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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens Our Liberty


The Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens Our Liberty

David Cay Johnston

Economic theory holds that removing trade barriers among nations should increase global wealth. But the proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that Congress must soon give a straight up-or-down vote threatens our liberties as Americans and is likely to add almost nothing to U.S. economic growth.

I have been a longtime critic of the agreement, especially since WikiLeaks obtained a draft of its intellectual property provisions, showed a clear bias in favor of corporations.


Bottom line:
"Worse, no matter how economically damaging, unfair or just plain wrong the decisions of TPP arbitration panels, the rulings will not be subject to review by any court. This is justice of, by and for corporations, which means it cannot be justice."


At the risk of stating the obvious let me do so anyway. The greater bulk of those who oppose TPP are either labor union officials, university scholars, or other non-elected people.
The people who will either allow this treaty to pass or fail are the elected officials in Washington who are, mostly, remaining conspicuously silent on the matter. No answer to the question of "Where do you stand on the TPP trade deal?" is also an answer.
It is to say:
I support it because my patrons told me to do so or they will find someone who will do so to oppose me in the next election.
I support it because I stand to profit nicely from payoffs discreetly proffered for doing so.
I support it because I am an ignoramus who is hasn't got a clue about what this treaty will do to the economy of the US and all other signatory countries.

This is the confederacy of dunces who will decide the economic fate of the coming generation. Expect this abomination to pass.


As Sec.of State Hillary Clinton PUSHED FOR TPP 45 TIMES (she LEARNED NOTHING from experience of last "free trade" deal she & Bill PUSHED ---NAFTA which EXPORTED ONE MILLION JOBS). ON the other hand, BERNIE SANDERS OPPOSED TPP from the start. So, DON'T get foled by HIllary's latest FLipFLop on TPP. Instead: FOLLOW THE MONEY & you will know WHO a candidate ACTUALLY serves. Bill & HI*llary Clinton have amassed a $135 MILLION fortune from Wall St.Big Banks, corporations since leaving the White House in Jan. 2001 & HIllary gets PAID $225,000 PER HOUR for SPEECHES. Bernie takes NO SUPER PAC MONEY & has INDIVIDUAL campaign contributions average of $27. So WHO do you think is ACTUALLY TRUSTWORTHY to NOT SELL US OUT to the highest bidder?


The corporate cabal cult will gladly sacrifice nations and nature on their altar overseen by their precious priests of profit.


"If we allow corporate arbitration panels — especially panels drawn from a
close-knit world of insiders — to rule over governments, our liberties
will diminish."
Diminish as in 'gone.' I think that's what he meant


For anyone not acquainted with David Cay Johnston's books I highly recommend them. "Free Lunch", "Perfectly Legal" and "Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality" lay-out the criminal conspiracies and corruption of representative gov to empower the 1% banker parasite crimes and subversion's of America (and the world) - the TPP and TTIP are further efforts by global corporate fascism and parasites to dominate the worlds peoples and Earth's resources to consolidate their economic/financial power impunity - power and domination championed by the "Great Sellout", the DINO Barack Obama, in collusion with RepubliCon legislator swine.

Being "perfectly legal" was one of the stated reasons the do-nothing "Justice" Dept under Holder & Obama could "justify" never prosecuting any of the criminal promoters, perpetrators of the "economic downturn" - that infuriating euphemism the perps wanted/demanded be used by a complicit press/media to soft-peddle their criminal conspiracy and eventual trillion $ bailout (also criminal) forced on taxpayers by complicit lawmakers to rebuild banker/financial parasite criminal enterprises! Those scum prey on American society thru "legal" financial mechanisms, and all those criminals people not their corporate entities! - should have, would have been imprisoned for the rest of their worthless lives for sinking the lives and stealing the futures of so many millions of people/families, if not for "laws", or lack of laws, making their obscene greed-driven schemes "perfectly legal"!
Let's remember the Bill Clinton Rubinites, recycled into Obama's administration, and the rescission of Glass-Steagall signed by Bill Clinton (as well as his inexcusable pardon of the "financier" Marc Rich) - Hillary is trying to follow in Bill's NAFTA footsteps and Obama's TPP sellout, to continue the conspiracy - IMO!

ENOUGH! The choice is clear......



I understand that if you pass the TPP it will pass a great deal of power from our government to the corporations. Why is this not called treason. When you seek to undermine the power of your government to create and rule on laws, it seems like glaring treason. Could someone explain to me the reason no one calls it that? I know it's a betrayal by our elected officials and that it's been created in secret and not open to the public to vote on, but all things considered it's at least a coup.


NAFTA promised jobs, too... and what it actually caused was an Exodus of Mexicans and Central Americans over the U.S. border.

This is nonsense:

"Supporters of the pact try to divert the public from these issues with promises of big economic gains that imply more jobs. Take the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is sponsored by Wall Street mogul Peter Peterson. News reports last week cited a Peterson estimate that if the agreement were approved, American exports in 2030 would grow by an extra 9.1 percent, or $357 billion, in 2030."

