Thursday, 12 November 2015

TPP "Worse than we thought"

The following letter was published in the Hamilton Spectator on October 15, 2015, before the Canada Federal Elections on October 19th and before the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was revealed to the public.

Of the many imporant issues being dabated on the election capaign trail,  the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trumps them all.

If the benefits of the TPP are so great for all of the twelve signing nations, why is it being negotiated in total secrecy behind closed doors? Do the citizens of all the nations not have the right to know what is being negotiated and compromised? Where is the openness and transparency? 

The TPP is a clear indication that the world is being ruled by corporate interests. There will be no democratic sovereign nations.  This trade agreement is not being negotiated by representatives of our democratically elected governments but by corporate lackeys for the benefit of corporations, their executives and beneficiaries.

The TPP opens the global market place for even more wanton consumerism and higher profits. The TPP gives foreign transnational corporations the right to plunder our resources, destroy the environment and enslave the population all for profit. The TPP is undemocratic, gives total power to transnational corporations over local governments and legislation and is an economic/resource/environmental race to the bottom.

Act of Climate Denial

Major climate action groups, including and the Sierra Club, were quick to point out that the text was notable as much for what it didn’t say as what for what it did. “The TPP is an act of climate denial,” said 350 policy director Jason Kowalski on Thursday. “While the text is full of handouts to the fossil fuel industry, it doesn’t mention the words climate change once.”

What it does do, however, is give “fossil fuel companies the extraordinary ability to sue local governments that try and keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Kowalski continued. “If a province puts a moratorium on fracking, corporations can sue; if a community tries to stop a coal mine, corporations can overrule them. In short, these rules undermine countries’ ability to do what scientists say is the single most important thing we can do to combat the climate crisis: keep fossil fuels in the ground.” [3]

Economic War declared against China

One noticeable analysis that is missing in all of the discussion is what could arguably be the must important intent behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that is the intentional lock out of China from the TPP negotiations.

TPP is the worst thing the Harper government did for Canada
And just this week, Jim Balsillie (former CEO of the company behind BlackBerry) said that the TPP is the “worst thing the Harper government ever did for Canada”. [5]

From the Council of Canadians

The TPP is priority one for new Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland. And right now she is welcoming “suggestions and ideas from all Canadians” on the massive deal. So we’re mobilizing the Council of Canadians community to share our concerns!

Here’s what you can ask Prime Minister Trudeau and Trade Minister Freeland to do:
  1. Ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to conduct a comprehensive and independent analysis of the TPP text. Among other things, the analysis must assess the deal’s impact on human rights, health, employment, environment and democracy.
  2. Hold public hearings in each province and territory across Canada as well as separate and meaningful consultation with First Nations and Indigenous communities. No agreement can be ratified without full consent.
  3. Protect any progress made in Paris at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS) in the TPP. Furthermore, ISDS must be excised from the TPP.

Further reading:

[1] Now that we can see the TPP text, we know why it's been secret, Pete Dolack, Systemic Disorder

[2] TPP ignores "global warming" and allows "murder" of labor union organizers, Eric Zuesse, Global Research 

[3] TPP 'Worse than we thought' - A total corporate power grab nightmare, Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, Global Research 

[4] Secret TPP text unveiled: It's worse than we thought, Public Citizen, Global Research

[5] Sign the petition - Tell Prime Minister Harper to reject the TPP - Sum of

[6] Send a letter to the new Prime Minister now - Council of Canadians

Hamilton 350 Blog

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