Japan alone possesses 14 of these side letters, with each one laying out special conditions for Japanese participation and special deals for Japanese economic sectors. Free trade? Hardly!...

58. Jeff Sessions: Kill The ‘Anti-Democratic’ Trans-Pacific Partnership In The Crib, Repeal Fast-Track Authority Now, Breitbart, November 5, 2015.

“The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership runs 5,554 pages,” Sessions said in a statement provided to Breitbart News.

This is, by definition, anti-democratic. No individual American has the resources to ensure his or her economic and political interests are safeguarded within this vast global regulatory structure. The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern. It puts those who make the rules out of reach of those who live under them, empowering unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of the people’s bulwark: their constitutionally-formed Congress.

In the next part of the detailed statement calling for the TPP’s annihilation, Sessions walks through several troubling rules and regulations contained throughout its thousands of pages.

Among the TPP’s endless pages are rules for labor, environment, immigration and every aspect of global commerce – and a new international regulatory structure to promulgate, implement, and enforce these rules,” Sessions said. “This new structure is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission – a Pacific Union – which meets, appoints unelected bureaucrats, adopts rules, and changes the agreement after adoption.

Sessions added that the text of this deal—which is actually bigger than Obamacare and the Senate “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill combined—“confirms” Americans’ “fears” about it, specifically the creation of a new global governance structure similar to the European Union...

Sessions says:

“The text of the TPP confirms our fears, plainly asserting: ‘The Parties hereby establish a Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission which shall meet at the level of Ministers or senior officials, as mutually determined by the Parties,’ and that ‘the Commission shall’:

  • ‘consider any matter relating to the implementation or operation of this Agreement’;
  • ‘consider any proposal to amend or modify this Agreement’;
  • ‘supervise the work of all committees and working groups established under this Agreement’;
  • ‘merge or dissolve any subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement in order to improve the functioning of this Agreement’;
  • ‘seek the advice of non-governmental persons or groups on any matter falling within the Commission’s functions’; and
  • ‘take such other action as the Parties may agree’.
  • Further, the text explains that ‘the Commission shall take into account’:
  • ‘the work of all committees, working groups and any other subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement’;
  • ‘relevant developments in international fora’; and
  • ‘input from non-governmental persons or groups of the Parties’.

Sessions goes on to note that the new global governance structure is “open-ended” and has no bounds.

Sessions says:

This global governance authority is open-ended: “The Commission and any subsidiary body established under this Agreement may establish rules of procedures for the conduct of its work.”  It covers everything from the movement of foreign nationals: “No Party shall adopt or maintain…measures that impose limitations on the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular service sector. . . in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test”; to climate regulation: “The Parties acknowledge that transition to a low emissions economy requires collective action.”...

“These 5,554 pages are like the Lilliputians binding down Gulliver,” Sessions said.

They will enmesh our great country, and economy, in a global commission where bureaucrats from Brunei have the same vote as the United States. Clearly, powerful forces will have their voices heard and find ways to profit immensely from this conglomeration. But what of everyday wage-earning Americans? By nearly a 5:1 margin, they believe such deals reduce wages – not increase them.  Because this deal lacks currency protections, it will further the bleeding of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, allowing our mercantilist trading partners to take advantage of our continued refusal to protect our own workers.

Sessions said this isn’t just a “trade agreement” or even a full-fledged treaty. It’s the creation of a new global governing structure akin to the European Union—one that cedes U.S. sovereignty to a yet-to-be-created international governing body....

59. TPP Trade Deal Hits U.S. Immigration In A Massive Way, Breitbart, November 5, 2015.

60. A Free Trader’s Argument against TPP, National Review, December 3, 2015.

61. 8 Terrible Things About the Trans-Pacific Partnership, In These Times, December 16, 2015.

62. Sharia in Obamatrade–Analyst: Sultan of Brunei Could Bypass U.S. Courts, Acquire American Land and Infrastructure, Breitbart, December 21, 2015.

63. Govt confirms plans to sign TPP in Auckland, Radio New Zealand News, January 13, 2015.

Last week the Chilean government announced the signing would be taking place in New Zealand on about 4 February...