The most chilling thing without doubt are the Insider Trade Dispute Courts. Essentially, these grant to corporations a 21st century version of feudalism rendering ALL the world's people (apart from the top 1% or less) serfs and corporations, the new overlords.

Since there's already precedent for decent, hard-working citizens being MADE to bail out casino capitalism's banks under neo-liberal rules of global economics, TPP and TIPP would make it easy to hold CITIZENS accountable for the destruction wrought by corporations many of which already have despicable track records. Think: Monsanto, Exxon, B.P. and Big Pharma.

There is already a pattern in place where profits are internalized and privilege corporate CEOS (and some of their shareholders) while COSTS are externalized to communities. These costs frequently go beyond what money can buy... or heal!

Take the oil spills, the derailed oil trains, the methane plume outside of L.A., the Fukushima radioactive gash, the Maconda deep sea oil field wound, the pesticides and insecticides in our food and water... and so much else.

Corporations already ACT as if they "owned the place" and use their lobbyists and lawyers to bend the rules of fair play and meaningful accountability. TPP and TIPP would sanction--as law--these diabolical practices.

The fact that these horrors were rushed through IN the dark, that "lawmakers" weren't allowed to take notes or tell their constituents the contents of these rush-jobs... is so much proof positive that they are anything but Democratic or in any way helpful to most citizens.

By bending language, for example, framing the FORCED EXTORTION of Obama Care (ultimately a payout to insurance companies) into the illusion of assistance and practical health CARE... something forced onto citizens without their consent is packaged as something (supposedly) positive.

Same strategy with these trade pacts. And one could argue, it's the same bogus set of lies used to sell some of the public on an alleged National Security policy that BREEDS war, contempt, and blow-back while decimating what's left in the national budget for the things that REALLY matter and REALLY breed improvements in peoples' lives.

The oligarchs are showing they will stop at nothing.

Not the decimation of climate.
Not the millions of refugees, some drowning in attempts to escape war zones
Not the ridiculous levels of poverty that push a few into exorbitant wealth
Not the protests all over the world

Neither decency, fairness, or any faint trace of humanity.

They want to enslave people AND nature. They take themselves for gods, but very dark gods are these.

"Know them by their fruits" and the bitter fruit these contemptible souls are pushing onto the rest of us robs us of free will and agency. And Free Will is a gift directly from Creator... thus their actions violate the covenant of Universal Law.

Collapse is imminent. Too many covenants have been broken.

OUT of collapse, new options emerge. That's the lighter side of The Shock Doctrine and its inevitable aftermath.


I sure hope Sanders wins. He has been very outspoken about his dislike of the treaty. Hillary parrots him and now says she's against it but she helped push it to other countries when she was Secretary of State.


I basically agree with your comment apart form the "she learned nothing."

That same argument is used to critique national policy as if those SWORN in allegiance to the MIC and a number of muscular corporations have any interest apart from furthering the interests of those entities.

It is not a conspiracy theory to speak of a New World Order. THAT is the direction that all this centralization of power is heading.

Not long ago, many people knew how to grow at least some of their own food. That's why so many survived the Great Depression of the l930s. Of course, this is hardly the case now.

For all the talk about freedom, it's a handful of broadcast corporations that control mass media and the film industry, and a handful of Goliath-like banks that control most of the flow of money; and a handful of pharmaceutical corps. that control medicine AND patents; and a handful of corporations that control food.

Essentially, everything is being moved towards the Wal-mart model where the largest entity gets to "consume" all others. Then, under the illusion of choice (or freedom), this entity consolidates its grip over prices, distribution, labeling laws, and what passes for quality controls.

The Clintons have been given a fortune and promised greater power for not just consenting to, but moving THIS AGENDA along.

Notice how the decision of Europe's Central Bankers (particularly in Germany) essentially dictated the FATE of Greece's people?

Notice how the city of Detroit just tried that same template out... with the results diminishing the cognitive skills of a substantial segment of its youngest population.

Notice the lies that made foreign wars possible; and how these foreign wars are spreading a contagion--like a fire--that cannot be put out.

These people intend to have absolute CONTROL over the multitudes; and since they own the politicians who direct the military, and within the military's arsenal are biological and genetically engineered weapons... it is not outside of the realm of possibility that what's being done to infants in Brazil (and blamed on a supposed natural mosquito-borne outbreak) is to serve as a deterrent.

No one wields an enormous fortune and turns their back on the poor, and no one uses a people's fortune to build weapons and USE them on false pretenses unless they are absolutely EVIL.

One thing I learned from the Bible is that evil's greatest weapon is deception.

Enter the captured mass media and the lies it spins 24/7 to deceive so many.

These people will SAY anything. Learning is not a part of their moral or fiscal equation.

P.R. is essentially a field that turns LYING into a glorified professional calling.

And the P.R. experts dream up all the language frames used to push HORRIFIC policies onto citizens in ways that betray their interests.

THAT is what this ilk has learned to do and deploy.


