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Monday, August 6, 2012

TPP Coup d’tat

Insidious breakdown, takeover
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

NAFTA-ites morph into TPP-ers

Many of the same people who pushed the William Jefferson Clinton-era NAFTA have been recycled into negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact. Explaining the TPP, Global Trade Watch founder Lori Wallach said in June on the Democracy Now program (she also appeared today on KPFK’s “Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett”) the TPP is a “one-percenter fantasy.”

The moneyed class, she said, kept fighting and fighting with money and lobbying until they got the draft “trade” pact they wanted, a pact that is locked in, disestablishing, and everlasting.

Coup d’tat in Global Corporate Governance

The Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens to become a regime of binding global governance, Wallach said. Though it is branded a trade agreement, “it is in fact enforceable corporate global governance.
The agreement requires that every signatory country conform all of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures to what are 26 chapters of very comprehensive rules, only two of which have anything to do with trade.
The other 24 chapters set a whole array of corporate new privileges and rights and handcuff governments, limit regulation.
A leaked chapter (See website Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition for fair trade) sets up new rights and privileges for foreign investors, including their right to privately enforce this public treaty by ─
Suing the U.S. government
Raiding the U.S. Treasury over costs of complying with policies all U.S. companies must comply with.
These agreements, Lori Wallach said, have become “bolder, more expansive in their limits on government regulation and in granting of corporate powers,” she said. The way the agreement is being negotiated, its rules would require not only changing or getting rid all of good progressive laws in the United States; but also thwarting creation of new progressive laws in the future.
Since the process is open, other countries may enter after the deal is done; and ultimately the agreement could have the whole world in it “as a set of binding corporate guarantees of new rights and privileges ─ enforced with cash sanctions and trade sanctions.”
“This is their fight-back,” Wallach said, a document that locks in and magnifies “the bad old way.”  


She is a well-established, well-informed and widely sought-after expert on globalization and international commercial agreements. She is author of Whose Trade Organization? A Comprehensive Guide to the WTO (2004) and contributor to numerous anthologies including Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible.
Described in the National Journal as ‘the Trade Debate’s Guerrilla Warrior’ and by the Institute for International Economics as ‘Madame Defarge of Seattle,’ Lori Wallach is a founder of the Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition of consumer, labor, environmental, family farm, religious, and civil rights groups representing over 11 million Americans. She now serves on its board and is also a founding board member of the International Forum on Globalization and serves on this board.
Lori Wallach is Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division. She launched Global Trade Watch in 1995 and is a leader in the global citizen movement for fair trade and investment policy. Public Citizen, a nonprofit citizen research, lobbying and litigation group based in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1971.
Working closely with civil society, scholars, and activists in developing countries and with U.S. congressional, environmental, labor, and other allies, Wallach has played an important role in fostering the growing debate about implications of different models of globalization on jobs, livelihoods and wages; the environment; public health and safety; equality and social justice and democratically accountable governance.
Wallach and Global Trade Watch have been U.S. leaders in successful fights against proposed ‘Fast Track’ legislation in 1997 and 1998 and, working with international partners, the defeat of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the proposed ‘Millennium Round’ of WTO negotiations at the 1999 Seattle WTO Ministerial, the proposed WTO expansion at the 2003 Cancun WTO Ministerial and the derailing of the proposed FTAA hemispheric NAFTA expansion. Global Trade Watch’s leadership in the campaign against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) NAFTA expansion contributed to creating a U.S. debate over that economically modest pact that required two-years, the U.S. President’s continued personal intervention and a major corporate campaign to eke out a one-vote margin of passage. CAFTA specifically and trade generally proved a prominent political issue in the U.S. midterm 2006 elections with more than 100 candidates for House, Senate and Governor campaigning on ‘fair trade.’ Current projects include efforts to stop NAFTA expansions to Peru, Colombia and Panama, as well as replace Fast Track with a new mechanism that restores Congress’ constitutional authority in trade policy-making. Other projects include empowering state legislators in numerous states to enact new procedures and policies which provide them a voice in international ‘trade’ negotiations which affect their authority and work with a global network on the WTO and especially WTO service sector privatization and deregulation negotiations.
Wallach has served as a trade commentator on Democracy Now, CNN, ABC, CNBC, C-SPAN; and regularly on All Things Considered and PBS’s The NewsHour. She is a Harvard-trained lawyer who has promoted the public interest regarding globalization and international commercial agreements in every forum: Congress and foreign parliaments, the courts, government agencies, and the media.  

Sources and notes
Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch on secretive trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
On Democracy Now!
“Breaking ’08 Pledge, Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations ─ The Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama,”  June 14, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc
Lori Wallach biography at http://www.shesource.org/experts/profile/lori-wallach; and http://www.citizen.org/trade/article_redirect.cfm?ID=17010

Lori Wallach appeared today on “Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett,” August 6, 2012, http://www.kpfk.org/programs/67-connect-the-dots-with-lila-garrett.html

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement. As of 2010, the trade bloc (in terms of combined GDP of its members) was the largest in the world. NAFTA has two supplements: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).
Criticism of NAFTA

The Vanishing Country (published by Mel Hurtig in 2002) charges that since NAFTA, more than 10,000 Canadian companies were taken over by foreigners. Ninety-eight percent (98 percent) of all foreign direct investments in Canada were for foreign takeovers.

United States
In the period 1994-2007, U.S. net manufacturing employment declined by 3,654,000. During this period, several other free trade agreements have been concluded or expanded.

In the year 2000, the U.S. government subsidized the corn sector totaling $10.1 billion giving rise to charges of dumping and jeopardizing Mexican farms and Mexico’s self-sufficiency in food. Studies have charged NAFTA with depressing incomes of poor corn farmers, destroying peasant cooperative village holdings, and threatening to completely reverse gains made by rural peoples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement#Criticism_and_controversies

Image at Press TV: Stop TPP
Image at http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2011/09/12/photos-from-the-chicago-week-of-action-on-trans-pacific-trade/: Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch at

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