January 2, 2015

Okay, the holidays are over and it's back to our depressing work as citizens. We need to stop this trade agreement:

Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida told Acronym TV’s Dennis Trainor that the United States did not go to war in Syria in September 2013 because the American public “rose up”. He says the same response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can prevent an unwise, democracy-killing trade bill from passing the Congress into law.

Although Mr. Grayson didn’t mention his theory of the TPP beyond, agreeably, the further concentration of corporate power at the expense of the people and their right to democratic actions in nations signing on to the trade deal, perhaps the real motivation behind TPP – plus the equally gigantic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – is corporate solidification of legal rules in their favor, before the people of the world can gather enough strength in unity to stop the trade deals. The reason both TPP and TTIP are so, so secretive is precisely to prevent the people of the world from becoming fully aware and rising in opposition – strongly enough for the people and democracy to prevail.

The feature of TPP which has outraged the most men and women, one of the few provisions which has become known – through “leaks” by Wikileaks and other avenues, is given the legal term “Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement”. This is how every dispute will become resolved among the signatory nations and their people. The angering aspect is that corporate tribunals – not traditional, neutral, government legal institutions – are given the power to make all the legal determinations.

A fellow in the following video gives an example of how this controversial feature of the TPP works. The people of Germany have decided to phase out nuclear power in their country, and a corporation whose business is nuclear energy has sued the German government for over $2 billion dollars for “future lost profits”. He notes there are 500 similar cases in litigation now. If Vietnam signs on to TPP, the trade bill passes, and down the road the people of Vietnam decide to raise their national minimum wage, corporations will be able to sue the Vietnamese government for “lost profits” as a result of wage increases.

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