Negotiators are meeting in Atlanta, trying to wrap up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It might be wrapped up as soon as Thursday. While the agreement is secret, there are reasons for people to be very, very concerned.
Here is a news article that explains why people should be alarmed about this secret “trade” agreement that the giant corporations have come up with. Reuters reports, in “U.S. business groups oppose exceptions in Pacific trade pact“:
U.S. business groups have voiced their opposition to blocking specific products, like tobacco, from rules letting foreign companies sue governments over damage to investments as Pacific trade ministers gather to finalize an ambitious trade deal.
Ministers from the 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest trade deal in a generation, will meet in Atlanta later on Wednesday to try to close the pact.
The letter, sent to TPP officials late on Monday, comes amid reluctance by some countries to sign on to rules similar to those that allowed Marlboro maker Philip Morris to sue TPP partner Australia over tobacco plain-packaging laws.
Sources close to the negotiations have said one option under discussion is to exclude tobacco from the investor-state dispute settlement rules, while Australia wants a broader exemption from litigation over health and environmental issues.
… Any different treatment for tobacco risks a backlash in the United States and could erode support in Congress for the TPP by upsetting lawmakers from tobacco-producing states like Kentucky.
This is just one of many news reports, leaks and other warnings that tell us what is coming when TPP is completed.
An agreement that lets tobacco companies sue governments for trying to help citizens stop smoking? An agreement that elevates corporate profits, like those made by tobacco companies, to be more important than the health and life of citizens? An agreement that says companies can sue governments for passing laws and making regulations that try to protect citizens from corporate harm to their health and environment?
Seriously, can this be for real?
But then, what would you expect if you let corporations negotiate agreements deciding how the world should be run? It looks like this is exactly that.
Even if they exclude tobacco corporations from TPP, what about all the other things that corporations do that harm people and the environment, rip people off, use monopoly power to squeeze us, force our pay and benefits down and all the rest? The arguments over whether to exclude tobacco companies only tell us how bad this agreement will be for us.
Negotiators might wrapping up this agreement this week. In Atlanta right now, countries are being asked to sign on to an agreement that elevates corporate profits above the right of citizens to elect governments that can protect them.
This agreement was written in secret, so we have no idea how many more things like this are going to be sprung on us when this is completed.
Think about this. This is for real. This is coming and it might be coming very soon.