THE INSTALLATION OF TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT DEPENDS ON CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS IN STATE AND LOCAL EXECUTIVE POSITIONS.
Clinton has national labor and justice leaders backing his neo-liberal candidates and this is what WE THE PEOPLE need to change as we reverse this corporate hold on the nation. Below you see a typical conversation between Democratic voters. Most people do not even know what neo-liberal means even as we have been controlled by it for 3 decades and it is because labor and justice organizations allow neo-liberals to sell themselves as progressive and liberals!
NEO-LIBERALISM IS THE OPPOSITE OF PROGRESSIVE AND LIBERALISM. IT IS TOTALITARIAN/REPRESSIVE AND REGRESSIVE.
In Maryland we have a neo-con Hogan vs a neo-liberal Brown in the general election. Someone asked----why are two candidates from Maryland debating in Arlington, Virginia? Well, both of those candidates are global corporate pols who will work for those global corporations surrounding the Washington beltway-----they are fighting for corporate support and could care less about the citizens of Maryland. Both candidates won their primaries with around 25% for Hogan and 12% for Brown of registered voters. NO ONE WANTED EITHER. This is where the election rigging and fraud comes into play. As people get angrier they are going to move to actually make a change and my lawsuit here in Maryland shows the Maryland Circuit court-----or at least Judge Pamela White -----is ready to totally disregard election law violations and fraud. I tracked my latest forms to the Maryland Appeals Court and all arrived within the 9 day timeline.
Neo-liberals are creating all kinds of outlets that pretend to be Democratic or Liberal with the issues they support and then they tell you to support Obama and Clinton and neo-liberal candidates. Here in Maryland, a group called PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND is just that kind of organization. It seeks progressive members and then tells them to support Clinton's Anthony Brown for goodness sake. O'Malley/Brown would throw their grandmothers under a bus if it brought profit to Wall Street!
The Coffee Party pretends to be a progressive version of the Tea Party but it supports all the neo-liberal candidates.Below was a meme that said Obama was good for the US economy. If a group does not emphasize Obama's several years in office working with corporations writing and pushing Trans Pacific Trade Pact and how this effects the American people-----how policies passed these several years by a neo-liberal Congress and Obama are all tied to TPP ----rewriting the US Constitution leaving WE THE PEOPLE out---but instead tries to list what they think are 'achievements'-----THEY ARE WALL STREET PEOPLE WORKING TO CONFUSE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. This is why Americans are not out in force as is happening all over the world against these Wall Street criminals demanding justice.....Clinton and now Obama have created and installed leaders of organizations tasked with dis-information. I want to share the Democratic groups on Facebook who advertise as being BLUE/LIBERAL/ OR PROGRESSIVE that are neo-liberal and none of the above. When a group promotes the good Clinton and Obama have done while throwing progressive issues at you-----YOU ARE BEING DUPED BY GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS. Below you see the Coffee Party that tries to be a mirror of the Tea Party, but it is simply a Clinton group.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO EDUCATE EVERYONE ON THE ISSUES AND POLITICS OF ALL THE DIFFERENT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES BECAUSE NO ONE IS DOING THAT.
Cindy Walsh shared
Join the Coffee Party Movement's photo.23 hrs ·
The most important issue with Obama was his appointment right after an election on Hope and Change of the exact Clinton and Wall Street people many of whom were criminally involved in the massive and systemic Wall Street frauds. If not criminally involved -----some wrote the policies that created this mess. It was Obama's job as President of the US tasked with serving and protecting the citizens of America to nationalize those Wall Street banks, investigate and recover the tens of trillions of dollars stolen in fraud which would have reduced these banks to regional banks----and then sold them to entirely new people to operate. THIS IS WHAT RULE OF LAW LOOKS LIKE. Rather, Obama handed the US Treasury to Geithner who was deeply involved in the crimes of Wall Street----WHICH IS IMPEACHABLE. Obama allowed Rule of Law and Equal Protection to be suspended-----again, illegal and unconstitutional. We won't even go into his two terms spent working with global corporations to write and sell Trans Pacific Trade Pact-----an attempt to re-write the US Constitution.....ALSO ILLEGAL AND A COUP AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOLKS! BUSH DID THE SAME THING----NEO-LIBERAL/NEO-CONS = GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE!