The 12 countries which are signing the agreement are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

64. After Obama Signs Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sessions Demands Candidates Reveal Their Position On Trade Deal, Breitbart, February 4, 2016.

President Obama’s trade representative signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, one of the largest multinational trade agreements in history.

Following the signing of the agreement, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who has been the fiercest GOP opponent in Congress of President Obama’s globalist trade agenda, called upon every elected official and every Presidential candidate to reveal “where they stand on the TPP.”...

While every other top polling candidate has made his stance on the issue known, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is refusing to tell voters whether he will vote the TPP, which he previously endorsed as the “second pillar” of a President Rubio’s three-pillar foreign policy strategy...

Donald Trump has made his aggressive opposition to Obama’s trade agenda a central platform of his presidential campaign...

65. Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal signed in Auckland, BBC, February 4, 2016.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, one of the biggest multinational trade deals ever, has been signed by ministers from its 12 member nations in New Zealand...

The 12 nations account for some 40% of the world's economy - they now have two years to ratify or reject the pact. [Although Obama will push Congress to ratify it immediately.]...

66. Unemployment, Inequality and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, GDAE, Tufts University.

In this TPP study, the authors find:

TPP would generate net losses of GDP in the United States and Japan.

Economic gains would be negligible for other participating countries

TPP would lead to employment losses in all countries, with a total of 771,000 lost jobs. The United States would be the hardest hit, with a loss of 448,000 jobs. 

TPP would lead to losses in GDP and employment in non-TPP countries...

67. Trump Is Right on Trade, Patrick J. Buchanan, VDare, February 18, 2016.

68. Sneaky Change to the TPP Drastically Extends Criminal Penalties, Electronic Frontier Foundation, February 19, 2016.

How could this happen, when the TPP had supposedly already been finalized when the original text was released in November? The answer is that the original text had not been “legally scrubbed.” The legal scrubbing process, which was ongoing from November until the re-release of the text last month, was meant to be a process in which lawyers, trade ministry staff, and translators, go over the deal word-by-word, to ensure that it is legally consistent and free of unintended errors or loopholes.

69. Yes, Unfortunately Ted Cruz Did Support Trans-Pacific Trade Deal (TPA) - with video, The Last Refuge, December 11, 2015.

70. No Wonder Obama Wouldn’t Let Us Read TPP, Torn Republic, April 13, 2016:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would turn over to globalists the power to issue regulations about U.S. trade, immigration, the environment, labor and commerce. It’s called a “living agreement” which means the globalists can amend and change the text of the so-called agreement after it has gone into effect.

71. TTIP - American Economic Imperialism Exposed, Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 4, 2016.

Greenpeace has done that part of the world whose representatives are so corrupt or so stupid as to sign on to the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic “partnerships” a great service. Greenpeace secured and leaked the secret TTIP documents that Washington and global corporations are pushing on Europe...

These so-called “free trade agreements” are not trade agreements. The purpose of the “partnerships,” which were drafted by global corporations, is to make corporations immune to the laws of sovereign countries in which they do business. Any country’s sovereign law whether social, environmental, food safety, labor protections—any law or regulation—that impacts a corporation’s profits is labeled a “restraint on trade.” The “partnerships” permit corporations to file a suit that overturns the law or regulation and also awards the corporation damages paid by the taxpayers of the country that tried to protect its environment or the safety of its food and workers.

The law suit is not heard in the courts of the country or in any court. It is heard in a corporate tribunal in which corporations serve as judge, jury, and prosecutor.

In other words, the “partnerships” give global corporations the power to overturn democratic outcomes. Allegedly, Europe consists of democracies. Democracies pass laws protecting the environment and the safety of food and labor, but these laws democratically enacted reduce profits. Anything less than a sweatshop, with starvation wages, no environmental protection, no safety legislation for food or worker, can be overturned at will by global corporations under the terms of the “partnerships.”

Only a traitor, a well paid one, could sign such a pact...

The Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific “partnerships” have been conducted in secrecy. The reason is obvious. Had people known how they were being sold out, there would have been a firestorm of protest...

