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I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned


#1

I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned.

Michael Wessel

"You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.


#2

In addition to Obama criticizing organized labor (as Wessel noted) today Obama has John Kerry promoting TPP and TTIP in a speech to workers at the Boeing 737 assembly plant in Renton, Washington. Just as Obama accelerated trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama as his initial aggressive response to Occupy Wall Street's (OWS) 2011 emergence, Obama will continue to slap organized labor in the face every chance he gets just to remind them that they are chumps for helping him win in 2008 and 2012.


#3

Will someone show a little spine please leak the latest text of this agreement to the public? Like Ellsberg, Vanunu, Bradley nee Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and many others, you name will live in the texts of history if your do. If you don't leak it, you will die and unknown government desk-chair warming paper-pusher. Which do you want to be?

WikiLeaks is your friend.


#4

Then Mr. Wessel whatever punishments await, by your own admission we should know what exactly it says. Tell us please.
But of course, I'm assuming you'll go to prison, the administration will deny your claims, and the document will remain secret, until of course the tribunals begin and our masters will recite to us the exact once-secret wording of how we all became irrelevant.


#5

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#7

Parts of it already have been released by Wikileaks.

The whole treaty is a living document, and one of the provisions that was thus leaked is that changes and amendments to the treaty do not have to be sent back to Congress for a vote. This makes any vetting at this point a nearly meaningless gesture anyway.


#9

We need to understand what Investor-State Dispute Settlement in TTIP, TISA and TPP is- Its basically a MASSIVE sea change that gives corporations Inequal Rights, rights not only to treat people who pay them different amounts of money unequally, but they also give them superior rights to force countries to do that too. the following text is from a document- thats quite worth reading entitled "10 reasons why Europe and America DO NOT need business v state dispute rules"

_________cut here____________

Until recently, ISDS provisions mostly featured in bilateral state-to-state investment treaties, and were designed to offer investors protection from actions by governments in countries with legal systems perceived to be poorly developed.

The European Commission has never finalised a trade agreement between the EU and third countries with ISDS. Currently 19 out of 28 EU member states, representing 93% of the EU economy, do not have ISDS provisions with the US. The nine[2] that do only cover 7% of the EU’s GDP.

To date there are nine known claims in the EU-US relationship, all led by US investors. The majority of the claims involve investment in the primary sector: oil, gas and mining.[3]

In its consultation the European Commission is trying to make ISDS look a bit more acceptable by changing a few things here and there as to how proceedings would works. In our submission we point out why none of these changes addresses any of the fundamental flaws of the system.

For clarity’s sake, here’s our top-10 reasons why excluding ISDS from TTIP is the only right way forward.

  • ISDS introduces the ‘fright to regulate’ which is bad for people and the planet. The all-encompassing result of the flaws of the ISDS system – outlined further below - is that governments will feel a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads when they plan public-interest regulations on companies. The European Commission’s argument that nothing in ISDS affects the ‘right to regulate’ is beside the point. The threat of a costly legal dispute with a very uncertain outcome will act as a deterrent for many governments to protect citizens or the environment.
  • ISDS uses citizens’ money to bail out corporations for risky investments: In total TTIP would enable 75,000 companies to seek damages from EU and US governments (hence citizens, through taxes).[4] Although ISDS became a regular feature of investment treaties in the 1960s, claims have ballooned over the past decade: 57 known new cases were launched in 2013 alone.
  • ISDS grants special rights to foreign investors over everybody else. Only foreign investors can use ISDS panels; domestic ones, let alone normal citizens, have to keep using the regular legal system.
  • ISDS upsets legal systems, introducing arbitration on legislation. Dispute settlement systems in normal treaties seek to resolve conflicts directly related to the treaty. ISDS, in contrast, allows companies to sue government for any legislation they deem unfair or inequitable that is developed after the treaty; effectively introducing arbitration on legislation. ISDS does not even require ‘exhaustion of local remedies’ – further undermining democracy and the rule of law. ISDS is not intended as a last resort should all other legal routes fail; it is explicitly designed to take place outside the normal legal systems.
  • ISDS is not bound to legal precedent, ignoring the ABC of international law and introducing further uncertainty: The lack of case law in ISDS has led to inconsistent arbitral decisions with different legal interpretations of identical or similar treaty provisions, further increasing uncertainty and fear referred to in point 1.
  • ISDS is the only international dispute settlement giving rights to corporations instead of states: Dispute settlement procedures in other international treaties are state-state - even the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement is state-state.
  • EU-level ISDS has never been impact-assessed: ISDS is a new EU level policy that can result in billions of euros flowing from EU citizens to foreign corporations in the future. Despite this, the European Commission has not bothered to prepare an impact assessment on it, in dire contradiction with its own guidelines,[5] and just started to insert it in trade agreements it started to negotiate after the Lisbon treaty.
  • ISDS proceedings take place out of the public eye: ISDS cases are held behind closed doors and are fully confidential, even if cases being disputed involve matters of public interest.
  • ISDS is unnecessary. Even almost without ISDS, the EU and US already trade gargantuan volumes: Both blocs barter around €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion)[6] in goods and services every day, with more than €2.6 trillion ($3.5 trillion) in two-way direct investment per year[7] – all this with only one-third of EU countries (or 7% of EU’s GDP) covered by ISDS. Apparently investors already place significant trust in the regular legal systems.
  • Better alternatives exist: whereas ISDS is a subsidy, from the public purse, for activities at risk from tighter regulations, risk insurance is offered by a host of private providers but also for example by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (a division of the World Bank) and others.[8]

These 10 flaws are so intrinsic to the very system of ISDS that a reform – as proposed by the European Commission – simply cannot address them.

