Monday, June 20, 2016

805 The predators behind the TPP - Karel Van Wolferen

The predators behind the TPP - Karel Van Wolferen

Newsletter published on 21 February 2016

(1) The predators behind the TPP - Karel Van Wolferen
(2) TPP Provisions Used against Japan Postal Bank
(3) TPP fails Canada
(4) TPP unleashes Finance Capital; 6000 pages of legalistic scheming
(5) Trump adviser: TPP a threat to U.S. sovereignty
(6) TPP is a Jewish Affair - Brother Nathanael Kapner
(7) Flush the TPP - It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown, interview with Bill
Still

(1) The predators behind the TPP - Karel Van Wolferen

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/06/business/economy-business/predators-behind-tpp/

The predators behind the TPP

Twelve Pacific Rim countries representing around 40 percent of the
global economy signed the  Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord
on Thursday. Dutch author Karel van Wolferen  examines the corporate
ramifications of the divisive deal

by Karel Van Wolferen

Special To The Japan Times

Feb 6, 2016

Misnomers that hide what the strong and rich control — and aspire to
control — help promote our world’s numerous political ills. "Spreading
democracy" in the Middle East and Africa has been used to excuse much
slaughter, ruin and higher risks of wider war for purposes not remotely
connected with democracy.

The designation "trade" used by politicians and the media when talking
about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact and the proposed
Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPIP) agreement is
another perfect example of a misnomer thanks to which a new shadow will
be cast over the generally more fortunate parts of the world.

If signed and ratified, the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic agreements,
which seek to organize business activity under one gigantic umbrella of
new rules, are likely to change our living environment in ways very
different from what elected officials have been misled to imagine.

They have been peddled as trade treaties, and hence as being wonderful
for economic growth, job creation, social well-being and general happiness.

But the TPP agreement, which aims to tie the United States together with
close to a dozen countries in Asia, Oceania and a bit of Latin America,
is not in the first place about trade, and may hardly be significant at
all for stimulating genuine exchanges traditionally labelled that way.
The same is true for its TPIP companion, which is meant to create and
foster a new American-European business environment.

The TPP and TPIP accords are about power, not trade. More specifically,
the agreements are about changed power relations between a collectivity
of politically well-connected large corporations and the sovereign
states in which these entities want to sink new roots. In particular,
these treaties would allow U.S. corporations to engage in conduct
unchecked by national rules of the participating countries. In eyes not
fogged over through neoliberal dogma, such a thing would be recognized
as predation.

Corporate clout

Some history will clarify a lot. The first systematic attempt to
establish corporate supremacy over national laws and regulations, begun
in 1997 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
was more honest by calling itself the Multilateral Agreement on
Investments (MAI). Under MAI rules, foreign businesses would be
guaranteed all the advantages enjoyed by domestic producers and services
of the participating countries.

If implemented, the larger foreign investors in these markets could have
easily wiped out smaller domestic players with the superior force they
can muster and would, once and for all, have made the older standard
development methods, known as "import substitution industrialization,"
impossible.

Potential competitors would become perennial subcontractors. In other
words, the MAI was a blatant move to implement neocolonialism by treaty.

No surprise then that the MAI turned "globalization" into a
controversial proposition as it triggered mass activism of a kind never
seen before. This was the moment that, thanks to the then very young
Internet, the world saw a bundling of international protest against
transnational business power.

Anti-MAI events encouraged other antiglobalization protest movements
around the world, which peaked in 1999 in Seattle, and seemed to augur a
new kind of "people power" element in global affairs. It continued until
Sept. 11, 2001.

With yet another calamitous misnomer of the "war against terror" — a
political impossibility — the attention of virtually everyone in the
world changed utterly, and the MAI plans as well as the
antiglobalization activism were soon forgotten.

An attempt to reintroduce MAI-like arrangements with the Doha Round of
trade negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organization
has remained dead in the water.

Ten years ago, an innocuous enough attempt by Singapore, Brunei, New
Zealand and Chile to enhance trade cooperation through laudable tariff
reductions produced the initiative for a nascent TPP agreement.

Nurturing schemes for regional economic hegemony, Washington jumped in
and captured that initiative. It enticed Australia, Peru, Vietnam and
Malaysia to join as well. Once the U.S. Congress had endorsed related
free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, the TPP
became the most important component in a scheme for a Pacific-Asian
business playground on which, if Japan could be enticed to join as well,
U.S. corporations could be the bullies.

The most striking aspect of TPP negotiations since then has been their
utter secrecy. Only about 600 "cleared advisers" — most of them linked
with the businesses that stand to gain from the deal — have had access
to parts of subagreements, and critics among them have been sworn to
remain silent about what they consider unacceptable.

Several former trade officials and clued-in politicians in the United
States and elsewhere have noted that this treaty would not have the
slightest chance of making it through the legislatures of participating
governments if details were negotiated out in the open. Only the
fast-track authority that Congress gave President Barack Obama last year
(allowing the House and Senate only to vote yes or no, without debating
changes or amendments) gives it an even chance that it will become law
in the United States.

