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If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back


If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back

Sonali Kolhatkar

It is not often that members of Congress get the opportunity to weigh in on international trade. But negotiations over fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in recent months have given elected representatives the chance to voice their opinions on how the government should engage with other countries financially. For example, Sen.


The TTP and TTIP are transfers of judicial authority DISGUISED as trade agreements. Although these deals will indeed impact blue collar jobs, they much more broadly result in serious environmental degradation and lawsuits decided by corporate attorneys will drain the treasuries of state and local governments.


Well, actually - I think state and local gov’ts, instead of risking their treasuries, will simply back off defending any decent leg. they may care to enact … I have seen this dynamic in action …


Excellent article and many fine points and insights shared, Ms. Kolhatkar.

I would only challenge the poll percentages that seem to favor “free trade.” When people are kept in the dark about the true details of allegedly “free trade” deals and in the place of open, honest discussions hear the usual hype about lifting all ships and creating jobs, naturally most would accord with those outcomes. Of course, “free trade” as your article points out produces nothing OF the sort and the detritus of NAFTA makes that clear.


And turn people into serfs since their nations’ laws will no longer protect their right to sue or seek damages.


Well, do you know that TISA will force huge chunks of government and an project involving government spending into a globalized procurement system that gives companies from all around the world an equal shot at getting that contract, in many cases they will even have a better shot than US based international companies.

(the smaller companies likely wont even be on the map)

This will be a RADICAL change. Its literally going to force a huge number of American workers into an unprecedented, race to the bottom situation they wont be able to handle due to the high cost of living here. Students with debt too. Its going to come at the same time as a unknowably large, probably substantial jump in the cost of energy because of sudden irreversible deregulation- regulations that have been in place since the 1970s, that could lead to large losses in affordable housing too. Also, its likely a lot of those jobs will go to overseas firms, in a model that looks suspiciously like a middle eastern services model that has repeatedly been accused of being like slavery.

Also, banking will be deregulated, the exact same mistake that caused the 2008 financial crisis will be repeated.

@raydelcamino - these changes will not persist, they are a transitional phase between now and a highly automated society. So don’t expect “slavery” expect “almost no jobs unless people are literally world class and have the pubs or track record that shows that” The TISA likely will suck the middle out of the market, as well as all the chances for innovative small businesses using different models (that is what I suspect they really want to stop as those models are sustainable and might offer a path out of the madness) The model they will use is likely GPA

TISA also mandates massive financial deregulation, (like allowing WTO GATS force us to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999) Here is Lori Wallach discussing that on Democracy Now last year.


Disinvestment sees them as a valuable market.

They will have to go to their nations legal system, people and any kind of human needs don’t exist as we are accustomed to at all in the special investor-state system except as markets to whom rights which are bought and sold - could be devalued by state action, requiring compensation.


Just as the US is seeing a re-establishment of the type of monopolies that were broken up by Teddy Roosevelt and other trust busters a century ago, global procurement will eventually be subject to little or no competition as local monopolies evolve into global monopolies.

The monopolies will embrace and expertly facilitate the master-slave model.