The Coffee Movement looks progressive but then it tells us how great the Obama terms were:
Join the Coffee Party MovementThe Obama Hope and Change Index: 6 Years of Progress, By the Numbers
"The policy victories Obama has delivered have been hard-fought, messy and politically fraught. The achievements may not be all that the president’s 2008 boosters hoped for, but change has come. Here, six years of progress, by the numbers"
Below is a great conversation between my friends and it all centers on knowing what policies go with what political philosophy......at the end, people understand when pols are pulling their leg and when they actually mean what they say. Hillary is a neo-liberal and neo-liberals want to dismantle all War on Poverty and New Deal programs by privatization so if Hillary or Bill says they will fight to keep Medicare strong----they are lying. If they feel the pain wealth inequity causes-----they are the ones having created it with economic policies that created these global corporations and corporate rule. THEY KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. Knowing what political philosophies are out there and what polices go with them is missing today because no one educates ----
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersWhat is a Neo-Liberal?23 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers lol Dakota, she mean "libertarian" but keeps saying "neoliberal." I think she is trying to make it a thing.23 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah Akersneo liberal seems like a more confusing term than libertarian.23 hrs · Like
- Danielle Jessica Pellett · Friends with Shayrah Akersin europe, they called Bush and Cheney neo-liberals.23 hrs · Like
- Patrick Smith · Friends with Zachary Moore and 1 other"Today the term neoliberalism is mostly used as a general condemnation of economic liberalization policies and their advocates that support - under reference to neoclassical economic theory — for extensive economic liberalization, privatization, free t...See MoreNeoliberalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Neoliberalism is an updated version of ideas...en.wikipedia.org23 hrs · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
- Cindy Walsh Thanks Patrick-----we need now to understand that we do not have today free trade, open markets, or a reduction in government spending because deregulation and dismantling oversight and accountability allowed corporations and government to become systematically fraudulent, criminal, and corrupt. This is why the Tea Party exists----they want real free markets and open markets. Neo-liberals and neo-cons simply used this neo-liberalism to capture the world's wealth to a few.....using the dismantling of government oversight to loot the US Treasury and people's pockets!...22 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah Akersis there any difference between a Neo-Liberal and a Libertarian?22 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers Yeah, I just don't see the difference. Neoliberal was used by Friedman. So...what's the difference?22 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh Yes, neo-liberals are trying to re-write the US Constitution handing all power of government and law to global corporate tribunals and ending WE THE PEOPLE. Libertarians are fighting the dismantling of the US Constitution and fighting for the original rights under this Constitution----they simply want to end all regulations and restrictions to what they see is a broad interpretation of the Constitution.22 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersCould you provide some citation for someone trying to rewrite the US constitution to give all government power to global corporations?22 hrs · Like · 1
- Shayrah Akers So the difference between them is one is rewriting constitution and the other is dismantling the constitution? I didn't see that in the definition...22 hrs · Like · 1
- Cindy Walsh Please Google TTP/protests-----Trans Pacific Trade Pact to see what hundreds of millions of people all around the world are fighting along with citizens of the US.......TPP is a policy that seeks to hand all rights to writing law and deciding which nation's laws will be enforced or ignored. It ends our rights as citizens and Bush neo-cons and Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are writing and pushing TPP!22 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh No Shayrah-----neo-liberals and neo-cons are re-writing the US Constitution because now they want all the power to go to global corporations and not simply US corporations. Most US corporations are now global and they do not want to abide by individual nation's Constitutions so they think they can simply re-write the US Constitution. Libertarians are bare-bone Constitutionalists and defend the original US Constitution but do not want any regulations and restrictions added to our Constitution. So, Liberatarians are against neo-liberals and neo-cons!...22 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers What?22 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh Thanks for the questions!22 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersThe TTP seems like just another sopa type of thing. I do not see how this ends anyone's rights as a citizen of any country. Also isn't not regulating campaign donations part of the libertarian party platform?22 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh If you read the text of the policy or the commentary ------it tells you that the policy will completely deregulate the world's economies and allow global corporations to go to a country to work----let's say a global French corporation like VEOLA comes to the US and is handed a privatized public transportation job as is actually happening today. TPP allows VEOLA to bring in immigrants from Africa and allows them to work in the US as they would in Africa because TPP protects that global corporation's right to profit in the US as it did in Africa. So, it allows all US labor laws regarding workplace safety and minimum wages to be ignored. It also allows them to expand through communities as they want without local citizens stopping with zoning laws etc. Fracking corporations can contaminate your water supply or frack in your backyard and you will not be able to stop it because that corporation's profits trump local, state, and US law. US citizens will not be able to pass laws that change any of the TPP policies, only a global corporate tribunal can. They even have a separate legal system where global corporations can sue governments that try to hinder their profits! So, WE THE PEOPLE are no longer citizens with a voice. If you live in Maryland for example-----much of this already exists. Libertarians are against any form of regulation so would not want campaign financing regulated but Libertarians do not support the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people because they see it is not how the original US Constitution wants the law to stand. ...22 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersI just want to make sure I am understanding this, TTP would deregulate companies both foreign and domestic and allow them to do with their workers as they please. It would also allow the same companies the freedom to build where they desire provided they can pay for it.
Are these not libertarian principals? To deregulate and let the free market take care of everything without all of the red tape from the federal or state governments getting in the way?...22 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh They are Libertarian principles and that is why neo-liberalism is a lot like Libertarians. The difference is that when you allow global corporations to come in with all that power and money-----you kill small and regional businesses and competition ---.the economy becomes crony and corrupt favoring these global corporations. They do not use their own money----you must know that corporate subsidy today is soaring and all this corrupts the idea of free markets and competition. Libertarians do not want crony and corrupt markets----they want real free market and open competition. That is why they protect the US Constitution that does not allow for monopoly and support the Constitutional stance on anti-trust. These global corporations are illegal in the US because they break all the laws of monopoly and anti-trust. Now, I'm a progressive liberal so I want regulations and laws protecting the environment and workers so I do not support neo-liberalism or Libertarianism...21 hrs · Edited · Like
- Shayrah Akers Well, going back to the Wikipedia definition, it doesn't say anything about being pro-corporations nor do libertarians necessarily do things that are anti-corporation. So I'm still failing to see the difference except for something you are just making up to use to label democrats you disagree with.21 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersSo the key difference is that between the two seems to be that companies should be able to squash their smaller competitors but they have to do it with their own money instead of subsidies.
I do not think that a truly free market is even possible anymore given the fact that its just not possible for any business aside from on that already has billions of dollars at its disposal to compete with giants like Walmart.21 hrs · Like
- Cindy Walsh That's the point Dakota! Because neo-liberals and neo-cons have ignored US Constitutional laws against monopolies and anti-trust we have a crony and captured economy-----not a free market with competition. We want to return to a domestic economy with small and regional businesses competing.21 hrs · Edited · Like
- Shayrah Akers Then, it's not a problem of neo-liberals, it's a problem of politicians being bought off by corporations and we need to put regulations in place to stop this from happening. But labeling people "neoliberals" does nothing to get your point across.21 hrs · Like · 2