We do know a little of what went on behind closed doors. For example, we
have seen that U.S. negotiators have concentrated on controlling labor
laws, environmental legislation and intellectual property rights.

Since traditional tariffs hardly appear to be an obstacle to trade
nowadays, what else could they do? But it does go to show that the TPP
is primarily a political program.

It is political because it aims to change the power relations between
transnational corporations and foreign governments. It is political
because it will create patterns of colonial dependence through
agricultural agreements. It is political because it seeks to place the
governments of the participating countries under a kind of legal
discipline that has nothing to do with the rights of citizens and
everything to do with the ability of powerful corporations to become
even stronger.

Many details of the TPP agreement have yet to be divulged, but what we
may take away from the MAI experience is that participating governments
can violate its intended rules only at their own great disadvantage. In
effect, the legal stipulations tied to the MAI would have created a new
element of corporate groups operating internationally beyond any kind of
accountability. The TPP, much like the MAI before it, will not be about
economic development but about wholesale power shifts.

Those who can still make a political difference in Japan ought to study
the reason for and the nature of such shifts. Numerous large,
politically connected U.S. transnational corporations operate in
colonizing mode. In the context of recently evolved methods of
profit-making in the current phase of American late capitalism, and
while the domestic U.S. economy remains in the doldrums, only the rest
of the world still offers enticing prospects.

The political class of the Asian participants of the TPP agreement and
the Europeans, who watch from the sidelines with the companion TPIP
treaty in the back of their minds, are still affected by the lines of
seduction first penned some two centuries ago by English political
economist David Ricardo about unfettered trade always being good for
everyone.

But Ricardo and his followers were talking about free trade in goods. If
genuine markets in goods were to determine profits, U.S. businesses
would hardly have a chance to play a significant role internationally,
since they no longer manufacture that much at home anymore.

Hence corporate hopes are specifically vested on two areas opened up by
the TPP deal in participating countries: rents and "financial products."

Rather amazingly, Ricardo’s cause still serves in our times as a sacred
principle to emulate when questions of any kind of liberalization are
raised — fatefully with regards to the lifting of regulations that kept
order in the world of international financial transactions. This has
permitted rent seekers and financial firms to become top predators. The
TPP agreement will massively expand their hunting territory and give
them fierce fangs in the bargain.

When it was introduced, copyright was meant to provide protection to
authors for an agreed number of years. More recently, it has been
applied in a broader way to works of art in general. This made sense,
and was in line with the thinking behind patents for industrial inventions.

But it has long since become exploitative. Attracted by an opportunity
to make money without producing things, corporations began to claim the
rights of all manner of artistic merchandise after paying off needy
creators.

Sometimes, they even claimed the right to something that had theretofore
been free, such as the extraction of a substance with medicinal
properties from plants and trees used in indigenous forms of medicine.

A new category came into general use in the last decade of the 20th
century named "intellectual property" for the purpose of maximizing rent
extraction and the creation of monopolies. Many things can be endowed
with the near-sacred aura of property with this fashionable terminology,
not only tunes and images, but also simple ideas, clever marketing
tricks, Indian Ayurvedic medicine formulas and images of temple
paintings in Southeast Asia — you name it, we are only at the beginning
of this.

Public gullibility under neoliberal regimes can be measured by the ease
with which the notion of "piracy" has become widely accepted, along with
the moral construction that imitation constitutes theft. Under ever more
stringent and internationally enforced controls, films that have made
their intended profit many times over in general box-office release, on
TV and with extended DVD editions are set up to be making money forever.

The intellectual property regime of the TPP agreement contains traps of
which the countries seduced to join are unlikely to be aware.

Much of the discussion among critics has revolved around the obviously
questionable closed-door tribunals to arbitrate investor-state disputes.
But other legal entanglements awaiting those who sign have as yet been
overlooked.

The rules demanded by the United States will create conditions for an
even greater American popular culture hegemony. Local producers of
popular culture products are likely to find themselves pressed to the
margins in their own countries, and bankrupted by costly litigation in
which U.S. corporations are masters.

An army of lawyers may be expected to become a parasitical growth on the
culture of the participating countries, with a new category of
"ambulance chasers" inspired by the existing U.S. industry of lawyers
who, on their own, ferret out possible cases of copyright infringement
by unsuspecting parties and then threaten those people with litigation
unless they pay a settlement fee.

Power plays

The expected intellectual property stipulations of the TPP accord
related to medicine have drawn much attention, as these will enlarge the
oligopoly power of pharmaceutical companies.

Global public health is likely to suffer from this because, from what is
already known, the new rules will lengthen the period before the use of
generic drugs is permitted, and these are the only affordable medicine
for patients in poorer countries.

Nongovernmental organization Doctors Without Borders has concluded in a
July 2015 press release that "the TPP agreement is on track to become
the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines in developing
countries."

