I will be taking next week to look at public justice issues.
I want to shout out again-----we know that TPP is illegal and unconstitutional. What Americans can do as we fight this policy and reverse the policies already installed---
DO NOT ALLOW THESE GLOBAL POLS TO INSTALL A GLOBAL CORPORATE ECONOMY IN OUR CITIES.
Remember, these trade agreements pertain to how global corporations interact here in the US and overseas. If American cities keep their economies local and domestic----THERE WILL BE NO GLOBAL RULES THAT KICK IN----
This includes having foreign global corporations coming to the US to operate. This is not how we need to create jobs. We have our citizens in all of our communities all ready to become small business owners to rebuild their communities all building a strong, local, domestic economy that will be stable and healthy
AND IT WILL MAINTAIN OUR US CONSTITUTION, RULE OF LAW, EQUAL PROTECTION, AND DEVELOPED WORLD STANDARD OF LIFE.
Global trade policies do not effect an economy built on local, domestic businesses aimed at US citizens.
Below you see what we knew from 2010-----you can see Bush-era drug access in Medicare----Medicare Part D disappearing in TPP as no public subsidy can take from corporate profits. So----add that with the end of MediGap insurance plans in 2020----and you NO LONGER HAVE MEDICARE.
This one policy seeks to dismantled all public policy and US Constitutional law----environmental laws in the US will be ignored to allow the US to look like China in its level of devastation.
TAFTA & TPP...Corporate Power Tools of the 1%
Published on Jul 12, 2013Lori Wallach, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, joins Thom Hartmann.
TPP exposed — Terms harmful to most Americans, contrary to Obama’s myth-based sales pitch
“TPP would offshore more American jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in foreign tribunals,” says trade expert.
Posted by fw, November 7, 2015
“‘Apparently, the TPP’s proponents resorted to such extreme secrecy during negotiations because the text shows TPP would offshore more American jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in foreign tribunals,’ said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. ‘When the administration says it used the TPP to renegotiate NAFTA, few expected that meant doubling down on the worst job-killing, wage-suppressing NAFTA terms, expanding limits on food safety and rolling back past reforms on environmental standards and access to affordable drugs.…Now that Congress and the public can scrutinize the actual text, the reality that it fails to meet Congress’ demands and its terms would be harmful to most Americans will replace the administration’s myth-based sales job for TPP, further dimming the TPP’s prospects in Congress.’” --Lori Wallach
Secret TPP Text Unveiled: It’s Worse Than We Thought, With Limits on Food Safety and Controversial Investor-State System Expanded, Rollback of Bush-Era Medicine Access and Environmental Terms
by Public Citizen, November 5, 2015
Pact’s Fate in Congress Uncertain at Best; Long-Awaited Text Reveals Gaps Between Administration Claims and Actual TPP Terms On Key Congressional, Public Concerns
WASHINGTON – Today’s long-awaited release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S wages while further expanding the scope of the controversial investor-state system and rolling back improvements on access to affordable medicines and environmental standards that congressional Democrats forced on the George W. Bush administration in 2007.
“Apparently, the TPP’s proponents resorted to such extreme secrecy during negotiations because the text shows TPP would offshore more American jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in foreign tribunals,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “When the administration says it used the TPP to renegotiate NAFTA, few expected that meant doubling down on the worst job-killing, wage-suppressing NAFTA terms, expanding limits on food safety and rolling back past reforms on environmental standards and access to affordable drugs.”
On some key issues, the text reveals provisions that will cost TPP support from members of Congress who supported the narrow passage of Fast Track trade authority this summer, and affirm for the many members of Congress who backed past trade deals but opposed Fast Track that the TPP must be stopped.
“Many in Congress said they would support the TPP only if, at a minimum, it included past reforms made to trade pact intellectual property rules affecting access to affordable medicines. But the TPP rolls back that past progress by requiring new marketing exclusivities and patent term extensions, and provides pharmaceutical firms with new monopoly rights for biotech drugs, including many new and forthcoming cancer treatments,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “The terms in this final TPP text will contribute to preventable suffering and death abroad, and may constrain the reforms that Congress can consider to reduce Americans’ medicine prices at home.”
