A report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission last week found, as Deirdre Fulton notes, "that the controversial trade deal" — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (also known by some as NAFTA on steroids) — "will produce negligible economic benefits while damaging most Americans' jobs and wages."
With mainstream media writers and broadcasters giving us a weekly dose of dumbed down characterization of TTP/TTIP "supporters being pro trade while opponents are anti-trade", we should not be surprised that many make the "facile assumption that these deals are about trade".
Even presidential candidates who do not support TPP/TTIP have drilled down only to job losses with little if any mention of the corporate control that is the big prize for corporations and will produce the biggest losses for the environment and for the 99%.
Let us not get too fixated on the word "growth". I think we all know that as measured it a loaded term. Ripping down a forest creates "growth" as does the economic activity generated when Corporations sell you water in Plastic bottles after they have polluted that which you used to drink.
A aquifier of fresh water that all the people used to use for free as part of the Commons does not have an economic value attached to it. Once it privatized and given to a single Corporation it gains economic value, thus creating "growth" and "wealth" as measured by those same economists.
Outside some small few, I have little to no use for Economists and their pronouncements.
Trade deals are about the extension of Corporate Dominance and nothing else.
The true One World Government conspiracy is the One World Corporate Government which is being erected trade deal by trade deal. Has the idea of national sovereignty already become passé? Is it already expected that corporations can exempt themselves from having to follow a nation's laws and regulations?
Well yeah that is what is the deal in a 'trade' deal is international deregulation. What else is there in these deals that corporations don't already have without them?
It takes an actor who lacks a conscience to push a recycled version of the already failed (from the perspective of most people, albeit not the global corporations) NAFTA...
"President Obama, himself, has stepped into the fray and lobbied aggressively for the agreement, often demeaning those who speak out against it. He has made it clear that he views the passage and implementation of the deal as a crowning achievement that will ultimately cement his legacy as an advocate of free trade and economic development worldwide."
In the story of Camelot, Merlin makes an offer to King Arthur's father that has the wizard returning to retrieve his half of the bargain: the newly born son who he plans to raise differently from the legacy of warriors.
And in the children's story, the little wizard Rupelstiltskin returns to claim another newborn after having taught a captive woman how to turn grain into golden strands.
I've used the above 2 references to serve as symbols: Obama was essentially given close to a BILLION DOLLARS in election support. And now he owes... "A baby" to the financial wizards of Big Pharma., Big Insurance, Wall St., and the make-war entrepreneurs.
TPP and TIPP are the "babies" he's intending to hand over.
It's true that calling TPP a 'trade agreement' is a misrepresentation that only helps the corporate quest for more power.
But I also think that phrases like 'the right to sue governments for lost profits' and 'over future profits lost due to laws and regulations' should not use the word 'lost' because you have to actually have something first before you can lose it. Expected future profits can;'t be 'lost' because they don't exist yet - they merely an expectation (and in some cases they are a full blown fantasy - how great for corporations to be able to sue for fantasy profits for which they don't actually have to do anything!!).
Saying 'the right to sue government for expected profits' won't generate as much sympathy for the poor corporation's 'loss.'
I have the same reaction to reading stories about companies like GE receiving 'tax refunds' when they didn't pay any taxes to begin with. To me that's not a 'refund', it's corporate welfare ( I've never been able to get a 'refund' on anything without having first had to pay whatever is being refunded...)
Apparently, Democrats and liberals are fine with these "free trade" agreements. Bill Clinton stuck us with NAFTA, but who doesn't love "Big Bill?" Before launching her campaign late last year, Hillary Clinton was working hard at getting the TPP through Congress, and she seems to appeal to a lot of Dem voters.
The catch: Democratic socialism does, indeed, include a legitimate welfare system. This is based on the reality that not everyone can work (health, etc.) and that jobs aren't always available to all. When was the last time you heard even a US liberal call for restoring the basic human rights (per the UN's UDHR) of food and shelter to America's poor?