Then there is an even bigger beneficiary in the shape of the
21st-century global casino of speculating banks, which make untold
multiples of capital with their money while bypassing the complication
of investing in production. For them, the TPP deal is a dream come true,
which is why they rewarded two executives from Bank of America and
Citigroup with millions in bonuses before these moved to work on the TPP.

The executive from Citigroup was appointed to lead the Office of the
United States Trade Representative, the agency in charge of TPP
negotiations.

 >From what we know, the TPP agreement would ban capital controls,
prohibit any kind of future taxes on Wall Street speculation and block
any move to separate investment from retail banking. It would also block
efforts to ban toxic derivatives that created the credit crisis of 2008.

As with the manufacturers of controversial products, the financial
industry will be given the means to demand compensation for regulations
and policies that in their assessment may undermine their expected
future profits.

It is not difficult to understand that TPP participants who have not
guessed the consequences of what they will be signing will bring social
misery upon themselves. It is also not difficult to understand how the
TPP agreement fits in with Washington’s "Asian pivot" moves as part of
its full-spectrum dominance campaign.

Japan’s participation in the TPP, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is
eager to bring about, would be a big clincher for America’s containment
of China’s tactics. It would push Japan deeper into an embrace with the
United States over which it has little control.

After intense concentration on export-led developments, the Chinese
economy is evolving into a consumer-oriented system and its huge middle
class has lots of money to spend. Of all the world’s countries, Japan is
in the best position to benefit from this switch, which is one of
several reasons why it ought to treasure every opportunity for improving
relations with its neighbor. The TPP would hinder that process, as has
precisely been Washington’s intention.

All this is easily understood. But it still leaves us with the puzzle of
why Asians as well as Europeans, whose EU trade commissioners have been
mouthing the same job creating nonsense around the TPIP that accompanies
the TPP rhetoric, appear unable to tackle intellectually the dominant
power aspects of these treaties.

Perhaps this is because the world in which they exist is politically
sterilized by current economic suppositions. More generally, the concept
of power (not influence with which it is often confused) receives a
"stepmotherly" treatment in popular as well as serious writing, and the
social science denizens of academia are entirely at sea over it.

Mainstream economics is ahistorical by design and hence has no room for
power, which has helped continue the fateful division of political and
economic affairs into separate realms for discussion that has long
served the interests of power elites.

Since the political dimension to economic arrangements in the United
States remains hidden in most discourse because political and economic
reality are routinely treated as separate realms of life, few notice
that what is justified in the United States by reference to "market
forces" is frequently the result of heavy political negotiation,
interference and favors.

Politically well-connected U.S. corporations, paying for the election
expenses of Congress members who help create their business environment,
need not fear market forces.

If the banks responsible for the credit crisis of 2008 and the
subsequent global recession that is still with us had not been lifted
out of "the market" by the state, they would no longer exist.

Powerful corporations have been allowed to swallow the state; they have,
as economist James Galbraith explains, created a "predator state," which
they naturally exploit for their own expansion. There is no frame of
reference with which we can more convincingly define the TPP.

Karel van Wolferen is a former NRC Handelsblad correspondent for East
Asia, professor emeritus of comparative political and economic
institutions at the University of Amsterdam, and author of "The Enigma
of Japanese Power."

(2) TPP Provisions Used against Japan Postal Bank

Public Banking Institute <info@publicbankinginstitute.org>

11 November 2015 at 06:02

http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/tpp_provisions_used_against_japan_postal_bank

by MATT STANNARD

November 08, 2015

The privatization of Japan's postal bank and the simultaneous calls for
re-creating a public postal banking system in the USA, have thrust
postal banking back into the public banking discussion. And with the ink
barely dry on the Trans Pacific Partnership, the charge that the trade
agreement threatens public banking seems to have gained a specific
example in the context of postal banks, but cross-applicable to banking
services in general.

Max Ehrenfreund for the Washington Post lays the story out
thoroughly--an important treatment given the recent release of the full
text of the TPP.  The Obama "administration has negotiated limits on
what post offices can do in the financial space . . . " in the TPP. The
issue concerns insurance offered by postal banks. Banks offer insurance,
although this has never been a key component of the U.S. narrative on
postal banking. In this case the administration "seeks to curtail what
global insurance companies describe as the unfair advantages granted to
post offices by governments worldwide."

Japan Post "offers insurance products and other financial services to
consumers," important given the country's aging population (the U.S.
also has an aging population, many of whom lack banking services and
fall victim to predatory lending). Japan Post Insurance earned about $50
billion in premiums in 2014. The language of TPP advocates, the language
of the private finance and insurance industry, calls the advantage
enjoyed by the public entity an anti-competitive "special privilege."
Japan is already set to comply with the demand that it allow private
insurers to sell products alongside postal insurance, and with the same
regulations.