Europe needs to follow the lead of countries like Australia, Brazil and India, and ditch ISDS instead of imposing it to the 93% of the EU economy that has so far deemed it unnecessary.

----------end of quote Source


#10

That is what fast track is all about - making sure Congress can't amend whatever O has put in there before Congress votes on it .....


#11

Thanks!! Good source ...


#12

The corporate built-in Catch-22 that allows the President to critique critics while disabling their legal right to specify which elements of these treaties they contest is reminiscent of all the constraints--legal, military, political, media, academic--used to similarly silence anyone raising red flags about the false flag.

Systems that lock truth out and then purport to represent freedom or Democracy are absurd mocking counterfeits. Like our food. Like our elections. Like "free" trade. Everything is an inverted fabrication of its intended mission statement and purpose.

It is this inversion of Truth that is so much a part of how evil makes way. And make no mistake about it, all of this IS evil.

From the article:

"The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific."

And any questions that go back to The Seminal Event brand those with inquiring minds as "conspiracy theorists" or tin-foil hat nuts. 2200 engineers and lawyers would like to see the Truth of that occasion openly explored.


#13

Fast Track means that Congress will only get a up or down vote on the final treaty, and can not make any amendments, so there is still a vote that will have to be made after the fast track vote. A normal treaty after passing into law needs to go back to Congress for amendment, whether fast track or not. NAFTA, for example, requires a re-vote by Congress if it is amended. What makes this treaty particularly pernicious is this waiving of the right of future Congress oversight of any amendments.


#14

My exact thoughts- You beat me to the punch....


#15

Keep posting on this topic! Thanks again.


#16

Agreed. That shed light on what this secretive Obamanation actually is:

Utter slavery for the people and their planet.


#17

Your concerns are duly noted. Please be aware that your concerns are now considered classified,

Office of the President


#18

The fast track debate process, as far as as i can tell, is not a process whereby one can make amendments to the actual treaty, voting yes on fast track means that Congress will not be able to make such amendments and will have a limited period for debate ...


#19

"When public officials meet behind closed doors, you can be sure that they are not discussing the public interest." Baruch Spinoza


#20

I am pretty sure that at that state countries can change their scheduled commitments, but cannot change the substantive parts of the agreements. To see what I mean by the substantiative parts being deceptive, please look at these two documents, closely, mark the sections of other agreements (especially WTO GATS) and then look them up, as well as what's been written on them by progressivle organizations both in and especially outside the US, thoroughly.

These are where I would start- these are public (but so arcane they seem to think nobody will understand them) documents.

TTIP "mandate" http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-11103-2013-DCL-1/en/pdf

TISA "mandate" http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6891-2013-ADD-1-DCL-1/en/pdf

These documents appear to attack the very existence of public services by means of their references to GATS and other coded references which only other trade experts fully understand..

This should be exposed in every detail.


#21

Very interesting - I note the judicious use of the terms "shall", "should" and "will" throughout - they are not interchangeable and have specific legal implications re interpretation ....
Among others, this one stood out ...

"The Agreement shall also include rules and disciplines to address barriers having a negative impact on each others' public procurement markets, including local content or local production requirements, in particular Buy America(n) provisions, and those applying to tendering procedures, technical specifications, remedy procedures and existing carve-outs, including for small and medium-sized enterprises, with a view to increasing market access, and where appropriate, streamlining, simplifying and increasing transparency of procedures."


#22

Yes, now you're getting somewhere. Do you realize what that means?

Look up Technical barriers to trade, national treatment, most favoured nation, "fourth mode of supply" Basically, its global staffing firms that attempt to maximize profit based on comparative advantage. One country may have lots of highly trained workers who are willing to travel to the other side of the planet and work for very little, while another country may have relatively lower skilled workers who make more than the global average wage. With globalization, as they say, there are winners and losers, but who are the winners and who are the losers. Basically, making people trade places is a way of preventing any kind of reduction of corruption in both places.

Its altogether the worst approach to increasing trade, because it vastly increases inequality compared to what should be happening which is a gradual shift to some kind of workable future where everybody can get a much better education than today and so much energy isnt wasted trying to beat creativity out of people at an early age. Because there will no longer be any need to have people do unpleasant things for you in exchange for a liittle money. Most people wont work, so the argument that poor people are lazy (which is totally wrong) will be very obviously specious. What we're seeing is the end of our need to be one way and the beginning of what is in effect our adulthood, if we survive this transition. If we cannot grow up we're likely to destroy our beautiful planet and everything on it.

Also, lets not forget, we will have company soon. The new baby. We have to set a good example and not be quarrelsome parents on the verge of divorce, or worse. That could be a fatal mistake.