The text also confirms that demands made by Congress and key constituencies were not fulfilled.
“From leaks, we knew quite a bit about the agreement, but in chapter after chapter the final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest,” said Wallach.
Today’s text release confirms concerns about TPP that were based on earlier leaks and reveals ways in which the TPP rolls back past public interest reforms to the U.S. trade model and expands anti-public-interest provisions demanded by the hundreds of official U.S. corporate trade advisers:
Worse anti-public-interest provisions relative to past U.S. trade pacts
- The TPP Intellectual Property Chapter would roll back the “May 2007” reforms for access to medicines.
- The TPP Environment Chapter would roll back the “May 2007” reforms by eliminating most of the seven Multilateral Environmental Agreements that past pacts have enforced.
- The TPP Investment Chapter would expand the scope of policies that can be challenged and the basis for such challenges, including for the first time ever allowing ISDS enforcement of World Trade Organization intellectual property terms and new challenges to financial regulations.
- With Japanese, Australian and other firms newly empowered to launch ISDS attacks against the United States, the TPP would double U.S. ISDS exposure with more than 9,200 additional subsidiaries operating here of corporation from TPP nations newly empowered to launch ISDS cases against the U.S. government. (About 9,500 U.S. subsidiaries have ISDS rights under ALL existing U.S. investor-state-enforced pacts.)
- The TPP E-Commerce Chapter would undermine consumer privacy protections for sensitive personal health, financial and other data when it crosses borders by exposing such policies to challenge as a violation of the TPP limits on regulation of data flows.
- TPP “Sanitary and Phytosanitary” chapter terms would impose new limits on imported foods safety relative to past pacts. This includes new challenges to U.S. border inspection systems that can be launched based on extremely subjective requirements that inspections must “limited to what is reasonable and necessary” as determine by a TPP tribunal. New language that replicates the industry demand for a so-called Rapid Response Mechanism that requires border inspectors to notify exporters for every food safety check that finds a problem and give the exporter the right to bring a challenge to that port inspection determination meaning new right to bring a trade challenge to individual border inspection decisions (including potentially laboratory or other testing) that second-guesses U.S. inspectors and creates a chilling effect that would deter rigorous oversight of imported foods.
- The TPP Investment Chapter would eliminate many of the risks and costs of relocating American jobs to low-wage countries, incentivizing more American job offshoring.
- The TPP procurement chapter would offshore our tax dollars to create jobs overseas instead of at home by giving firms operating in any TPP nation equal access to many U.S. government procurement contracts, rather than us continuing to give preference to local firms to build and maintain our public libraries, parks, post offices and universities.
- Contrary to Fast Track negotiating objectives, the TPP would grant foreign firm greater rights that domestic firms enjoy under U.S. law and in U.S. courts. One class of interests – foreign firms – could privately enforce this public treaty by skirting domestic laws and courts to challenge U.S. federal, state and local decisions and policies on grounds not available in U.S. law and do so before extrajudicial ISDS tribunals authorized to order payment of unlimited sums of taxpayer dollars.
- There are no new safeguards that limit ISDS tribunals’ discretion to issue ever-expanding interpretations of governments’ obligations to investors and order compensation on that basis. The text reveals the same “safeguard” Annexes and terms that were included in U.S. pacts since the 2005 Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that have failed to rein in ISDS tribunals. CAFTA tribunals have simply ignored the “safeguard” provisions that are replicated in the TPP and as with past pacts, in the TPP such tribunal conduct is not subject to appeal.
- The TPP would ban the use of capital controls and other macroprudential financial regulations used to prevent speculative bubbles and financial crises.