Apparently the World Trade Organization, which is based on nations, each with an equal ability to vote, is not sufficiently subservient to international corporations, especially the biggest corporations. To counter this fairness & equality based structure, an assembly line of "trade" agreements & Treaties such as NAFTA and CAFTA were assembled, and marched through various legislatures.
Now we are confronted with world spanning trade agreements: The Transpacific Partnership (TTP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). the Big Ts. The main goal in each of these Trojan Horse agreements is a means for corporations to force governments to due their bidding by enabling the coronations to sue all levels of governments for potential future loss of revenues. What is more the means to carry our this "legal transaction" is the "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) entity. Setup by and for corporations and operated by lawyers employed by corporations.
If you think that this is just too far outside reality just ask Germany, Australia and Egypt - each have had milti-million dollar judgements against them. In the U.S., the 2016 congress was going to require country of origin and production labeling on imported food, but dropped the legislation when our "trade partners" threatened a trip to the ISDS under NAFTA.
The black helicopters will have corporate logos on their sides.
I've long suspected that Obama was expected to produce three deliverables in exchange foe his prize--but whether the presidency itself was the prize of just the vehicle for delivering the goods, I'm not sure. Maybe the prize is inclusion in the ultimate gated community, in which the rich and powerful expect to survive the crash they're bringing on. Anyway, the three are: constant wars, doesn't matter where, as long as the MIC gets its steady stream of billions of dollars; something called healthcare reform that takes the pressure off without actually challenging the profit stream of Pharma, the hospital companies, and the insurance companies; and TPP (ideally TTIP too but they're writing that one off now I think). Obama also needs to deliver this particular baby to Clinton, so she doesn't have to start her presidency with an obvious and glaring broken promise. Thus, expect a big, fast, sneaky push during the lame duck, like suddenly on a Friday evening or right before Christmas. Popular Resistance is collecting pledges of people willing to fight against a lame duck session.
Though all trade/free trade agreements since NAFTA have progressively become more injurious to the working class globally, free trade agreements have always been about:
The strong nations exploiting the human (labor) and natural resources from the weaker nations ... many times Third World countries, and
Giving large transnational corporations expanded monopoly or oligopoly rights to extract increased profits by effectively eliminating competition through the free trade agreements that provide market protections for those large transnational corporations.
It's all about protecting the interests of the global elite ruling class. Furthermore, these free trade agreements have never produced the intended results.
Over here in Europe, we're rallying tomorrow to tell the unelected EU parliament not to sign the TTIP. This is the most important test ever of how much democracy the union guarantees, and I'm not hopeful. If Clinton sits down in the Oval Office, she'll sign the TTP. There won't be any history books written after that, or anybody who could read them, but perhaps some people will remember that she and Obama helped destroy what's left of decency, charity, justice and democracy.
I would like to suggest that we begin using the term "betrade deals" to describe these corporate power grabs. Any time someone says, "Trade deals are good for the economy." the response would be "But betrade deals are bad for the country." or "And betrade deals are bad for our sovereignty." Just a suggestion.
Twenty-three cities are demonstrating. It's going to rain, but so what!
Andrew, we're giving millions to Sanders and some young candidates who we need to believe are as decent as they say they are. (After Obama, it's easy to be cynical.) I think our species won't survive even the 100 years we're being promised, and they will be terrible, devastating, murderous years. We're Nature's biggest mistake and won't be mourned. But, but, but, "not really enough`" is better than nothing at all. Shouldn't we do what we can with what we can hold on to for the people who can't? Let's go down fighting, Andrew.
I agree. What else could explain his disastrous policies and such utter betrayal of the voters who voted for him? And some still think he did some "great things" or speak of his "legacy." Insane!
I've posted this before: he shouldn't ask us to vote for Clinton, because many of us can't, and he shouldn't talk about her during her campaign. She can win or lose this on her own.He should get out around the country helping young candidates - he's already asking us to give them money, so he knows who they are.
If she does become president, "holding her feet to the fire" isn't going to be possible unless there's a Democratic majority in both houses to make her keep her promises, and young progressives are the best way to ensure his beliefs and our belief in them are sustainable. One of those young progressives could be the next Sanders. We're ready for democratic socialism in this country - he's proved that.