That this is occurring in the larger context of the overall
privatization of Japan Post means that defenders of a public postal bank
in that country, whoever they were, lost that battle before the TPP
negotiations were complete. Japan Post is not the United States Postal
Service, and I imagine the USPS would probably not push the envelope on
insurance products the way Japan Post apparently has. The real issue is
that privatization of public services so often increases cost.
Interviewed in the Washington Post article, Mehrsa Baradaran specifies
that this specifically applies to postal insurance: "more expensive for
the consumer, and possibly not as good of a product. You don't
underprice insurance by being the disrupter who offers it cheap and fast."

While not essentially the fault of TPP pressures, the social forces at
work are the same, and financial interests will probably make the same
arguments about any U.S. postal banking implementation as the Obama
administration, presumably acting as the advocate for those private
interests, did with Japan Post. In a press release to the Institute for
Public Accuracy, Katherine Johnson, policy impact coordinator with the
American Friends Service Committee, says of the TPP that it "puts
corporations firmly in the driver's seat shaping health, environmental
and economic policies around the globe . . . The TPP’s investor-state
dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions would enable investors from any of
the TPP countries to challenge environmental and public health laws,
regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that
circumvent the U.S. and any other country’s judicial system."

The Obama administration seems to feel the same way about access to
financial services as it feels about health insurance--that private is
better than public and that Congress and the Executive can force private
corporations to bend to their will under the mere threat of bringing
public options to the table. But if critics of the TPP are right, such
public options won't even be a deterrent anymore, because investors can
seek to severely curtail those options, even when made by Congress and
upheld by the judiciary. But there is currently a structural crisis in
poor people's access to financial services, and it's taking a huge toll
on the most vulnerable people in America.

As Baradaran points out in a posted excerpt from her new book How the
Other Half Banks, this cannot be a question of whether the government
should get involved in banking, since there is already an "entanglement"
between the state and banking such that the government bails out the
banks. This, she reasons, "must surely mean that banks should not
exclude a significant portion of the public from the bounty of
government support. This is not just a banking market problem but a
threat to our society's democratic principles." "The existing post
office framework represents the most promising path toward effectuating
such a public option," Baradaran adds. Such a policy would fulfill
rights and ameliorate disenfranchisement. The poor who lack banking
services spend $89 billion a year on often exploitative alternatives.

There will be legal battles against applications of the TPP's ISDS
provisions, irrespective (and because) of participating nations'
insistence on making key decisions in secret. So what do we have to
leverage against interpretations of trade agreements that can override
domestic policies? One tool in the box is international human rights
law, which may carry both rhetorical and legal weight in the individual
battles to come as people oppose ISDS applications. Banking and post are
both things that ought to be declared public services, but post offices
are much more universal--51 countries "use postal banking as their
primary method of financial inclusion" and "only 6% of postal carriers
worldwide do not offer banking services," according to Baradaran. That
means about a billion people utilize postal banks.

Creating strong national mandates for public banking would be a good
thing--which is one reason why COMERS v. Bank of Canada is an important
case. Much of international human rights law is self-executing. The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes economic rights "in
accordance with the organization and resources of each state" and
"through national effort and international cooperation," which, while
perhaps an exotic application, suggests that we should interpret the
language of documents like trade agreements in a way that does not
undermine equal access to public services, guaranteed in Article 21 of
the Declaration.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,
which the U.S. has signed but not ratified, makes some of these rights
more specific--social security, social insurance, continuous improvement
of living conditions as expanding on adequate standard of living, and
the right to "enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its
applications," not merely as a private intellectual right but as a
public right. The United States' reticence to sign onto these rights may
give way to the rising consciousness manifest in political figures like
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kshama Sawant, and the growing
demand for alternatives to the radical privatization and ill-treatment
of the poor over the last thirty five years. Ratification of instruments
of economic rights as a weapon against opaque trade agreements would be
an interesting tactic indeed.

(3) TPP fails Canada

https://www.rt.com/news/321254-canada-tpp-losses-innovation/

  TPP ‘worst thing Harper did for Canada’ & will cost hundreds of
billions – ex-Blackberry tycoon

Published time: 9 Nov, 2015 06:13

Edited time: 9 Nov, 2015 06:15

Canadians have been "outfoxed" in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade
agreement and will now be forever bound by a deal harmful for
innovation, Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research In Motion
(BlackBerry Ltd.), has said, after studying the fine print.

Balsillie, who helped turn BlackBerry into a global player and is on the
list of 100 richest Canadians, predicted that TPP will cost Canada
hundreds of billions of dollars, lamenting that its provisions on
intellectual property will deal a blow to the future Canadian

"I’m not a partisan actor, but I actually think this is the worst thing
that the Harper government has done for Canada… I think in 10 years from
now, we’ll call that the signature worst thing in policy that Canada’s
ever done," the businessman and philanthropist told The Canadian Press
after delving into the 6,000-page deal.

These are not mere words for Balsillie, who is also the founder of
Canada’s Center for International Governance Innovation.