- Cindy Walsh Neo-liberalism is based on global markets and corporations----they do indeed work for US corporations! We don't need new regulations----we just need our current laws enforced! A government is not allowed to suspend Rule of Law and Equal Protection as Bush and now Obama are doing. They do it because they are pretending TPP is already law and has replaced the US Constitution. So, yes neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism is the problem!21 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersThe solution to these problems looks like more regulation of campaign finance as well as broadening worker rights/protections, and it seems as though both Libertarians as well as Neo-Liberals do not want these things. From where I am standing the end result is the same and most of the way getting there is the same with just one small difference. It hardly seems worth making a distinction between the two.21 hrs · Unlike · 2
- Cindy Walsh That's why my mantra is get rid of neo-liberals and neo-cons!21 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers I think your mantra should be "Get rid of corporate corruption!"21 hrs · Like · 1
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah Akers^I know thats mine! check out wolf-pac.com Wolf PAC We must reverse Citizens United, Restore our Democracy, and Save the Republic. Join the Fight for...wolf-pac.com21 hrs · Like · Remove Preview
- Cindy Walsh You cannot control global corporations.......these pols knew that when they pushed global markets and corporations!21 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers You can if you vote for people like my fiance.21 hrs · Like · 1
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah AkersIf I were in his district id vote for him.21 hrs · Like
- Shayrah Akers We need politicians who can't be bought off.21 hrs · Like
- Dakota Stevens · Friends with Shayrah Akerswe also need to limit the ability to buy politicians.\21 hrs · Like · 1
- Shayrah Akers We can only do that if we elect politicians who can't be bought off and regulate those corporations.21 hrs · Like · 1
- Shayrah Akers it's the circle of life.21 hrs · Like
- Danielle Jessica Pellett · Friends with Shayrah Akers So, here's what I'm getting:
If UmbrellaCorp did exist:
-Neo-Liberals would be handing the government control over to them since they have a paramilitary arm that would love contract work.
-Libertarians would tell the government to get out of its way of developing the t-virus, because regulations hurt business.
-Conservatives would side with the Neo-Liberals, and praise "how it was back in the day" when nobody complained when the USA thrived under the Bush tax cuts and deregulated the banks, and the economy boomed while Blackwater and Halliburton made lots of jobs. (Ignore enron)
-Liberals would think all of the above people are fucking insane because you can't trust 'the free market' nor 'pure capitalism' because Brownback's economy in Kansas disproves trickle down theory entirely.
-Socialists believe that Liberals don't go far enough and want to shut down UmbrellaCorp because dude, Zombies are not cool.
The above conversation was wonderful but it shows how people in America do not understand the basics of what is happening in the political system. It's not there fault-----neo-liberals and neo-cons have been dismantling all public sector operations that would be that source of information......public universities, public community centers, open discussion in public K-12 schools-----even the former justice organizations like NAACP and black churches are now working with Clinton. Ms Akers made reference to Wolf Pac.com as the place to go to 'keep money out of politics'. She has the right idea but still does not get the connection of Trans Pacific Trade Pact and re-writing the US Constitution.
THERE WILL BE NO NEED FOR ELECTIONS IF GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNALS ARE WRITING LAW AND DECIDING HOW LAW IS ENFORCED.
So, Amend the Constitution without a word about Trans Pacific Trade Pact negating the Constitution is not a solution. Many people behind it are genuine in their commitment for change, but the leaders at the top know Amend the Constitution at a time TPP re-writes the Constitution does nothing.
WOLF PAC . COM
Our Ultimate Goal:
To restore true, representative democracy in the United States by pressuring our State Legislators to pass a much needed Free and Fair Elections Amendment to our Constitution. There are only 2 ways to amend the Constitution. (1) Go through our Federal Government (2) Go through our State Legislators via an amendments convention of the states.
Wolf PAC believes that we can no longer count on our Federal Government to do what is in the best interest of the American people due to the unfettered amount of money they receive from outside organizations to fund their campaigns. We point to the failure of the Disclose Act as rock solid evidence that this would be a total waste of our time, effort, and money. We also point to the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to not even hear a case filed by Montana claiming it did not have to abide by Citizens United, as proof that state legislation is not a sufficient measure to solve this problem. We believe that we have no choice but to put an amendment in the hands of our State Legislators, who are not, at this moment in time, completely blinded by the influence of money and might actually do what 96% of the country wants...take away the massive influence that money has over our political process.