72.  Stop Being Partisan on So-Called "Free Trade", TruthOut, August 9, 2016.

73. The TPP is the New World Order, Freedom Outpost, August 13, 2016.

74. With Both Presidential Candidates Claiming To Be Against The TPP, President Obama Kicks Off Campaign To Ratify It, TechDirt, August 23, 2016.

75. TISA, TTIP and TTP = Corporate hegemony and economic warfare - It’s all about the push towards global governance or world government, by centralizing power, by Makia Freeman, Intellihub, October 4, 2016.

76. WikiLeaks: ‘The Boss Won’t Be Comfortable’–How Clinton Campaign Flipped-Flopped on TPP, Breitbart, October 13, 2016.

Inside the latest batch of Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails by WikiLeaks is a stunning story of how the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign staff forced her through the uncomfortable process of flip-flopping against the Trans Pacific Partnership.

In the emails is a bald admission from several campaign staffers that the Democratic presidential nominee flip-flopped on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). That admission is coupled with the revelation of how exactly—over a months-long period—her campaign staff helped her maneuver through her position change on the explosive issue. And all of that is mixed together with the admission in writing in these emails by her campaign manager Robby Mook that Hillary Clinton would not be “comfortable” coming out against TPP during the campaign, even though she had to do it for votes...

Clinton’s pollster John Anzalone admitted in the clearest possible language that the goal in manicuring Clinton’s newfound position against TPP was for political purposes to get on the side of voters. In one email, Anzalone detailed how it’s clear that Clinton would lose an “integrity gold star” by not “staying pure” in her support of the TPP and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast track congressional consideration of TPP and other deals. He also noted that Clinton previously supported the deal in her book Hard Choices, and hinted at the 45 times she previously promoted the deal as reported by CNN. The thinking of coming out against TPP was that it would get Clinton “right with voters” and “right with labor,” as the general public and labor unions both oppose trade deals like TPP, regardless of her actual position on the deal...

A previous email exchange in March 2015 detailed how Clinton’s staff believed she intended to support both TPA and TPP. The email from her lead speechwriter makes it very clear: The draft letter he was circulating “assumes that she’s ultimately going to support both TPA and TPP.”...

These emails indicate that her staff understood that Clinton was in favor of TPP. Specifically, in her book Hard Choices—as Anzalone referenced in that April 13, 2015, email—Clinton praised the TPP as beneficial to American workers...

That was in addition to at least 45 other times she praised and promoted TPP, as reported on June 15, 2015, by CNN’s Jake Tapper and his reporting staff...

In fact, Trump surrogate and TPP opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) on Thursday morning railed against Clinton on the issue on Breitbart News Daily—saying that if Clinton wins she will “make a few cosmetic changes, say the thing is fixed, and try to move it [the TPP] through Congress.”

“As Secretary of State, she helped write the dadgum thing. So give me a break. She’s praised it,” Sessions said...

77. George Soros blasts Obama & TPP - WikiLeaks evidence of arch-globalist's concerns, Curtis Elliz, WorldNet Daily, October 29, 2016:

You know it’s a bad deal when even the globalists trash it.

But that’s exactly what’s happening to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Arch-globalist George Soros and the apparatchiks at the United Nations are blasting the international regulatory pact President Obama promises will write the rules of the global economy.

George Soros, schismatic pope in the High Church of Globalism, has a serious problem with the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the fact that it includes Malaysia, a slave-trading state ruled by a corrupt regime that persecutes Christians and breeds radical Islamist terrorists...

According to the memo – and the facts – Malaysia is “a Malay-Islamic state in which Sunni Islam’s supremacy is indivisible from the political and legal supremacy of the Malay race,” a country in which “1 in 10 Muslims there had favorable views of ISIS and that a 53 percent majority were in favor of implementing Hudud, the Islamic penal code” mandated under Shariah...

It describes Obama’s pal Najib as “aligned with a conservative, Salafi-influenced Islam at home” who presides over “government Islamic agencies that promote Shariah law as the supreme law of the land, thus undermining the secular Constitution on which Malaysia was founded.”