According to the businessman, the TPP "structures everything forever" in
line with the US’s economic interests, while limiting Canadian
companies’ growth – "and we can’t get out of it."

"It’s such brilliantly systemic encirclement. I’m just in awe at its
powerful purity by the Americans… We’ve been outfoxed," he said.

Balsillie is particularly worried that American firms are bound to be
given an edge in accordance with the deal’s "iron-clad" rules, while the
Canadians will have to pay for foreign ideas instead of working on their
own innovations and profiting from them. Canada will be limited in
making money on homegrown products and services, he said.

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government put Canada’s signature on the
controversial and secretive pact in the middle of an election campaign
when the details had not yet been known to the public. Along with his
Liberal successor, Justin Trudeau, Harper also promised more
transparency on the deal. Trudeau’s government has said there is going
to be national "consultation" on the text of the deal, which is now
public and is due to be published online. It was not immediately clear
to what extent the consultation could help change the deal, which has
already been agreed in principle between the 12 states involved.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on
Thursday that Canadians are welcome to send her comments about the
gargantuan text: "I’m going to take that seriously – we’re going to
review it." A parliamentary debate on the deal is due in the Canadian
House of Commons.

Balsillie, however, sees no way back since Harper’s negotiators approved
the deal’s terms.

"I’m worried and I don’t know how we can get out of this… I think our
trade negotiators have profoundly failed Canadians and our future
innovators. I really lament it," he said.

(4) TPP unleashes Finance Capital; 6000 pages of legalistic scheming

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/06/why-the-tpp-must-be-opposed-at-all-costs-its-worse-than-you-think/

November 6, 2015

Why the TPP Must be Opposed at All Costs: It’s Worse Than You Think

by K.J. Noh

The TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the corporate Mega-deal on "free
trade" has been concluded between the partner states, and is now in the
final stages of its ratification. This deal involves the US and 11 other
countries (Canada, US, Mexico, Chile, Peru; Singapore, Malaysia,
Australia, Brunei, Japan) of the Pacific Rim, representing 40% of global
economic activity. The text was secretly negotiated by hundreds of
corporate lobbyists. It has now been released, and Congress will have 90
days to examine the 6000 page text before approving, which will allow
the President to sign it in to law.

For six years, this corporate-drafted legislation was a pig in a poke.
Nobody knew what was in it– except the hundreds (550) of corporate
lobbyists that had been drafting it for years in total secrecy. They
wouldn’t say what was in it. They would only say it was good for you.
They just wanted you to support it. Critics were told to shut up on the
grounds that they knew nothing about it. But the outline that people had
been able to discern through leaks were monstrous.

The text has been just released—by the orders of a New Zealand court–and
it is, as anticipated, monstrous, explaining the Manhattan-Project-level
secrecy.   It’s a total corporate giveaway, and despite some pathetic
attempts to put lipstick on it, it’s every bit as bad as we had
anticipated, and a little bit worse.   Here are some of the key issues:

Subversion of Democracy and Sovereignty

ISDS refers to Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism. Think of it
as really: Intentional Subversion of Democracy & Sovereignty. This is
the extrajudicial process written into the TPP (Chapter 28), whereby
governments can be dragged before tribunals by corporate lawyers if they
think national (health, environmental, public policy) laws violate their
TPP rights or limit future expected profits.   This is a panel of
bespoke-suited corporate lawyers deciding whether environmental laws,
safety regulations, public policy, or labor laws get in the way of
profit or not. Imagine how they will decide. Profits or people? The
outcome, written into the very raison d’etre of the TPP, is a foregone
conclusion. These results will be unaccountable and binding. No appeal
is possible.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that corporations want profit the way
that sexual predators want sex: at any cost. Instead of moderating,
controlling or preventing this, this agreement enshrines into
transnational law a supranational corporate entitlement to profit,
regardless of risk or danger to the state, democratic sovereignity, the
people, or the planet. For that reason alone, the TPP should be opposed
at all costs. But there’s more.

Global Immiseration

Job Loss and proletarianization will be the inevitable results of this
agreement. Although the pitch from the White House has been that the TPP
is "a high standard trade agreement that levels the playing field for
American workers, and businesses, supporting more made in America
exports and higher paying American jobs", in fact the logic of
neoliberal trade agreements like TPP drives jobs to wherever they are
the cheapest, decimating labor rights and labor protections along their
path. That implies the general immiseration of wage workers everywhere
as they are forced into a race to the bottom, to compete with the
hungriest and most desperate in the world.   If you thought NAFTA was
bad for jobs, imagine the Lance Armstrong of neoliberal trade deals:
doped up, ‘roid-flushed, viscous-blooded, deceitful, win-at-any-cost,
brazen, in-your-face, winner-take-all, corrupt, corporate leviathan.