Step 1: Believe
Convince enough people to believe that we still have the power to change our country for the better and that it is still possible to have a true, representative democracy in the United States. Convince those same people that we have a plan that can work if they are willing to do any of these vital things for us; volunteer their skills, spread the word via telling others, posting our link through email or Facebook, donating, or becoming a Wolf PAC Member. Think about how much power we would have if just 1/3 of 1 percent of us were giving only $10 a month to this cause...we would have 10 million dollars a month to educate people and actually change the system for the better. You can become a member and help us have the power we need to fight fire with fire by Clicking Here.
Step 2: Action
Build a structure of volunteers in every state and every district in this country that is capable of making contact with State Legislators at the drop of a hat. We know that State Legislators listen to people within their own districts and that if they get just three calls on any given issue they are going to pay attention to that issue. If we build our network big enough to put pressure on State Legislators in every district in the country then we will win. That's why we really need you to sign up to volunteer. We need you to call your local State Legislators when asked and set up a meeting with them to discuss the influence of money in political process. (very easy conversation, everybody has an opinion)
Step 3: Focus
Once we have found those states that are the most receptive to joining this battle with us we will focus our time, effort, and money on them until we get that vital and historic first state to call for an Article V. Convention for the purpose of limiting the influence that money has over our political process. According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications.
Step 4: Connect
After we have gained momentum from getting that first state "on the board" we will then begin to introduce State Legislators all around the country to each other via conference calls, webinars, etc. and show them that this a real possibility if they are willing to stand up together. Explain to them that a convention is the only way to restore true democracy to the United States and that they have a chance to be part of something incredibly historic.
Step 5: Demand
Make every election in the United States from now until this problem is solved a one issue election. If the influence of money in politics is at the root of all other issues in our country we must start voting like it. We will inform the public by running television commercials, radio ads, social media, internet ads, and using the media platform of the largest online news show in the world, The Young Turks. As we get more and more states to call for a convention with the purpose of getting the influence of money out of our election process we will identify these states on our interactive map so that the public can click on each state and read the legislation themselves.
Step 6: Enforce
Once an amendments convention has been called we will continue to put pressure on the delegates to craft a strong and lasting Free and Fair Elections Amendment that will preserve our democracy for future generations. There will be so much media attention at this point due to the historic nature of the event that no delegate would dare propose an amendment that the vast majority of the country does not agree with. Furthermore, any amendment proposed would still need to go out of that convention and be ratified by 75% of our state governments (i.e. 38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution. That is why we are confident that an amendment to deal with the unfair influence of all big, outside money flooding our political process in the United States is the only possible amendment that could come from such a convention.
Step 7: Rejoice
Celebrate the fact that we had the courage and persistence to accomplish something truly amazing and historic together.
Something to keep in mind:
Near the turn of the 20th century the states wanted a direct election of senators, and Nebraska was the first state to call for an Article V. Convention in 1893. By 1913 the movement had come within one state of reaching the necessary 2/3 threshold that would force a convention. When it became clear to Congress that the 17th Amendment was going to happen one way or another they decided to preempt a convention by passing it themselves. The threat of a convention is the strongest message we can send and the most effective way to restore our democracy in the United States. This can and must be done in a far shorter time period then it took for the 17th Amendment, then again, they didn't have the power of the internet and other amazing technology we will be using in this battle.
Notice not one word of Trans Pacific Trade Pact in all that mission statement? That is how you know the leaders of this group are protecting TPP and global corporations not fighting to protect elections.
John Sarbanes of Maryland is one of this Amend the Constitution supporters. Sarbanes is from a dynasty of politicians in Maryland whose family has had control of politics for around 25 years.....his father voted with Clinton to bring down the Glass Steagall wall, for NAFTA, and global markets and corporations. John and his father do this knowing global corporations will rule US government. As well, Sarbanes' district is in Baltimore, the most captured and rigged election district in the nation. Is John really working to get corporations out of politics when Johns Hopkins runs Baltimore like an autocratic dictator? OF COURSE NOT!
YOU WILL NOT HEAR JOHN SARBANES SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT MAKING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT MOOT EITHER!
