Home | About | Donate

New Study Confirms: Private 'Trade' Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy

New Study Confirms: Private 'Trade' Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy

Richard Eskow

A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people.

Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don’t benefit nearly as much from these private courts as the extremely rich and powerful do. Other interested parties – whether they’re governments, children, working people, or the planet itself – are unable to benefit from these private courts at all.


Free traders secreting secrecy was all the confirmation needed.

What amazes me is that this result could ever have been in doubt! They set this up as a way to skirt around laws for whose benefit? Were they even hiding it any? I don’t see that they were and it looks like politicians were either corrupt or so deluded by their own conservative rightist agendas that they couldn’t see that this was the domination by the rich rather than anything else.

I feel like some corrupt politician with a pocketful full of money is standing there explaining that >>> “I didn’t realize it was a bribe, I just thought they gave me all this money because they liked me and because I agreed with what they wanted to do.”

I call that >>> the innocence of the guilty.

We need a worldwide movement to strip “corporate persons” of all “rights” and legal standing, and place them under strict democratic authority of the actual human persons who comprise society.

Yes this undermines the entire structure of the capitalist, colonialist, extractivist political economy, and forces us to reconstruct society and the economy (on a humanistic and ecological basis if we have the vision and will).

Big job, scary prospect, sure. But the alternative is to continue accelerating down the road to absolute corporate rule, with the “side effects” of ecological and civilizational collapse.


Corporate rule is not democracy and after Obama’s TPP, TTIP and TISA corporate rule will be known as Obamacracy.

It not just these courts that serve the Uber wealthy. It the regulatory agencies as well.

As example Monsanto petitioned the EPA to increase the allowable Glysophate levels in food products in 2012. the EPA did not even run tests to see if it was safe to do so. They relied on Monsanto’s science and claims that it harmless and in 2013 raised those levels. In some food products the levels were raised by some 25 times.


It’s the same with Big Pharma. Scientists on their payrolls okay the drugs (deeming them safe and effective), and then once they are distributed and problems ensue, they can be called off the market. By that time, profits have already been made and lots of people sickened if not killed.

Deregulation was sold under the guise of “free trade” or freedom, in general. All it did was free trespassers to do enormous harm.

And TIPP and TPP essentially enshrine that corporate right to do harm into internationally binding law.

It’s insane.


Please help us fight these free trade agreements.
Go to FlushtheTPP.org and sign up for Wednesday night phone calls or go to People Demanding Action and sign up for Sunday phone calls.
Flush the TPP has discussions of all kinds of action.
The majority of people have no idea of what the TPP even is.
Of course our corporate run newspapers have seen to that.

This helps explain just why the Drump is running for president - he sees dollars as part of the perks of the job! Remember his views on the First Amendment - his intention to loosen the libel laws and use them to extract big fines from any critical media, clearly imagining that court fines go into the pocket of the president…
The USA constitution is like the BuyBul one of those books he just never got round to reading.
Seriously, we only know of the details of these biassed trade courts because of Common Dreams and some independent US research.
Here in Britain the initials TTIP etc are simply meaningless, referred to in the servile press but never explained.
The effect of a decade or so of these ‘courts’ will be to negate any environmental and health legislation, and turn us from wage slaves to mere peons. How long will our independent trade unions survive?

1 Like

I’m wondering whether these trade deals are actually legal. Seriously. Where is the provision in law that allows private individuals and by extension their property (corporations) to have the right to decide if a nation’s laws apply to them or not? They have set up their own court isolated from a nation’s legal system and yet whose decisions have the power of law that supersedes our own court’s legal powers? Can these corporate only courts to which we have no access have greater power than the Supreme Court? What if the Supreme Court takes the position that in America that the Supreme Court has the last say in how this nation’s laws will be applied?

I feel like a group of corporate trade deal reps are sipping cocktails at a party and snickering about how all this isn’t supported by law or the constitution but nevertheless they are getting away with it anyway.

Wereflea- you’re forgetting that for some time the WTO has had the power to over-ride national legislation, in the name of ‘free trade’. That means over-riding national laws on the environment, on species protection to avoid fish stocks becoming depleted, etc.

The WTO is subject to enforcement by the USA. and its rulings do not have supremacy over USA law. Thus the US can decide not to enforce or acquiesce to a WTO ruling particularly if it is against US law.

The new TPP deal will set up international courts which will override US Law. These are courts which are not public but private courts … It is truly shameful and a betrayal of sovereignty that private courts to which access is limited to corporations can override public laws. Greed is not patriotic.