This final, dolled-and-dressed-up version actually has a chapter on
Labor and labor rights (Chapter 19), but don’t let that mislead you. It
amounts to a massive 13 pages of vapid, unenforceable boilerplate within
6000 pages of cold-blooded legalistic scheming. It’s clearly a
threadbare, deceptive ruse appended after the fact to divert criticism.
The chapter offers nothing substantive or meaningful, other than
roadblocks to even minimal enforcement of worker’s rights, and mandated
"cooperation" to diffuse adversarial relations.   Threadbare in
reasoning, substance, and ethics, it gives lip service to social values,
then lards itself up with cosmetic boilerplate about consultation,
cooperation, volunteerism, "recognition", committees, and then finally
bares its fangs with this:

No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28
(Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

The miniscule chapter on "development" is even worse. It has 5 measly
pages of the same lazy, wooly, vapid, rhetorical language on "voluntary
measures", "consultative processes", and exhortations for "market-based
approaches", followed by the following ice-cold, clear final punch:

23.8: Relation to Other Chapters

In the event of any inconsistency between this Chapter and another
Chapter of this Agreement, the other Chapter shall prevail to the extent
of the inconsistency.

23.9: Non-Application of Dispute Settlement

No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28
(Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

There are other vanity chapters written about Capacity Building,
Competitiveness, Regulatory Coherence (i.e. Domestic regulation)). They
are written on the same template of boilerplate vapidity. It’s clear
that these were added at the last minute for cosmetic purposes to divert
criticism, because they all have the same rhetoric (about committees,
consultation, cooperation), followed by the kill-switch
non-access/non-recourse mantra:

No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28
(Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

To misquote the Zapatistas, it is, "Everything for me, nothing for you."

Finance Capital Unleashed

Envisage unleashing finance capital in a way that makes the
financialized gang rape of the 2008 global meltdown seem like a genteel
southern debutante ball.   It’s clear the current system is precarious,
scary, and unjust, but if existing capital controls are dismantled,
financial taxation prohibited, stabilizing tools undone, and local
breakwaters on finance are removed or challenged, hot money and
speculation will flow like lava from an unleashed volcano. This is what
Chapters 9, 10, 11 facilitate, albeit in cloaked, deceptive,
corporate-lawyerly ways. Look underneath the verbiage to the intent and
design, and these chapters should give you cold sweats and panic attacks.

Privatization of the Intellectual & Cultural Commons

The chapter on IP (Intellectual Property; Chapter 18) was leaked
beforehand to universal criticism, opprobrium, and derision. The final
version, unchanged, amounts to a corporate middle finger to
international concerns. It is unashamed enclosure, privatization,
commodification of the global commons. The intellectual, cultural,
artistic commons that form the global heritage of the world serve a
crucial role in generating, sustaining, and innovating a world fit to
live in.   The plan of the TPP, in alignment with other FTA’s, is for
corporations to increase their control and possession of these commons,
privatizing, enclosing, and monetizing them to the greatest degree
possible. It’s clear that the internet and content on it will be
increasingly privatized, enclosed, and surveilled. The right to privacy,
open communication, fair use, reporting, comment, news reporting,
teaching, research will be curtailed: the most restrictive
interpretations of US Copyright and Intellectual Property laws would
become the global standard.   Research, whistle-blowing, investigative
journalism could also be criminalized. TPP also breathes new life into
the corporate wish list of defeated or outrageous zombie legislation,
sneaking them in through the back door and expanding them to the global
commons.

Structural Violence and Environmental Destruction

The agreement will result in needless, unnecessary death, suffering, and
risk to the poor, the vulnerable, and the sick. Millions will die
because of reduced access to basic life-saving generic medicines,
medical procedures, dismantled public health measures, or because
medicines and medical services will be made unaffordable. Public Health
systems can be challenged or privatized, Governments will be sued if
they push back on drug prices or reimbursements. Anti-consumer measures
are locked in, and safety, health, food regulations can be gutted,
bypassed, or sued into the ground. Environmental protections and climate
change policies could be bypassed or sued into obsolescence. Protections
for health care, consumers’ rights will eventually become a dim, vague
memory. In a brazen statement of exclusion, the chapter on the
environment, does not even bother to mention the word "Global Warming"
or "Climate Change". This monumental insult to everyone who cares about
the environment and is clearly a high octane boost to the fossil fuel
industry, in case the planet is just not warming fast enough for you.

Escalation to War with China

"When more than 95% of our potential customers live outside our borders,
we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy.
We should make these rules."

In its racist exceptionalism, the TPP is also a declaration of economic
warfare, and not just of corporations against the people: it’s a
concerted plan to undermine Chinese economic growth, which has been
clearly on an ascendant track, doing a big share of pulling along the
world economy. China, in case anyone is unclear on the geography, is in
the Asia pacific, but is unambiguously excluded from it (for spurious
reasons).