The TPP can take effect only if the U.S. Congress approve it given the rules about conditions for the TPP to go into effect. The TPP’s fate in Congress is uncertain at best given that since the trade authority vote, the small bloc of members of the U.S. House of Representatives who made the narrow margin of passage possible have expressed concerns that the text release shows were not addressed.
Ten U.S. presidential candidates have pushed anti-TPP messages in their campaigning, stoking U.S. voters’ ire about the pact.
An unprecedented number and wide array of organizations oppose any attempt to railroad the TPP through Congress by using the Fast Track process. Groups united on this extend well beyond labor unions and include consumer, Internet freedom, senior, health, food safety, environmental, human rights, faith, LGBTQ, student and civil rights organizations.
“Now that Congress and the public can scrutinize the actual text, the reality that it fails to meet Congress’ demands and its terms would be harmful to most Americans will replace the administration’s myth-based sales job for TPP, further dimming the TPP’s prospects in Congress,” Wallach said.
OH, THIS IS WHY MARYLAND IS PRIVATIZING ALL PUBLIC ASSETS TO GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
Remember I said Maryland was pretending citizens wanted to privatize the Post Office----we already know Baltimore is having its water, waste, public transportation, public health AND ALL THAT IS PUBLIC-----privatized to global corporations under Rawlings-Blake and O'Malley. Below you see what they knew from Clinton Administration-----
These treaties are being hard fought in Europe and so far it looks as if getting rid of neo-liberals is a winning sport. In the US------Americans do not even know about these trade deals------because all the national labor and justice organizations----and public universities that should be shouting and educating against all this----are captured.
Again, a city like Baltimore can simply refuse to allow global corporations to take its public services----public utilities et al. We are not bound by any of these treaties-----as long as global corporations do not take hold of a city's economy.
You can see why O'Malley, the Maryland Assembly pols, and Baltimore City Hall have worked hard to move the City of Baltimore into bankruptcy with the bond leveraging deals, by starving the city of revenue from corporate tax breaks and subsidies. They are creating the conditions to make sure these treaties below move our US public services into the hands of global corporations.
STOP ALLOWING GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS TO SIMPLY WRITE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT OF ALL PUBLIC POLICY-----GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL POLS.
Say goodbye to vital public services, like water, health, energy, if TTIP, CETA approved
Under CETA, all public services are subject to liberalization unless an explicit exception is made.No 1487 Posted by fw, October 22, 2015
“A new report, Public Services Under Attack, released today by an international group of NGOs and trade unions, sheds some light on the secretive collusion between big business and trade negotiators in the making of the EU’s international trade deals. It shows the aggressive agenda of services corporations with regards to TTIP and CETA, pushing for far-reaching market opening in areas such as health, cultural and postal services, and water, which would allow them to enter and dominate the markets. And it shows how those in charge of EU trade negotiations are rolling out the red carpet for the services industry, with both the consolidated CETA agreement published in September 2014, as well as drafts of TTIP chapters and internal negotiation documents that reflect the wishlists of corporate lobbyists.” —Corporate Europe Observatory
15 key findings of the report, summarized below, reveal: influence of corporate lobby groups in negotiations; systemic collusion between European Commission and business circles; governments making commitments they might not even be aware of; increasing limitation of governmental authority; locking in of present and future liberalizations and privatizations of public services; US opening up education market via TTIP; and more…
The article concludes on this ominous note:
What is at stake in trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA is our right to vital services, and more, it is about our ability to steer services of all kinds to the benefit of society at large. If left to their own course, trade negotiations will eventually make it impossible to implement decisions for the common good.
Scream when you’ve had enough.
To read the original article summarizing the report, click on the following linked title. Alternatively, below is a repost with links to the full report and executive summary.
Public services under attack through TTIP and CETA
by Corporate Europe Observatory, October 12, 2015
Access PDF of full report in English, and executive summary in English, French, and German.
