From Mediate via Lucianne:
This follows on the heels of the Obama Administration refusing to allow the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness to review the proposed treaty. Gee, I wonder why.Early Wednesday morning, the non-profit consumer rights advocacy group and long-time critic of President Barack Obama, Public Citizen, released a leaked trade document detailing the administration’s trade objectives. The document is said to be one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, a multilateral free trade agreement aimed to liberalize economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
[...]Much of the document focuses on granting multinational corporations, specifically those from overseas, more political power through clauses that will anger environmental activists and labor unions. As established by the document, international multinational corporations would be able to appeal American laws regulating trade to an international tribunal, which would then rule for or against the request.
The Public Citizen takes this treaty for a test drive and finds that it is a very bumpy ride:
“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of TPP negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Via closed-door negotiations, U.S. officials are rewriting swaths of U.S. law that have nothing to do with trade and in a move that will infuriate left and right alike have agreed to submit the U.S. government to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals that can order unlimited payments of our tax dollars to foreign corporations that don’t want to comply with the same laws our domestic firms do.”Although the TPP has been branded a “trade” agreement, the leaked text of the pact’s Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:
- Limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
- Extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
- Establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
- Allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.