The TPP is a multi-nation economic aircraft carrier (or if you will, a
slave galleon) set up to do battle against China, a neoliberal battering
ram with all the stops pulled out. Functioning as the economic arm of
the Pacific Pivot, the TPP creates a powerful economic bloc,
press-ganging pacific rim economies to ally against China en masse, to
force an eventual economic blockade, take down, and submission if
necessary.   This is a three-part strategy: the Pacific Pivot (with the
AirSea Battle doctrine, interoperable Ballistic Missile Defense systems,
a necklace of up-armored Strategic Bases, multi-lateral intelligence
sharing, mutual defense agreements & war games, aggressive military
encirclement of China) is part A, and the TPP. is part B, the economic
encirclement. Lest we forget, in war, it’s always the little people who
suffer and die. Keep an eye out for the legal, cultural, and information
warfare to escalate, part C.

It’s acceptable to suspend judgment until the NY Times, the Gray Lady
starts purring approval. Then like maggots appearing on carrion, you
know it’s seriously putrid. The Gray Lady has been carrying water and
running interference for this monstrosity from its inception. Keep an
eye out for new feats of intellectual acrobatics and contortions as it
tries to justify and spin the "good news" of the TPP.

Here’s why every person of conscience needs to continue to oppose this.
You fight the good fight, organize, mobilize, pick your battles, support
the right causes, stand in solidarity and accompaniment to the oppressed
and suffering in general. But every so often, a mega-coup happens that
pulls the entire carpet out from under you, rendering all your local
struggles useless. It’s as if you spend your whole time trying to
prevent your house from being robbed, by fixing the locks on your
windows and doors, while the thieves put your entire home on a flatbed
truck cart the entire edifice away. Citizen’s United was one such coup.
TPP is another one, easily one of the most devastating, certainly the
most brazen, and it has the capacity to undo a half century’s worth of
modest gains for labor, environment, peace, safety, public health,
equality, justice in a single fell swoop. It will seal the deal on the
global neoliberal project, end whatever fragments of democratic
sovereignty are left, hammer shut the coffin on an alternate vision of
the future, and lock in the alienated, hyper-commodified,
hyper-capitalist corporate nightmare. With global warming on steroids.

It hasn’t been ratified yet, but the deal is in the balance.   Oppose it
at all costs. Your children, and your children’s children will thank you.

K.J. Noh is a long time activist, writer and teacher.  He can be reached
at k.j.noh48@gmail.com

(5) Trump adviser: TPP a threat to U.S. sovereignty

http://www.breitbart.com/obama/2016/02/05/trump-senior-advisor/

Senior Advisor to Donald Trump: Newly-Signed TPP Will Start the ‘Steady,
Dramatic Bleeding of U.S. Sovereignty’

AP

by Katie McHugh

5 Feb 2016

On Breitbart News Daily GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s senior policy
advisor, Stephen Miller, warned that the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership
Trump opposes and other GOP candidates such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-FL) staunchly support, will corrode U.S. sovereignty on everything
from immigration policy to trade.

Miller, former communications director to Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff
Sessions (R-AL), explained to host Stephen K. Bannon that Trans-Pacific
Trade Partnership passed thanks to Rubio: "The way that it works, is
this: First, Congress passed fast track, TPA, Trade Promotion Authority.
It passed with 60 votes, which, because of the filibuster, not one vote
to spare. So, Marco Rubio was the 60th vote for fast track. Now
remember, President Obama lobbied aggressively for fast track."

"In fact, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said at the very last second, hey, I’ve
been lied to. I’ve been — isn’t that when he went down and said Sen.
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s a liar?" Bannon asked. "It got pretty nasty. He
flipped his vote against TPA at the last second, is that correct?"

"I’d have to let Cruz speak for Cruz on Cruz’s vote on TPA, but I would
just say that Donald Trump has been the one consistent candidate opposed
to fast track, opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and is the only
way to stop the TPP," Miller said. "But once the fast track was put into
place –"

"But Marco Rubio voted for the TPA, the Fast Track, to give this to
President Obama, correct?" Bannon said.

"Correct," Miller said. "President Obama said: I want fast track
executive authority. I want it more than anything. Please, please,
please, please, Congress. Please give me this fast track. I want it, I
need it, I must have it. And Marco Rubio said: Absolutely. Tell me where
I can show up and help. You want fast track, you’re going to get your
fast track. And so, he was the 60th vote to fast track the TPP."

When asked why no major news networks, including Fox News, have
addressed much of TPP and Rubio’s role in ensuring Obama received his
fast track authority, Miller said: "I think there’s an unhealthy
relationship between a lot of our corporate lobbyists, and a lot of the
politicians, and a lot of the special interests who also influence media
coverage, and the net effect of all of this is that certain unpleasant
topics just don’t get discussed… It’s essential this get brought up at
Saturday night’s debate. What is the fast track, why does it matter, and
what does it have to do with TPP."

"I’ll answer all of those questions briefly," he continued:

The fast track that other candidates in this race aggressively pushed
for, and that Mr. Trump has been opposed to, means that President Obama
can ink any international trade deal he wants, and sign the deal through
his trade representative, as he did yesterday. Congress cannot
filibuster it. Cannot amend it. Cannot subject it to a treaty vote.
Cannot debate it on the floor for as long as they would like to. And in
fact, the White House writes the ‘implementation’ legislation to
override U.S. law and put the new treaty into effect, and Congress
simply has to ratify that bill, turning the legislative process on its head.

