a Secret Obama Trade Agreement That Will Trump National
▪ Social insurance benefit
cuts (the “Grand Bargain”)
This continues our focus on Obama’s TPP.
What’s wrong with these “trade” agreements?
There are several problems with these “trade” agreements — one, the extreme secrecy, will be discussed in the video below — but I’ll detail just two others here.
First, they’re not trade agreements at all, but “unrestricted capital flow” agreements — “capital is king” agreements. Unrestricted trade is just a by-product, a secondary effect. From an earlier piece:
That’s the first thing that’s wrong with these agreements — they enable totally unrestricted capital flow, and anything that gets in the way of capital is cleared away. Environmental concerns? Doesn’t trump profit. Wage concerns? Doesn’t trump profit. Prosecution for murder of labor leaders in Colombia? Sorry; gotta make a “free-trade” buck.
Another by-product of unrestricted capital flow, by the way, is boom-and-bust economies. When hot banking money flowed like wine into places like Spain, the economy bloomed, wages rose, prices rose — and a giant bubble was created. When the crash occurred, all that (German, French, U.S., etc.) investment money raced out like water from a broken cup, and the Spanish economy crashed. Prices fell through the floor, as did wages, and the government went from a surplus to a deficit.
None of the crashed economies have recovered, since the E.U. kings and queens (EU central bank and the bankers who control it) are insisting all through Europe that every bond-holding investor be made whole before anything else is done.
“Trade” agreement courts trump national sovereignty
The second problem with these “trade” agreements is that they trump national sovereignty. This is very clever and literally true. I’ve written about this before, as have others, but here it is in a nutshell. From a different earlier piece, here’s how it works with NAFTA and the NAFTA court (slightly modified):
There are a number of other reasons to oppose these agreements; for example, they seem more interested in outlawing governmental regulations than in enabling trade. And as you’ll hear below, the “negotiators” are almost always feathering their nests for after they leave government and these treaties are in effect.
But let’s leave it at this for the moment. If you remember only two things about TPP-style “trade” agreements, remember this. They (a) make capital the king of the world, and (b) allow rule-by-the-rich to trump national sovereignty for any nation that signs on.
A primer on TPP from Dave Johnson and Stuart Zechman
Dave Johnson, of Campaign for America’s Future and Seeing the Forest, is one of our best writers on this subject. (For example, this piece on TPP and Deregulation is a must-read). Here he is in a short conversation with Stuart Zechman from a recent Virtually Speaking Sundays show.
The whole show is typically an hour, and this one is fascinating (click to hear it all). The first half dealt with how Apple uses corp-written tax policies to pay almost no taxes on its billions in profit. The clip below is the heart of their second-half discussion of TPP.
Both contributors add great ideas. Johnson speaks first. Listen:
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Did you catch the “negotiators feathering their nest” part (1:06)? Clinton’s NAFTA “trade negotiator” Carla Hills loaded the NAFTA court with corp-enabling power, then quit and went to work representing corps … who wanted to take advantage of NAFTA court decisions. Ms. Hills now lives on Thank-You Street.
I’ll have much more on TPP — for example, I’ll take a closer look at the leaked parts of the treaty so far. Remember, as Johnson and Zechman say, it’s still under negotiation, it’s so secret that Congress can’t see it, it will be “fast-tracked” when it’s ready, and every corp who counts has a seat at the table right now.
To stop corp-rule, which is a proxy for international billionaire rule, we have to stop Obama’s push for TPP. Obama, of course, has other plans. After all, presidential libraries don’t fund themselves. But that’s his lookout; ours is the health of the actual country. Too bad we’re not on the same side on this.
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