Why So Secretive? The Trans-Pacific Partnership as Global Coup
Sunday, 25 November 2012 09:29 By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Occupy.com | News Analysis
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the most secretive and “least transparent” trade negotiations in history.
Luckily for the populations and societies that will be affected by the agreement, there are public research organizations and alternative media outlets campaigning against it – and they’ve even released several leaks of draft agreement chapters. From these leaks, which are not covered by mainstream corporate-controlled news outlets, we are able to get a better understanding of what the Trans-Pacific Partnership actually encompasses.
For example, public interest groups have been warning that the TPP could result in millions of lost jobs. As a letter from Congress to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated, the TPP “will create binding policies on future Congresses in numerous areas,” including “those related to labor, patent and copyright, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, telecommunications and other service sector regulations.”
In other words, as promised, the TPP goes far beyond “trade.”
Dubbed by many as “NAFTA on steroids” and a “corporate coup,” only two of the TPP’s 26 chapters actually have anything to do with trade. Most of it grants far-reaching new rights and privileges to corporations, specifically related to intellectual property rights (copyright and patent laws), as well as constraints on government regulations.
The leaked documents revealed that the Obama administration “intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations,” as Obama and Kirk have emerged as strong advocates “for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.”
In other words, the already ineffective and mostly toothless environmental, financial, and labor regulations that exist are unacceptable to the Obama administration and the 600 corporations aligned with the TPP who are giving him his orders.
The agreement stipulates that foreign corporations operating in the United States would no longer be subject to domestic U.S. laws regarding protections for the environment, finance or labor rights, and could appeal to an “international tribunal” which would be given the power to overrule American law and impose sanctions on the U.S. for violating the new “rights” of corporations.
The “international tribunal” that would dictate the laws of the countries would be staffed by corporate lawyers acting as “judges,” thus ensuring that cases taken before them have a “fair and balanced” hearing – fairly balanced in favor of corporate rights above anything else.
A public interest coalition known as Citizens Trade Campaign published a draft of the TPP chapter on “investment” revealing information about the “international tribunal” which would allow corporations to directly sue governments that have barriers to “potential profits.”
Arthur Stamoulis, the executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, explained that the draft texts “clearly contain proposals designed to give transnational corporations special rights that go far beyond those possessed by domestic businesses and American citizens... A proposal that could have such broad effects on environmental, consumer safety and other public interest regulations deserves public scrutiny and debate. It shouldn’t be crafted behind closed doors.”
Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a public interest organization, undertook an analysis of the leaked document on investment and explained that the international corporate tribunal would allow corporations to overturn national laws and regulations or demand enormous sums in compensation, with the tribunal “empowered to order payment of unlimited government Treasury funds to foreign investors over TPP claims.”
Even under NAFTA, over $350 million has been paid by NAFTA-aligned governments to corporations for “barriers” to investment “rights,” including toxic waste dumps, logging rules, as well as bans on various toxic chemicals.
Because let’s be clear: for corporations, such regulations and concerns over health, safety and environmental issues are perceived solely as “barriers” to investment and profit. Thus their “government” would sue the foreign government on behalf of the corporation, on the premise that such regulations led to potential lost profits, for which the corporation should be compensated.
The TPP allows the corporations to directly sue the government in question. All of the TPP member countries, except for Australia, have agreed to adhere to the jurisdiction of this international tribunal, an unelected, anti-democratic and corporate-staffed kangaroo-court with legal authority over at least ten nations and their populations.
Further, TPP countries have not agreed on a set of obligations for corporations to meet in relation to health, labor or environmental standards, and thus a door is opened for corporations to obtain even more rights and privileges to plunder and exploit. Where corporate rights are extended, human and democratic rights are dismantled.
One of the most important areas in which the TPP has a profound effect is in relation to intellectual property rights, or copyright and patent laws. Corporations have been strong advocates of expanding intellectual property rights, namely, their intellectual property rights.
