March 25, 2015
WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).
The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”
Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.
The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits”. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations.
The TPP negotiations have been ongoing in secrecy for five years and are now in their final stages. In the United States the Obama administration plans to “fast-track” the treaty through Congress without the ability of elected officials to discuss or vote on individual measures. This has met growing opposition as a result of increased public scrutiny following WikiLeaks’ earlier releases of documents from the negotiations.
The TPP is set to be the forerunner to an equally secret agreement between the US and EU, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).
Negotiations for the TTIP were initiated by the Obama administration in January 2013. Combined, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. The third treaty of the same kind, also negotiated in secrecy is TISA, on trade in services, including the financial and health sectors. It covers 50 countries, including the US and all EU countries. WikiLeaks released the secret draft text of the TISA’s financial annex in June 2014.
All these agreements on so-called “free trade” are negotiated outside the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) framework. Conspicuously absent from the countries involved in these agreements are the BRICs countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Read the Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment chapter
from the archives:
Goodbye Privacy, Hello Censorship If Secret #TISA Pact Is Approved by Pete Dolack
Chris Hedges: Time To Dismantle Industrialized Civilization + Guy McPherson, Derrick Jensen and Richard Manning at the Earth at Risk Conference 2014 + #TPP: The Dirtiest Deal
Will the Secretive TPP Trade Deal be Fast-Tracked Through Congress?
WikiLeaks Releases the Secret Draft Text for the Entire #TPP Environment Chapter + Kevin Zeese: President Obama’s Actually Worse on Environment and Trade than President George W. Bush Was
WikiLeaks’ Second Release of Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Documents (#TPP)
WikiLeaks Leaks Controversial Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Documents + Max Keiser: US/EU Deal Makes Genocide Legitimate Business Model #TPP #TTIP
WikiLeaks exposes White House misinformation on TPP investment chapter
Congress: Don’t betray democracy! No “Fast Track” for the TPP!
Trans-Pacific Partnership says if a corporation claims its true, it must be true
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It is unbelievable how many American people haven’t a clue or have even heard of the TPP and the Liar-In-Chief’s zealousness for trying to get Fast Track authorization. And when you call or write your political representatives, their clerks give you the runaround on the position the Senator or Congressperson takes.
I certainly agree with Lo, that your “first line says it all.” David. Actually, you summed the current situation very well in both posts, and Lo added more facts for the record as well. In fact, Lo hit the very center of the bulls eye about the Democrats passing those nefarious trade deals.
On the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a caption on RT television said that Danish and Australian governments were interested in joining the bank. I forgot the actual caption.
Thank you both for being caring people. The world has a shortage of concerned beings.
I don’t think there is a shortage of caring people, most people would care if indeed there were informed. This is especially true with the TPP/TTIP, etc. as these trade agreements are being written by corporations in secret.
You’re welcome, Lo. On that I disagree. The information is out there in so many formats that one can easily be informed on the issues at hand, especially with the internet, but even those not using computers, there are so many books, magazines, newsletters, and television and radio programming exposing what you and David have commented on.
We are in our 14th year of the Bush/Obama Criminal Regime and most Americans rotate between the R’s & the D’s wondering (if at all) why everything is getting worse. The assault on unions, public schools, women, gays, the environment, etc. etc. …. you know the score.
I do agree with you that the info is available. It’s on this blog for one. But most people still are unaware of what’s really going on on a number of issues. Just had a long conversation with my sister about some of these issues. No one from my family reads my blog! Oh, well.
What I do is talk to people I meet in person about issues of the day. I do think they care, but are not aware. They are still relying on mainstream/corporate media and well, you know that is all lying by omission.
Lo, you provide an invaluable public service with this blog. I’m almost shocked that your own family members don’t read your blog, but when I say “almost,” i have similar issues with my family as well, who are mostly Republican.