Public services in the European Union (EU) are under threat from international trade negotiations that endanger governments’ ability to regulate and citizens’ rights to access basic services like water, health, and energy, for the sake of corporate profits. The EU’s CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) agreement with Canada, the ratification of which could begin in 2016, and the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) treaty under negotiation with the United States are the latest culmination in such efforts. In a worst case scenario, they could lock in public services into a commercialization from which they will not recover – no matter how damaging to welfare the results may be.
A new report released today by an international group of NGOs and trade unions (Public services under attack) sheds some light on the secretive collusion between big business and trade negotiators in the making of the EU’s international trade deals. It shows the aggressive agenda of services corporations with regards to TTIP and CETA, pushing for far-reaching market opening in areas such as health, cultural and postal services, and water, which would allow them to enter and dominate the markets. And it shows how those in charge of EU trade negotiations are rolling out the red carpet for the services industry, with both the consolidated CETA agreement published in September 2014, as well as drafts of TTIP chapters and internal negotiation documents that reflect the wishlists of corporate lobbyists.
Key findings of the report:
- TTIP and CETA show clear hallmarks of being influenced by the same corporate lobby groups working in the area of services that have been built over the past decades during previous trade talks, such as the EU’s most powerful corporate lobby group BusinessEurope and the European Services Forum, a lobby outfit banding together business associations as well as major companies such as British Telecommunications and Deutsche Bank.
- The relationship between industry and the European Commission is bi-directional, with the Commission actively stimulating business lobbying around its trade negotiations. This has been characterized as ‘reverse lobbying’, i.e. “the public authority lobbies business to lobby itself”. Pierre Defraigne, former Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s trade department, speaks of a “systemic collusion between the Commission and business circles”.
- The business lobby has achieved a huge success as CETA is set to become the first EU agreement with the ‘negative list’ approach for services commitments. This means that all services are subject to liberalization unless an explicit exception is made. It marks a radical departure from the positive lists used so far in EU trade deals which contain only those services which governments have agreed to liberalize, leaving other sectors unaffected. The negative list approach dramatically expands the scope of a trade agreement as governments make commitments in areas they might not even be aware of, such as new services emerging in the future. The same could happen in TTIP where the Commission is pressuring EU member states to accept the same, risky approach, meeting the demands of the business lobby.
- Big business has successfully lobbied against the exemption of public services from CETA and TTIP as both agreements apply to virtually all services. A very limited general exemption only exists for services “supplied in the exercise of governmental authority”. But to qualify for this exemption, a service has to be carried out “neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more economic operators”. Yet nowadays, in virtually all traditional public sectors, private companies exist alongside public suppliers – often resulting in fierce competition between the two. This effectively limits the governmental authority exemption to a few core sovereign functions such as law enforcement, the judiciary, or the services of a central bank. Similar problems apply to the so-called ‘public utilities’ exemption, which only reserves EU member states’ right to subject certain services to public monopolies or to exclusive rights: it contains so many loopholes that it cannot award adequate protection for public services either.
- Probably the biggest threat to public services comes from the far-reaching investment protection provisions enshrined in CETA and also foreseen for TTIP. Under a system called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), thousands of US and Canadian corporations (as well as EU-headquartered multinationals structuring their investments through subsidiaries on the other side of the Atlantic) could sue the EU and its member states over regulatory changes in the services sector diminishing corporate profits, potentially leading to multi-billion euro payouts in compensation. Policies regulating public services – from capping the price for water to reversed privatizations – have already been targets of ISDS claims.
- The different reservations and exemptions in CETA and TTIP are inadequate to effectively protect the public sector and democratic decision-making over how to organize it. This is particularly true as the exceptions generally do not apply to the most dangerous investment protection standards and ISDS, making regulations in sensitive public service sectors such as education, water, health, social welfare, and pensions prone to all kinds of investor attacks.
