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Millions of People Yearning for a "Brexit" from Destructive Trade Deals


#1

Millions of People Yearning for a "Brexit" from Destructive Trade Deals

Maude Barlow

U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Canada, against the backdrop of Brexit and the U.S. presidential campaign, had many opinion leaders trying to dismiss concerns about free trade.

Now, we’re told, people who are against free trade are isolationists who want to entrench themselves in the past, in a parochial nostalgia for the nation-state. The ideology of free trade opponents can only lead to an inward-looking mentality that fosters wars and destroys the economy.

So say the free traders who have been fostering wars and destroying the economy.


#2

"This false binary construct leaves little room for a third choice: the progressive concept of “fair trade” and the aspiration to build economies and trading relationships that are based on social and ecological justice, on the primacy of democratic rights over the profits of transnational corporations, and on the free movement of people rather than capital."

Nice retort to the Orwellian dialogue so commonly used against the people.


#3

Calling anti-TPP forces "isolationists" is just one more example of Obama blaming the victims and rewarding the perpetraters.


#4

Great article. The isolationist criticism leveled at Trump when he swears he will end the TPP and make trade fair again, is exactly the one leveled at Bernie. The canned answers are ludicrous of course. But I wish we had a crystal ball and could know if Trump means it or if it's another one of his crack-pot answers to everything.
In any case we know HRC will sign it. How much worse could it be?
Trump is smart to run to the left of her, he has a good chance of winning on trade, closing bases around the world and stopping the drain of money to other countries that can very well pay for their own defense.
Obumer just signed the dark act so you can bet if he can ram the TPP through in a lame duck session, he will. With friends like these, who needs enemies?


#5

Great summation of what's wrong with our economy and the causes of our coming numerous environmental disasters. The words free trade and endless war go together like mono-crops and pesticides, like gmos and fertilizer, like monopolies and investors, like mafias and drug cartels, like fossil fuels and .... We need free trade and world wide distribution of bad food and confiscated privatized water like we all need more Big Macs, fries and sodas.


#6

There is very little that is "free" (i.e. nondiscriminatory) about "free-trade" pacts such as TPP and TTIP; whose elephant-in-the-room is the ISDS.

The agreements' goals largely benefit the investors, not the consumers of goods and services. Also, the investors generally receive substantial tax breaks and monetary subsidies as well as favoritism in respect of governmental regulations and political support.

And, lastly,the insidious nature of the ISDS is that, within the context of large trade pacts, by definition, it usurps the sovereign power of the nation-state; this is because ISDS is an institution that is unaccountable to the citizenry and whose decisions generally cannot be appealed..In the United States, this is contrary to the notions of democracy, constitutional law and federalism; TPP and TTIP are back-door ways to trump them all, as they are Trojan-horses.

These "wonderful" trade pacts are brought to you, in the furtherance of the implementation of a one-world government, by:

People: such as George Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warren, Buffett, Bill Gates,Rupert Murdock, the Koch Bros., David Rockefeller the Rothschild clan, the European elite/ royalty and the rest of the "usual suspects."

Organizations: such as Trilateral Commission, Bildeberger Group, Council on Foreign Relations, World Trade Organization, World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund.


#7

TRADE DEALS = TREATIES

Government Treaties.

Good as Gold.

Trust Us.

Right, Sitting Bull?


#8

You left out one major player - the MSM that colludes with all of the above.


#9

Trump is crazy. But, now that Bernie is out, you can thank him for the continuation of "trade" and the TPP to still be at the forefront of issues in this presidential (and down ballot) election. If he did not say he was opposed to the TPP, the issue would ride under the news media radar and the chances of stopping it would be considerably diminished.

Does anyone really believe that Hillary opposes it? Trump has changed his position on a number of issues to now be doctrinaire conservative, but he still opposes the TPP.


#11

Here's a refreshing interview for a Sunday afternnoon, Abby Martin and President Correa.

http://videos.telesurtv.net/en/video/574114/the-empire-files-574114

Peace
Po


#12

Remember Noam Chomsky's linguistic analysis of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement?

North and America are the only true and accurate words describing the treaty.


#16

Ya know there is an easier way to handle this than taking on corporations: Don't let any person get too rich and too powerful.


