TPP: NAFTA on Steroids

Stephen Lendman

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal from hell. It’s a stealth corporate coup d’etat.

It’s a giveaway to banksters. It’s a global neoliberal ripoff. It’s a business empowering Trojan horse. It’s a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls it “a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.”

More on TPP below. New York Times editors support it. Two decades ago, they endorsed NAFTA.

On January 1, 1994, its destructive life began. It’s anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer and anti-democratic.

Corporate giants love it. Why not? They wrote it. Hundreds of pages of one-size-fits-all rules benefit them.

They override domestic laws. A race to the bottom followed. NAFTA was a disastrous experiment. In November 1993, New York editors headlined “The ‘Great Debate’ Over NAFTA,” saying:

“The laboriously constructed agreement to phase out trade barriers among the US, Mexico and Canada, which this page has strongly supported, is likely to have a positive, though small, impact on US living standards and provide a modest boost to the Mexican economy.”

“Some American jobs would be lost to cheaper Mexican labor, other jobs would be gained because American exports would increase as Mexico’s high tariffs gradually disappeared.”

“Economics aside, Nafta’s defeat would suggest that the US had abandoned its historical commitment to free trade and would thus discourage other Latin and South American countries thathave moved toward more market-oriented economies in the expectation of freer world trade.”

So-called “free trade” is one-sided. It isn’t fair. NAFTA proponents promised tens of thousands of newly created US jobs.

Ordinary famers would export their way to wealth. Mexican living standards would rise. Economic opportunities would reduce regional immigration to America.

NAFTA’s promises never materialized. Reality proved polar opposite hype. A decade later, about a million US jobs were lost.

America’s Mexican trade deficit alone cost around 700,000 jobs by 2010.

Official government data show nearly five million US manufacturing disappeared since 1994.

NAFTA alone wasn’t responsible. It reflected broken promises, lost futures, and other trade deals from hell to follow. TPP stands out. It’s NAFTA on steroids.

Since 2008, multiple negotiating rounds were held. They continue secretly. Twelve nations are involved.

They include America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Others are invited to join.

At issue is agreeing on unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP).

It’s about eliminating fundamental freedoms. It’s circumventing sovereign independent rights. Corporate power brokers want unchallenged control.

They want global rules and standards rewritten. They want supranational powers. They want them overriding national sovereignty. They want investor rights prioritized over public ones.

They already rule the world. Imagine giving them more power. Imagine no way to stop them.

Imagine a duplicitous president. Obama’s in lockstep with their wish list. He intends giving them everything they want.

Public Citizen is independent. It’s our voice. Its work entails “ensur(ing) that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.”

Its Global Trade Watch (GTW) monitors TPP developments. It calls it “a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America. (It’s) a dream of the 1%.” It will:

  • “offshore millions of American jobs,
  • free the banksters from oversight,
  • ban Buy America policies needed to create green (and many other) jobs (as well as) rebuild out economy,
  • decrease access to medicine,
  • flood the US with unsafe food and products,
  • and empower corporations to attack our environment and health safeguards.”

Hyped benefits are fake. Reality is polar opposite what corporate shysters claim. Everything accruing from TPP benefits them. It does so by undermining what matters most to ordinary people.

Read the full article on The People’s Voice.

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