- The European Commission follows industry demands to lock in present and future liberalizations and privatizations of public services, for instance, via the dangerous ‘standstill’ and ‘ratchet’ mechanisms – even when past decisions have turned out as failures. This could threaten the growing trend of re-miscommunication of water services (in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Hungary), energy grids (in Germany and Finland), and transport services (in the UK and France). A roll-back of some of the failed privatizations of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to strengthen non-profit healthcare providers might be seen as violations of CETA/TTIP – as might nationalizations and re-regulations in the financial sector such as those seen during the economic crisis.
- Giving in to corporate demands for unfettered access to government procurement could restrict governments’ ability to support local and not-for-profit providers and foster the outsourcing of public sector jobs to private firms, where staff are often forced to do the same work with worse pay and working conditions. In CETA, governments have already signed up several sectors to mandatory transatlantic competitive tendering when they want to purchase supplies and services – an effective means for privatization by gradually transferring public services to for-profit providers. US lobby groups such as the Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness (AHC) and the US government want to drastically lower the thresholds for transatlantic tendering in TTIP.
- Both CETA and TTIP threaten to liberalize health and social care, making it difficult to adopt new regulations in the sector. The UK’s TTIP services offer explicitly includes hospital services. In the CETA text and recent TTIP drafts no less than 11 EU member States liberalize long-term care such as residential care for the elderly (Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the UK). This could stand in the way of measures protecting the long-term care sector against asset-stripping strategies of financial investors like those that lead to the Southern Cross collapse in the UK.
- The EU’s most recent draft TTIP services text severely restricts the use of universal service obligations (USOs) and curbs competition by public postal operators, mirroring the wishes of big courier companies such as UPS or FedEx. USOs such as daily delivery of mail to remote areas without extra charges aim at guaranteeing universal access to basic services at affordable prices.
- TTIP and CETA threaten to limit the freedom of public utilities to produce and distribute energy according to public interest goals, for example, by supporting renewables to combat climate change. Very few EU member states have explicitly reserved their right to adopt certain measures with regard to the production of electricity (only Belgium, Portugal, and Slovakia) and local energy distribution networks (amongst them Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia) in the trade deals.
- The US is eyeing the opening up of the education market via TTIP – from management training, and language courses, to high school admission tests. US education firms on the European market such as Laureate Education, the Apollo Group, and the Kaplan Group could benefit as much as German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, which has recently bought a stake in US-based online education provider Udacity. The European Commission has asked EU member states for their “potential flexibilities” on the US request relating to education services.
- The US film industry wants TTIP to remove European content quotas and other support schemes for the local film industry (for example, in Poland, France, Spain, and Italy). Lobby groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) and the US government have therefore opposed the exclusion of audiovisual services from the EU’s TTIP mandate, fought for by the French Government. They are now trying to limit the exception as much as possible, for example, by excluding broadcasting from the concept of audiovisual services – seemingly with the support of EU industry groups like BusinessEurope and the European Commission.
- Financial investors such as BlackRock engaged in European public services could use TTIP and CETA provisions on financial services and investment protection to defend their interests against ‘burdensome’ regulations, for example, to improve working conditions in the long term care sector. Lobby groups like TheCityUK, representing the financial services industry based in the UK, are pushing heavily for a “comprehensive” TTIP, which “should cover all aspects of the transatlantic economy”.
- US services companies are also lobbying for TTIP to tackle ‘trade barriers’ such as labour regulations. For example, US company Home Instead, a leading provider of home care services for seniors operating franchises in several EU member states, wants TTIP to address “inflexible labour laws” which oblige the firm to offer its part-time employees “extensive benefits including paid vacations” which it claims “unnecessarily inflate the costs of home care”.
One measure to effectively protect public services from the great trade attack would be a full and unequivocal exclusion of all public services from any EU trade agreements and negotiations. But such an exclusion would certainly not be sufficient to undo the manifold other threats posed by CETA and TTIP as many more provisions endanger democracy and the well-being of citizens. As long as TTIP and CETA do not protect the ability to regulate in the public interest, they have to be rejected.