I do what you do: Talk to people I meet in person (or even strangers on the net) about the issues of the day. It certainly helps. They really are starved for information, but on the other hand, many of them believe the right-wing info they see, read, or hear on mainstream/corporate media and think I’m an odd-ball of sorts.
Thanks, Frank, I appreciate the support. My sister is a Democrat, an Obama supporter and has difficulty with the info I give her that is contrary to her “beliefs”. My brother is a Republican and is embarrassed having a Socialist for a sister. I get along with both very well as long as we don’t talk politics.
I’ve learned over the years how to talk to just about anyone on a number of issues. I live in a more progressive town, but still run into people who are on the “right”. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, but other times we can come to an agreement although we may have different reasons for the agreement. Does that make sense? I actually went to the countywide caucus and voted for Ron Paul because I agreed with his stance on many issues (not economic). I’m with Ralph Nader on bridging the right and left together to take back our country from the corporations.
Good that you feel that you can talk to people you meet in person, too. These important issues are too serious not to talk to others about. I really can’t stay quiet.
Nice exchange, very informative ~ thanks Frank & Lo. Your work is wonderful Lo, always relevant and insightful.
Yes, Nader gets a big affirmative…”left/right & centre/er”…plus periphery? It is often those edges, the liminal borders, psychological thresholds and margins where the really interesting stuff happens.
As Avakian & West affirmed in NY ~ we need poetry and art, they are central, at the core & so essential ….because true religion is profoundly revolutionary and we must constantly feed the soul of humanity not just to thrive, but to evolve….and celebrate the inspired expression of that r/evolutionary process through community, as the living example of that enduring creative achievement.
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! ! ! !
This is nothing short of world dictatorship by a fascistic oligopolistic cult of criminal financiers & their cronies. If it was a James Bond movie plot, 007 would end up busting their sinister corn-syrup backsides.
Sheer tyranny by corporate default.
It is totally illegal and in breach of every conceivable moral stricture relating to representative governance and public sovereignty, not to mention wise and prudent constitutional law.
When people were talking about a Fourth Reich some years ago, I figured it was hyperbolic ~ but not any more……”inverted totalitarian” pseudo government is now our sworn enemy. The only solution is to divest and dismantle the ecocidal market.
This really is WW3+++ or as they (should) say ‘how come when you need a miracle, you wait forever and then three show up like elephants head to tail?’
Shout it from the rooftops folks ~ enough is enough!! Call the monsters to account, vote them into oblivion. Call the bluff. McLuhan’s corporate monster has now metastasized into the sick-slick lethal medium of total control. It’s time to dispel that venal, fraudulent message, the old tired lie that “we” know best ~ always listen to the “experts.”
PR sucks. Immunity is strength! No toxic medium ~ no diseased message.
Only one wholesome truth! Sovereignty of the spiritual will….the necessary ecology of being. Or, as John McMurtry styles it: life-value ~ knowledge-action.
Your first line says it all, David. This is one-world government rule by corporations (soft Fascism is what Cornel West calls it; Inverted Totalitarianism like Sheldon Wolin calls it). The fact that this is being done in secret (we know what we know only through leaks, thanks to WikiLeaks) should tell us, the citizens of all these countries that this is not in our best interest.
Absolutely Lo. There’s nowhere to go, history has caught up with us, as this one trick mechanical pony has been trotting along now since its first outing, when was it ~ NAFTA Chapter 11 wasn’t it, in 1994 that established this criminal precedent?
That was a living disaster, but to go global is a planetary coup-in-rapid-motion now.
We have to fight for our independent lives, really organize to dispel this hallucination of control ~ otherwise the corporate juggernaut will crush all dissent. The whole world will turn into Yemen.
I think the dollar hegemony needs to be broken. Perhaps the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will precipitate that needed adjustment.
Interestingly, both NAFTA and TPP/TTIP, etc. were/are under Democratic Party presidents.
Hope you are right about the Asian Bank.