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.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Mint Press News and Popular Resistance – WASHINGTON — (Opinion) There has been a remarkable turn of events recently when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its European equivalent, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. They are faltering and moving in a downward spiral, if the movement keeps doing its job this will continue for the duration of the Obama presidency. The people-powered movement against trade, the largest anti-corporate trade movement in history, has built its power over the last five years.
By Brett Kelman, Anna Rumer and Rosalie Murphy for The Desert Sun – Protests have been planned over Obama’s aggressive deportation policy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and the dreadful human rights records of some of the visiting nations, according to protest organizers, who estimated how many people will show up. The largest confirmed demonstrations will oppose the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments, but authoritarian leaders from other nations will likely be met with opposition also. Protester groups said they will stand united against the oppression and corruption that is rampant throughout the governments of Southeast Asia.
By David Swanson for American Herald Tribune – Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and others who had seen all or part of the text of theTrans-Pacific Partnership, used to say that just making it public would stop it dead. But that depends on a number of factors, I think. The TPP has now been made public. Twelve nations have just gone ahead and signed it. And their hope is to see their governments ratify it during the next two years. The destruction wreaked by NAFTA can be seen in thousands of hollowed out towns across the United States, if you trust the bridges to get you there and are willing to risk drinking the water.
By Nina Macapinlac and Matt Smith for Philippine Solidarity. New Jersey – To announce its official launch, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee condemns to the utmost extent today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in New Zealand. As an anti-imperialist coalition of individuals and organizations, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee opposes the TPP as a one-sided “free trade” agreement that will only benefit the interests of the global elite class at the expense of the poor and working class peoples of the world, especially in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. Incidentally, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee also commemorates today as the 117th anniversary of the Philippine American War as part of BAYAN USA’s Philippine Solidarity Week.
By Jessica Desvarieux for The Real News – Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. The TPP is now one step closer to becoming a reality. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the world’s biggest and most controversial multinational trade deals, was signed by twelve nations, including the United States. Protests took place around the world with many people worried about its impact on workers, the environment, and the legal power it gives to corporations to circumvent federal regulation through trade tribunals. Here’s what the United States trade representative Michael Froman had to say about it.