Yes, the trans Pacific Partnership does threaten our liberty and national sovereignty via mechanisms that give power to tribunals designed to enrich corporate entities at national/public expense, the “Investor State Dispute Resolution” agreements that transfer power from the people to trade lawyers.

"three international ‘trade’ deals (TTP, TTIP, & TISA), each one of which contains a section (called ISDS) that would end important aspects of the sovereignty of each signatory nation, by setting up an international panel composed solely of corporate lawyers to serve as ‘arbitrators’ deciding cases brought before this panel to hear lawsuits by international corporations accusing a given signatory nation of violating that corporation’s ‘rights’ by its trying to legislate regulations that are prohibited under the ’trade’ agreement, such as by increasing the given nation’s penalties for fraud, or by lowering the amount of a given toxic substance that the nation allows in its foods, or by increasing the percentage of the nation’s energy that comes from renewable sources, or by penalizing corporations for hiring people to kill labor union organizers — i.e., by any regulatory change that benefits the public at the expense of the given corporations’ profits. (No similar and countervailing power for nations to sue international corporations is included in this: the ‘rights’ of ‘investors’ — but really of only the top stockholders in international corporations — are placed higher than the rights of any signatory nation.)"

That our national "leaders" and elected representatives are complicit to this attempt to subvert our national interests should, as another CD member wrote, be seen as treason!

"One controversial aspect of drafts of the deal would be to establish a quasi-judicial trade court to which the two blocs would be subject.

This could allow large corporations to ‘sue’ national governments for enacting any policy that potentially harmed their profits. Critics say that this would erode democracy and increase corporate power."

Make no mistake, these "free-trade" deals are designed, "negotiated" in secret by corporate reps, excluding opponent sectors/reps, to transfer legal power to award billions to corporations for ANY "loss" of profits alleged from national signatory laws that protect society, the environment, workers rights, or any other national law perceived as threatening/losing profits of those who WROTE these deals!


The end game - much favored by the right - to shrink government enough to send it down the drain (etc.) proceeds around us as well. The oligarchic elites are not just against the American government but all governments.

The true end game is a One World Corporate Government. Rule by corporations. It is the logical next step for the right. They merely extend their shrink government policies worldwide.

These trade agreements are first step assaults on national sovereignty. When you add in data mining and combat for hire mercenaries, lobbyists writing legislation and the end of antitrust enforcement... what you have left after it is boiled down to essentials is the corporate coup laying siege to democracy.

One World Corporate Government


I also think that the TPP is a bad policy but I am getting tired of hearing about one more overhyped "threat to our liberties." Trade agreements always benefit one segment of the economy to the detriment of another, and depending on one's own class interests it pays to either support or oppose the agreement. As a labor unionist in America's rust belt, I see the TPP as one more scheme to outsource manufacturing jobs but I also know that it will benefit agriculture and other sectors. And by the way, I am also aware that outsourcing such work has kept down prices of manufactured goods of all kinds here in the US, such as my $250 laptop.

But let's tamp down on the hysteria over what is fundamentally a bread and butter issue. Please leave the hyperventilating, Mr. Johnson, to the rightwing nuts.


And very clearly a serious degrade to the United States Constitutional laws and national sovereignty.


Writer of the AlJazeera column here...

How wonderful to find a long thread in which rational, thoughtful people comment on the issues instead of the too common rants that go off the rails.

To Thornberry, I hope you will re-read my column. As someone who favors TPP tweeted today, my column is balanced and nuanced. Issues of governance and structure are vital to preserving the liberties of the people. That's not hyperventilating, it is considered judgement of the facts.

I teach the theory and history of business regulation (after a long career as an investigative journalist who deeply examined business and regulatory matters). My students study how proto-corporations began two millennia ago in service to the state. The state should not exist to service the corporations. No corporation should have legal supremacy over any government ever if you believe in self rule. This is just one aspect of TPP, which my column notes has some benefits, but it alone is enough in my view as someone who has studied the issues for years to disqualify it as the law of our land.


This comment is SO important. If you use any other sites or social media, try to get it out to as many people as you can. All that most people will hear is that these Democracy-denying decrees will "create jobs." Sure. Maybe in prison camps!


You play it down at your peril. Do you understand what Insider State Dispute Clauses will mean?

It's NAFTA merged with the World Trade Organization & World Bank in a forum about as accommodating as that of Pinochet's Chile.

Why are YOU playing it down... while exposing your "plumage" as labor organizer? No one IN Labor would see this as just a bit of incrementalism to old treaties. It's FAR worse.


However you do not address the issue of sovereign laws of a country. How is it possible that private institutions can place themselves beyond a nation's laws? If a country bans some pesticide and prohibits foods grown using this pesticide elsewhere, the TPP agreement allows corporations to 'sue' and prevent enforcement of that law as an impediment to free trade. If your country labels GMO food they may be forced to stop that practice by private companies.

How do laws become subject to personal interests and which are not permitted appeal or redress? TPP creates sovereign corporate entities which have immunity from national laws.


I could not agree more with that assessment. Chris Hedges makes those very same points as well which puts Chris in very good company with your astute analysis. Good work.

100 clucks and likes.