“President Obama could not have been come across as more naïve about Najib’s doublespeak on Islam, nor chosen a less credible partner,” it concludes...

Malaysia is notorious for human trafficking – a euphemism for slavery. “Malaysia has the worst human trafficking problem in Southeast Asia. It is massive, systemic and bound up with corruption,” the memo says.

But after Congress made slavery a disqualification for TPP, Obama’s State Department turned a blind eye to Malaysia’s violations. As a result, Soros claims, “The fight against human trafficking and corruption, and for political and economic reform, have all been set back.”

... The globalists at the United Nations say the transnational governance pact goes too far in eroding the national sovereignty of its member states...

78. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead, Schumer tells labor leaders, Washington Post, November 10, 2016:

The Senate’s soon-to-be top Democrat told labor leaders Thursday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal at the center of President Obama’s “pivot” to strengthen ties with key Asian allies, will not be ratified by Congress...

Obama’s signature global trade deal had been on life support for months as both Democrats and Republicans campaigned against unfair trade policies ahead of the Nov. 8 election. And Donald Trump’s triumph in the presidential race cemented its fate.

“There is no way to fix the TPP,” Trump said in a June economic address. “We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down.”...

The deal never had much of a following among congressional Democrats to begin with. Only 28 of 188 House Democrats and 13 of 44 Senate Democrats supported granting Obama the authority to negotiate and finalize a deal last year. And Trump’s rise has decimated support for free trade among Republicans...

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who has supported past trade deals, has said that “the votes aren’t there” in the House to pass the TPP in its current version and that he has no plans to bring it to a vote in the House...

79. EU Accepts TTIP Deal Dead Due To Trump Presidency, Breitbart, November 11, 2016:

The European Union is conceding defeat over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership hailed by President Barack Obama and Democrat Party candidate Hillary Clinton following the election of Republican Donald Trump.

Protests against the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal have crossed the political spectrum, thought it has been the left primarily responsible for bringing the issue to the public consciousness.

From mass protests in Germany to huge online petitions, TTIP was widely believed by those on the left and right to be a “corporate stitch-up” deal. The issue attracted the ire of UKIP’s Nigel Farage, Greenpeace, as well as the socialist worker’s parties across the continent. Now, according to the European Union (EU), it is basically dead...

80. TPP Dead, TTIP Dying, But The EU And Canada Seem Determined To Ram Through CETA Deal Without Proper Scrutiny, Tech Dirt, November 26, 2016:

But alongside TPP, TTIP and TISA, there is one deal that is teetering on the brink of success. CETA is a smaller-scale agreement between the EU and Canada, but it's more important than it looks. It allows US companies with subsidiaries in Canada to use the agreement's corporate sovereignty provisions to sue the EU -- and there are 42,000 such companies according to one analysis (pdf). As a result, CETA has been called "TTIP by the backdoor", since it would provide a handy way for US companies to put pressure on EU nations even if TTIP suffers the same fate as TPP.

Perhaps because CETA looks increasingly like the last hope for the establishment to push through an old-style trade deal, there is now an unseemly haste on both sides of the Atlantic to ram it through the ratification process as quickly as possible, with as little scrutiny as possible. That's most clearly seen in the EU, where the normal procedures for approval have been thrown out of the window, as this post explains:

CETA will only officially arrive at the European Parliament on November 21. From then MEPs have six months to analyse, write opinions, debate and vote. But a coup of sorts has ensured none of the usual procedures count this time. The centre-left and centre right groups, that together make up the huge majority known to many of us as the "grand coalition" in the European Parliament have plotted to ensure CETA will speed so quickly through this institution that if you blink, you may miss it. They want a vote as early as December, making it impossible for the Parliament to assess CETA in any concrete terms.

Moreover:

To make matters worse, several committees who have oversight on certain aspects covered in CETA have requested their own opinions, and as it stands all have been denied. The environment and employment committees, who complained that the speedy timetable made it impossible to adequately assess CETA, were refused opinions for seemingly no reason but to silence any critique.

Things aren't much better in Canada...

Essentially, the Canadian government has absolutely no idea how much this concession to the EU is likely to cost the people of Canada...