A friend who is an activist in this stuff sent me a whole lot of links.
Seems this Trans-Pacific Pact thing has been going on in complete secrecy for years. Started by the Bushies and it's just kept going.
It gives the corporate world enormous power over all aspects of govt. policy and affects us all but the text of the thing is all a big secret. Why?
When challenged about the conflict with the Obama administration’s touted commitment to transparency, Trade Representative Kirk noted that after the release of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) text in 2001, that deal could not be completed. In other words, the official in charge of the TPP says the only way to complete the deal is to keep it secret from the people who would have to live with the results.They're keeping it all secret because they know there would be massive opposition if it was public knowledge.In 2010 TPP countries agreed not to release negotiating texts until four years after a deal was done or abandoned.
The corporate world is being given a total freehand to do what they want with no control. If a country tries to block them in any way they can sue the country outside the court system in special tribunals.They include new investor safeguards to ease job offshoring and assert control over natural resources, and severely limit the regulation of financial services, land use, food safety, natural resources, energy, tobacco, healthcare and more.
As an example, countries like Australia and NZ that have socialised medical systems wouldn't be allowed to sell drugs at a price lower than what Big Pharma set, so everyone would be paying US rip off rates.Failure to conform domestic laws to the rules would subject countries to lawsuits before TPP tribunals empowered to authorize trade sanctions against member countries. The leaked investment chapter also shows that the TPP would expand the parallel legal system included in NAFTA. Called Investor-State Dispute Resolution, it empowers corporations to sue governments—outside their domestic court systems—over any action the corporations believe undermines their expected future profits or rights under the pact. Three-person international tribunals of attorneys from the private sector would hear these cases. The lawyers rotate between serving as “judges”—empowered to order governments to pay corporations unlimited amounts in fines—and representing the corporations that use this system to raid government treasuries. The NAFTA version of this scheme has forced governments to pay more than $350 million to corporations after suits against toxic bans, land-use policies, forestry rules and more.
The usual crowd will be along in a minute to explain that we small-minded "anti-Americans" have got it all wrong and really it's all in everyone's best interest!!If the TPP comes to fruition, its retrograde rules could be altered only if all countries agreed, regardless of domestic election outcomes or changes in public opinion. And unlike much domestic legislation, the TPP would have no expiration date.