Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership don’t want US taxpayers to know just how much this 12-nation trade deal is really going to cost them. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) does, and recently joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others in signing a letter to the Obama administration calling for the removal of the investor-state threat of Super Courts in the TPP trade deal.
The TPP, which has been called NAFTA on steroids, includes the same type of Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions (ISDS) that have just cost Canadian taxpayers $28 million.
According to a Council of Canadians press release, Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians, said:
This is just the latest example of the outrageous nature of investor-state dispute settlement provisions, found in NAFTA’s chapter 11. Today’s target is green energy policies that encourage local economic development.
This is the same thing that we will be getting with the new deals Canada is promoting – CETA and the TPP…why are we signing up for more punishment?
The answer appears to be rooted in spineless politicians willing to sell out the sovereignty of their own people.
In the Morning Consult, Sen. Warren slammed the secret court system as an assault on democracy and called out the threats of the NAFTA-like investor-state provisions. “It allows companies to challenge foreign laws they don’t like and potentially win millions or even billions of dollars from taxpayers,” she said.
Warren gave a prime example of how ISDS could also be used to blackmail governments into letting Big Polluters get away with poisoning people. In a BuzzFeed report, Warren described a case that “really jumped out in front and put the human face on what this obscure clause can actually do”: A court in El Salvador found that a factory had poisoned a village with lead, failing for years to take government-ordered steps to prevent the pollution. But by threatening to take the matter to this global super court, lawyers for the company helped it avoid a criminal conviction and the responsibility for cleaning up the community and providing needed medical care.
Warren said of the case, “The company that damaged so many people just gets to slip away. This is a reminder how the game is rigged.”
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich concurred in an article on Moyers & Company, pointing out that trade deals like TPP have no benefit to anyone but the “One Percent.”
While Americans are absorbed in the 2016 presidential race, Congress is plotting to shove through TPP in the lame duck session after the elections. The reason for this timing is no secret. It’s the last chance to get TPP passed by lawmakers who can’t be held accountable to voters after Election Day.
It is imperative to note that the TPP was written by and for big corporations behind closed doors and has almost nothing to do with free trade. It’s true purpose is to give Big Polluters, Big Pharma, Too-Big-To-Fail bankers, and the entertainment industry, a way to disable the consumer-friendly regulations that they have been unable to eliminate through the democratic legislative process.
Corporations are closer than ever to achieving their goal of global economic and legal control with an infestation of trade deals that include, TPP, TIPP, CETA, TiSA, and dozens of other secret agreements currently in the works. What they have in commons is that they all give corporations sovereignty and the power to overturn local laws via the secret courts of investor-state disputes.
If democracy is going to survive on this planet, multi-national trade deals that give corporations an all-powerful secret court system must never be allowed to come into existence.
For more on how to stop the TPP corporate power-grab visit, http://stopthetpp.org/
*** Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit”
This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destinies are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit is available now on Amazon.com.