By Stan Sorscher for The Huffington Post – I’m in favor of trade. I don’t know anyone opposed to trade. A better question is, “How should we manage globalization?” We’ve lost trust in our approach to globalization. The Brexit vote in Europe was a vote of no confidence. Millions of voters in our presidential campaigns send a similar message. Globalization is not working for us.
By Dean Baker for Truthout – The proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are planning to do a full court press in the lame duck session of Congress following the election. We will be bombarded with speeches and columns from President Obama and other illustrious figures telling us how it is important to approve the TPP for a variety of reasons. We can be certain that one of the reasons will be the inherent virtues of free trade. They will not be telling the truth.
By Lauren McCauley for CommonDreams. Dealing what campaigners say is the final “death blow” to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations. Canada’s International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland reportedly walked out of talks with the Wallonia delegation, which had ruled to maintain their veto against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after the parties reached a stalemate over the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. “We made new significant progress, especially on the agriculture issues, but difficulties remain, specifically on the symbolic issue of arbitration, which is politically extremely important,” Wallonia president Paul Magnette told the regional parliament. ISDS permits companies to sue governments over perceived loss of profits due to regulations or other laws. Magnette had told reporters Thursday that the delegation had particular concerns over “matters affecting U.S. companies in Canada which will benefit from the system.”
By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh for The Nation – If you needed one more reason to take sides in the last great fight of the Obama years, that of the corporate giveaway package known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), here it is. Last week, the tribunal at the center of the proposed TPP ruled against a global mining firm that sued El Salvador, but only after seven years of deliberations and over $12 million spent by the government of El Salvador.
By Edmund Kozak for PoliZette – Paul Ryan said Friday there would be no lame duck attempt to foist the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the American people. “We’re not going to bring this up in [the] lame-duck [session],” Ryan said Friday morning during an appearance on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “I can say that safely because even if we wanted to … we don’t have the votes,” Ryan added. Ryan stressed that he and the House GOP do not want to resurrect the TPP in its current form.
By Katharine Murphy for The Guardian – The legal counsel to tobacco giant Philip Morris has told a parliamentary committee that people have responded hysterically to a landmark legal case challenging Australia’s plain packaging laws. Philip Morris, in the first investor-state dispute ever brought against Australia, used a 1993 investment agreement between Australia and Hong Kong to challenge the then Labor government’s plain packaging laws.
By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Nation of Change – Thousands of people are resisting the TPP as it would severely limit the self-determination of peoples around the world in the service of corporate interests. The deal would entrench the enforcement of profit guarantees for investors at the expense of our lives and the well-being of our Earth. The TPP is a ticking time-bomb and the clock is set for its approval by Congress during their “Lame Duck” session after the November elections.
By Rich Penney for Telesur. Recently, President Obama promised to push the Trans Pacific Partnershiptoward ratification before leaving office next January. This is something that should concern anyone who possesses even the mildest progressive sentiments as the TPP is one of the most anti-democratic documents ever written. Anyone who has followed my work knows that I’m a vocal advocate of many liberal causes. Feminism,environmentalism, worker’s rights: I support each of these things. I’ve also been a vocal advocate of the position that radicals like myself should endeavour to be flexible and work side by side with more moderate liberals. However, there are some tendencies among moderate liberals that I find problematic, and one of them is a failure – an almost outright refusal – to question the economic and philosophical foundations of Empire.
By Jeff Faux for The Globalist – During the 1993 U.S. congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, a Democratic Congressman with a solid pro-labor voting record asked me why I thought NAFTA would be bad for working people. After I had given my answer, he responded: “Well, you may be right about the economics.” “But we have a 2000-mile border with Mexico. The President told me we need NAFTA to make it secure.”
By Erin Calhoun for The Strand – On September 16, 2016, the Canadian Communications workers of America (CWA) held “Day of Action Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).” To protest the TPP, the CWA organized an academic forum where representatives from Doctors Without Borders, Canadian Environmental Law Association, and Osgoode Hall law professor Gus Van Harten, all discussed how the TPP threatens national sovereignty, health, and the environment.
By Staff of Perth Now – WITH public hearings held in Perth by the senate inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, protests opposing the deal have rallied on. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, UnionsWA and The Greens voiced their opposition on Wednesday outside state parliament. WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said negotiations for the agreement had been shrouded in secrecy, with the only transparency related to the deal revealed in chapters leaked on the WikiLeaks website.
By Patrick Woodall for Food & Water Watch – The White House, the big business lobby and country club Republicans are making a final push to pass the politically toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership — after the election. That’s right, the controversial trade deal is so unpopular, so reviled even by both presidential candidates, that even its biggest fans realize Congress cannot possibly take it up before the election, lest voters exact retribution at the polling booths.
By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – Dean Baker (FAIR.org, 9/23/16) was rightly skeptical of a New York Times article (“Who Hates Free Trade Treaties? Surprisingly, Not Voters,” 9/21/16) reporting that polling showed support for trade agreements, noting that it used the concepts of “trade,” “free trade” and “trade agreements” interchangeably. “As everyone knows, except apparently the people who work for the New York Times, these are not the same thing,” Baker pointed out.
By Ben Lilliston for IATP – Free trade deals, and in particular the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have taken a beating this election season. Most of the noise on trade from Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has focused on the loss of jobs linked to the offshoring. Much less attention has been paid to the serious impact the TPP and past trade agreements will have on our ability to respond to climate change.