"Ratify it with just 51 votes," Bannon said.

OK, here’s what I don’t understand. All of you constitutionalists out
there — and I love you, brothers and sisters — all you
constitutionalists, is this not what Founders and the framers
understood, that these trade deals are central — by the way, you talk
about, ‘Oh, don’t talk about nationalists, nationalism is a bad word.’
Every one of the framers was a nationalist. They believed in the nation
of the United States of America. They fought for it. They fought a
revolution against the greatest empire in the world to form this
country. They put everything on the line to do it, and they understood
they didn’t want to give it away. They understood trade deals were going
to be the beating heart of the economy in the United States, and that’s
why they demanded they be treated as treaties. Is that not correct, Mr.
Miller? They wanted them as treaties? They wanted them to come back to
the Senate and be ratified?

"Well, especially — and this is very important — especially when you’re
looking at the Trans Pacific Partnership," Miller said. "The
Trans-Pacific Partnership is an agreement between 12 nations, of which
the United States is one of 12, that affects labor relations,
environmental policy, immigration policy, and yes of course trade
policy. And the effect of this will be the steady, dramatic bleeding of
U.S. sovereignty."

(6) TPP is a Jewish Affair - Brother Nathanael Kapner

http://www.realjewnews.com/?p=1077

TPP is a Jewish Affair

By Brother Nathanael Kapner

November 10, 2015 ©

IT’S ALL ABOUT global governance with Jews in high places marshaling
their efforts to castrate the sovereignty of nation-states with their
‘negotiated’ TPP agreement.

Let’s start with the Jew, Michael Froman, who as chief US Trade
Representative, led the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
agreement and brought it to completion.

Celebrating Froman’s furtherance of a One World Government (of which
Jews will pull the levers) was fellow Jew, Gerald Seib, of the Council
on Foreign Relations who interviewed Froman upon TPP’s conclusion last
month.

It’s a Jewish affair for as Senator Jeff Sessions contends, "TPP ushers
in a governance system that will supplant ours with its own rules for
every aspect of global commerce accompanied by a new international
regulatory structure to enforce these rules."

"TPP creates an international Congress that will overrule ours," the
senator point out.

Sessions warns that TPP will take migration of foreign workers out of
the hands of nations into the hands of the global governance system due
to the TPP provision stating, "No party shall impose limitations on the
number of persons employed in a particular service sector."

It’s a slithering snake on a creeping mission. For once quotas of guest
workers are eliminated, forbidding quotas of foreign immigrants is next.

This is an all-time favorite of the Jews.

For Jewry’s aim is to dilute a national-complexion into a diverse
assemblage of peoples with a slight sense of nationhood and a weakened
resistance to loss of sovereignty.

Particularly troubling is that the terms of the TPP agreement are
subject to change by an unelected ‘TPP Commission.’

Even worse, TPP provides for ‘Corporate Tribunals’ which being beholden
to corporate interests would override national sovereignty by bypassing
national court systems when challenging laws that injure corporate
concerns passed by nations’ elected representatives.

IT’S GOOD NEWS for the Jews who love their Jewish state while eating lox
and bagels in their Manhattan suites far from Zion.

For in June’s ‘Fast Track’ bill—pushed by Treasury head Jacob Lew—in
order to speed up Congressional approval, is a clause obligating
signatories to refrain from boycotting Israeli goods and to criminalize
organizations and individuals working to boycott Israel.

And AIPAC’s dirty fingerprints are all over this surprise clause.

Hurray for Froman and his Jewish team: Barbara Weisel and Miriam Sapiro,
who changed her Jewish surname from ‘Schapiro’ to ‘Sapiro’ so she could
pass herself off as a JAP.

Our Jewish American Princess (JAP) authored "Obama Is Good For The Jews"
urging Jews to make Barack the first black president. (Read: Jewry’s
Schwartza In The White House.)

(7) Flush the TPP - It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown, interview with Bill
Still


http://itsourmoney.podbean.com/e/it%E2%80%99s-our-money-with-ellen-brown-%E2%80%93-flush-the-tpp-one-more-time-%E2%80%93-111115/

It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown – Flush the TPP ….. One More Time – 11.11.15

{Visit the link to watch the video}

The deservedly-despised Trans Pacific Partnership is front and center in
our discussion this week. Ellen talks with author and producer of the
"Secret of Oz" movie Bill Still, who discusses the consolidation of
monetary power and the quest for total global control. Co-host Walt
McRee talks to one of the central figures leading the public campaign to
stop this misnamed corporate coup, Dr. Margaret Flowers, of Flush the
TPP.org.  And Matt Stannard once again brings the focus back to the
moral implications of the pact that have been ignored.



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