#18

What's in a name? Everything - for the great multitude who are, perhaps through no fault of their own, preoccupied elsewhere, as in putting food on the table. I don't know who dreamed up the names 'Free Trade' and 'Neo-liberalism' but whoever he is deserves whatever he was paid for his sly, inspired choice of words.

As this article explains, 'Free Trade' is not free. A more accurate term would be 'Unrestrained Trade', if one is inclined to be charitable, that is. Likewise, 'neo-liberalism' is more libertine than liberal. For my money, the whole stinking package of policies, spectacular and proven failure, is better called 'neo-corporatism', to highlight the relatively recent turn, (since Clinton, over the past twenty years or so) towards supplanting democratic rule of law with closed door, boardroom machinations.


#19

We get to update Sartre's old play: No Brexit.

Of course there is no legal structure for democratic process to leave or control the treaty. That is the entire point of it, so that people cannot ban commercial products of any type nor organize against any type of labor abuse.

This will have to happen outside of the broken US electoral system.

The difficulty of fair trade is that we do not seem to be able to do it. It is contrary not to human nature but to capital-based enterprise. We cannot see the DDT drop on workers. We cannot look and see which wheat was dried with glyphosate nor which computer parts poisoned its manufacturing worker. We buy the can of beans for 58 and not 60 cents because we cannot know which does what to whom.

For-profit international corporations will continue to propagandize, bribe politicians, bribe media, bribe universities to perform false studies, and lever the military might of nations for cents on the dollar and dollars from thin air.

We cannot in any way afford them. Just because it is an international corporation is a reason to work elsewhere. It is a reason to not buy wherever an option exists. You cannot trust these people, and you cannot double-check them.


#20

"Free trade, privatization, deregulation and austerity" is the agenda of the oligarchs, here and abroad, who are intent on plundering this planet and reducing most of us, here and abroad, to little more than serfs. Clinton will further that goal with the full implementation of TPP, TTIP, and TiSA. Once those "free trade" deals (yeah, right; they're much more than that!) are in place, we will have oligarchy firmly established here and in most of the free, prosperous, capitalistic democracies in the world. Except they (and we) will no longer be free, prosperous democracies. We will all be neofeudal states dominated by a super-rich elite. National governments will have the responsibility of (a) implementing the dictates of the oligarchs -- mostly through the international tribunal(s) created by these treaties, which be more powerful than our governments in deciding which laws we can have; and (b) keeping their populations in check. As social and political unrest escalate, governments will have to use their militarized police departments to crack down on those who oppose this new international arrangement.
That is why, as a hardcore Bernie Sanders supporter, I am voting for Donald Trump.
With Clinton, the TPP, the TTIP, and the TiSA will become law.
With Trump, the TPP won't be implemented and negotiations on TTIP and TiSA will stop.
And we will still have a chance to save our democracy.
I detest the thought of a President Trump.
But I am horrified at the thought of a President Clinton. I can see the nightmare of her praising the ratification of the TTIP and the TiSA and heralding them as engines of a new prosperity...lying to us with a straight face.


#21

Perhaps you missed these trenchant words by Varoufakis:

"The populist right has traditionally adopted quasi-leftist rhetoric in times of deflation. Anyone who can stomach revisiting the speeches of leading fascists and Nazis of the 1920s and 1930s will find appeals – Benito Mussolini’s paeans to social security or Joseph Goebbels’ stinging criticism of the financial sector – that seem, at first glance, indistinguishable from progressive goals."

Can anyone seriously ask if Trump, a man with a long history as a con "means it"?

Check the historical precedent for this sort of rhetoric and where it leads.


#23

BING-freakin-O Very well said.
Back door as well to kingship over the globe. Elections will become 100% a meaningless circus (up from the 99% we currently have now).
They are certainly buying their time.The arrogance about our petty elections, going against the 90% on almost everything now, and blatant lies which would normally cause spontaneous human combustion tell the tale. Pretty soon we will have no say in anything, so why should they worry about kicking out resistance to the curb? Their mother-ship is about to come into port. The unsinkable SS TTP


#24

Honestly the people don't have to abide by anything these crooks do. My challenge to Obummer is if he wants to call us all Isolationists for apposing this trade masterpiece why doesn't he lay it all out for us to see? SURELY if it is great for us all it would be an easy sell to the masses. This is all so damned stupid. Passing a giant trade deal without anyone being permitted to see it and then calling the opponents of it small minded. Fertilizer of this magnitude could feed the Galaxy.