Pharmaceutical corporations are major proponents of these rights and are likely to be among the major beneficiaries of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP. The pharmaceutical industry ensured that strong patent rules were included in the 1995 World Trade Organization agreement, but ultimately felt that those rules did not go far enough.
Dean Baker, writing in the Guardian, explained that stronger patent rules establish “a government-granted monopoly, often as long as 14 years, that prohibits generic competitors from entering a market based on another company’s test results that show a drug to be safe and effective.” Baker noted that such laws are actually “the opposite of free trade” since they “involve increased government intervention in the market” and “restrict competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.”
Essentially, what this means is that in poor countries where more people need access to life-saving drugs, and at cheaper cost, it would be impossible for companies or governments to manufacture and sell cheaper generic brands of successful drugs held by multinational corporate patents. Such an agreement would hand over a monopoly of price-controls to these corporations, allowing them to set the prices as they deem fit, thus making the drugs incredibly expensive and often inaccessible to the people who need them most.
As U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman correctly noted, “In many parts of the world, access to generic drugs means the difference between life and death.”
The TPP is expected to increase such corporate patent rights more than any other agreement in history. Generic drug manufacturers in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia would suffer. So would sales of larger generics manufacturers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, which supply low-cost drugs to much of the world.
While the United States has given up the right to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical corporations (hence the exorbitant price for drugs purchased in the U.S.), countries like New Zealand and even Canada to a lesser extent negotiate drug prices in order to keep the costs down for consumers. The TPP will grant new negotiating privileges to corporations, allowing them to appeal decisions by governments to challenge the high cost of drugs or to go with cheap alternatives. Referring to these changes, the U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders’ Access to Medicines Campaign stated, “Bush was better than Obama on this.”
But that’s not all the TPP threatens: Internet freedom is also a major target.
The Council of Canadians and OpenMedia, major campaigners for Internet freedom, have warned that the TPP would “criminalize some everyday uses of the Internet,” including music downloads as well as the combining of different media works. OpenMedia warned that the TPP would “force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards, and give media conglomerates more power to send you fines in the mail, remove online content – including entire websites – and even terminate your access to the Internet.”
Also advanced under the TPP chapter on intellectual property rights, new laws would have to be put in place by governments to regulate Internet usage. OpenMedia further warned that, from the leaked documents on intellectual property rights, “there can be heavy fines for average citizens online,” adding: “you could be fined for clicking on a link, people could be knocked off the Internet and web sites could be locked off.”
The TPP, warned OpenMedia founder Steve Anderson, “will limit innovation and free expression.” Under the TPP, there is no distinction between commercial and non-commercial copyright infringement. Thus, users who download music for personal use would face the same penalties as those who sell pirated music for profit.
Information that is created or shared on social networking sites could have Internet users fined, have their computers seized, their Internet usage terminated, or even get them a jail sentence. The TPP imposes a “three strikes” system for copyright infringement, where three violations would result in the termination of a household’s Internet access.
So, why all the secrecy? Corporate and political decision-makers study public opinion very closely; they know how to manipulate the public based upon what the majority think and believe. When it comes to “free trade” agreements, public opinion has forced negotiators into the darkness of back-room deals and unaccountable secrecy precisely because populations are so overwhelmingly against such agreements.
An opinion poll from 2011 revealed that the American public has – just over the previous few years – moved from “broad opposition” to “overwhelming opposition” toward NAFTA-style trade deals.
A major NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll from September of 2010 revealed that “the impact of trade and outsourcing is one of the only issues on which Americans of different classes, occupations and political persuasions agree,” with 86% saying that outsourcing jobs by U.S. companies to poor countries was “a top cause of our economic woes,” with 69% thinking that “free trade agreements between the United States and other countries cost the U.S. jobs.” Only 17% of Americans in 2010 felt that “free trade agreements” benefit the U.S., compared to 28% in 2007.
Because public opinion is strongly – and increasingly – against “free trade agreements,” secrecy is required in order to prevent the public from even knowing about, let alone actively opposing, agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And this, as U.S. Trade Representative Kirk explained, is a very “practical” reason for all the secrecy.