By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – The government’s own assessment of the toxic Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) shows that the controversial trade deal will produce negligible economic benefits while damaging most Americans’ jobs and wages. The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) report (pdf), issued Wednesday, shows that the TPP “would likely have only a small positive effect on U.S. growth,” Reuters reported. “This may be the most damning government report ever submitted for a trade agreement.” Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers
By Eleanor for Art Killing Apathy – Today, Flush the TPP organized a rally and street theater condemning the United States International Trade Commission’s (USITC) report on the TPP. Just as the USITC reported with NAFTA and the Free Trade Agreement with Korea, their analysis of what TPP will do to and for our country is grossly off point. To counter their continued corporatized findings, activists acted out an example of how the TPP will affect climate change and environmental legislation.
By Rob Urie for Counter Punch – With the release of leaked documents from the TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) ‘trade’ deal Greenpeace framed its conclusions more diplomatically than I will: the actions of the U.S. political leadership undertaken at the behest of American corporate ‘leaders’ and their masters in the capitalist class make it among the most profoundly destructive forces in human history. At a time when environmental milestones pointing to irreversible global warming are being reached on a daily basis…
By Paola Masman for Coalition for A Prosperous America – President Barack Obama penned a Washington Post op-ed yesterday outlining a flimsy case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The TPP is currently on life support due to a voter revolt against trade and global governance deals. Presidents Clinton and Bush also pushed similar trade and global governance agreements with similar arguments. We now have trade deals with 20 countries, we have data, and we don’t have to rely only on projections. The data are not kind to Obama’s optimistic arguments.
By Ned Resnikoff for IBT – President Barack Obama last week renewed his push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, suggesting that it will be easier to pass the deal after the elections are over. The idea is that lawmakers will then be more insulated from political influence. Yet Obama has his own potential incentives to push for the TPP: His presidential foundation has been relying on support from industries that could profit from the agreement.
By Kevin for IT Security – The United States dominates the world not because of the strength of its economy but because the US Dollar is the world’s reserve currency, used in almost all major international transactions. This position is primarily maintained by the world’s practice of buying and selling oil in dollars. It means that the US economy doesn’t have to earn its wealth, it can simply print more money knowing the almost every other country in the world will buy those dollars so that they in turn can buy oil.
By Flush the TPP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international agreement that was negotiated in secret by the Obama administration with the help of hundreds of corporate lawyers from 2009 to 2015. It was signed by the twelve member countries (Australia, Brunei,Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, Vietnam) on February 4, 2016. It must be ratified by the member countries within two years of signing. Currently, Congress does not have the votes to pass TPP legislation. But, the TPP is a high priority for the Obama administration. White House staff and representatives of Big Business, such as the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers, are lobbying members of Congress heavily.
By Dave Johnson for Campaign For America’s Future – Hillary Clinton has a credibility problem when it comes to our country’s trade policies and the resulting enormous, humongous trade deficits that measure job loss – especially with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But Clinton has a chance to shore up her credibility with Democratic voters on this issue. It comes as President Obama, Wall Street and the multinational corporations are preparing to grease the skids for pushing the TPP through Congress in the post-election “lame duck” session.
By Karen Hansen-Kuhn for IATP – While civil society groups around the world raise a variety of concerns about the substance of free trade agreements, for the most part their criticisms begin with the lack of transparency. Instead of a robust public debate on the merits of the issues under negotiation, civil society groups are forced to rely on bits of leaked text or the evidence of past trade agreements to guess at what might be under negotiation. In the U.S., members of Trade Advisory Committees (which are heavily dominated by corporate advisors) have greater access, but are sworn to secrecy.
By Ben Walsh for The Huffington Post – The World Trade Organization is giving some environmentalists a reason to say “I told you so.” On Wednesday, the WTO, the international body that enforces trade law, said that India’s solar power subsidy violated trade rules. The program — which has helped India’s solar industry get off the ground and become one of the fastest growing in the world — required new projects be built with parts made in India. Despite India’s argument that the local product requirement was crucial to India’s meeting its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, the WTO ruled that requirement unfairly discriminated against U.S. solar manufacturers.
By Richard (RJ) Eskow for The Huffington Post – A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people. Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don’t benefit nearly as much from these private courts as the extremely rich and powerful do. Other interested parties – whether they’re governments, children, working people, or the planet itself – are unable to benefit from these private courts at all.
By Karel Van Wolferen for The Japan Times – Misnomers that hide what the strong and rich control — and aspire to control — help promote our world’s numerous political ills. “Spreading democracy” in the Middle East and Africa has been used to excuse much slaughter, ruin and higher risks of wider war for purposes not remotely connected with democracy. The designation “trade” used by politicians and the media when talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact and the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPIP) agreement is another perfect example of a misnomer thanks to which a new shadow will be cast over the generally more fortunate parts of the world.