This all plays out really bad to me. We know very little to nothing about this deal. I can see a great play toward small government and smaller military after this passes. Those resources will then go to a Global entity. Reducing our ability to fight off any resistance to it. The military fist will be a global one and the masses will abide or be punished. Unsafe food? too bad, unsafe water, too bad. Acquisitions of privately owned land for resources? too bad. With a massive cloaked trade deal like this we are essentially giving up our sovereignty completely without any resistance. It is not opposing it that makes us small minded fools, it is allowing it to come this far in the first place that makes us such.


#26

1) Clinton absolutely will implement TPP, and in time TTIP and TiSA. Once these three treaties are the law, we will have oligarchy. We will have gone from what we have now -- a de facto oligarchy and a corrupted democracy -- to an actual oligarchy and a corrupted facade of democracy.
Trump has been steadfast on two issues: illegal immigrants and so-called "free trade" treaties. To get rid of all the illegal immigrants like he wants to will require action from Congress, which is highly unlikely. Stopping the treaties mentioned above will not require Congress. TPP he will have to challenge in court as unconstitutional. With the other two, all he has to do is terminate negotiations.

2) You allow the debased "news" media to do your thinking for you. Evidence of that: they are totally in the tank for Clinton. As a Bernie Sanders supporter, I've seen that for the past year. In recent months, they have waged a smear campaign against Trump because they know how widely despised their candidate is. The purpose of their smear campaign is to make people so afraid of Trump that they will vote for Clinton despite their distrust of her.
Trump is a terrible choice. But he is not the fascist bogeyman the mass media want you to perceive. With your references to the Nazis, it is obvious you fell for that, So you're going to do what they want you to do: vote for a criminally-corrupt politician who won the nomination only because her party engaged in widespread cheating and who, if elected, will turn the U. S. into an outright oligarchy.

3) As a free thinker, there are only two conceivable choices: Jill Stein, whose political agenda is compatible with Bernie Sanders, or -- since Stein has zero chance of winning -- Donald Trump, for the purposes of (a) not rewarding a corrupted Democratic Party for its widespread cheating, and (b) keeping a corrupt tool of the oligarchs out of the White House.


#27

The article hits the false choice of
“free” trade or isolationism right on the head. It also point
out a lot of the shortcomings of current trade agreements. However,
it fails to cover my favorite beef with current trade agreements
adequately. For US companies, low wages is only a fraction of the
lure to offshore manufacturing and service work.

What goes by the name "Free
Trade", or sometimes "The Washington Model for trade
agreements" is based on obsolete and discredited economics.
This is because the Ricardian Comparative Advantage doesn't take
externalized costs of production into account. We should be basing
our trade on the true cost of production of goods and services. A
manufacturer or service provider in a country like the US has costs
that include contributing to health insurance cost, Social Security
and Medicare taxes, unemployment insurance, and those associated with
meeting environmental, occupational safety and health regulations,
product safety standards, building and fire safety codes, labor laws,
etc. regulations. An additional cost, the "cost of carbon",
should be added to this list.
By having its products manufactured, or
services provided in a country which doesn't have such extra costs, a
corporation is able to sell products or services in the US at a
fraction of their true cost, make a large profit, and acquire tax
advantages in the process. It doesn't matter whether that other
country has no laws or regulations in each of these areas or simply
fails to adequately enforce them.

The result is that a few Americans,
like the Walton family, become extremely wealthy, but their employees
live in poverty. Many Americans who have lost well paying jobs and
struggle to make it on low wage or part time jobs resent the trade
policies that have unfairly robbed them of their jobs. Even those
who have not lost jobs due to offshoring suffer from declining real
wages in the face of unfair competition.
In addition to people like the Walton
family, citizens of India, China, and other countries have benefited
from the growth resulting from the offshoring of good American Jobs.
If, instead of renegotiating treaties that currently have no
provisions for offsetting those externalized cost advantages, we
adopt even more treaties that advantage corporations over people, we
risk the real danger of the torches and pitchforks coming out.