As the Institute for Trade and Agricultural Policy so aptly sums up the situation:
The TPP is not only about lowering tariffs. It has the potential to greatly expand protections for investors over those for consumers and farmers, and severely restrict governments’ ability to use public policy to reshape food systems. The fundamental causes of recent protests across the globe over food prices, the rising market power of a handful of global food and agriculture corporations, as well as the dual specters of rising hunger and obesity around the world, point to the need to transform the world’s food systems, not to lock the current dysfunctional situation in place.
In other words, the TPP is about far more than trade. In fact, of the leaked 29 draft chapters only 5 had anything even remotely to do with traditional trade issues. Most of the provisions would set rules on non-trade matters and cover a wide range of issues affecting every aspect of our daily lives. The worst part is that our domestic policies and laws would be required to comply with TPP rules. ByeBye America and the rest of the free world.
The TPP was begun in 2008, and has been shaped behind closed doors by 600 official corporate "trade advisors." The public, the press and the Congress are denied access and input to its contents and FOIA requests have been denied on the basis that the TPP is a national security issue. This despite the fact that every other country has access to the drafts, as well as the U.S. position in these drafts.
Leaked copies reveal that the TPP is the biggest trade deal since NAFTA and the WTO, and covers an even broader expanse of issues. The agreement, according to attorney and trade expert Lori Wallach, might best be described as “diplomatic legislation” as devised by trade negotiators who think of their constituencies as being comprised of just the big U.S. businesses who are looking to bust up regulations in other countries or buy up companies in other countries. These negotiators are also negotiating changes to all U.S. domestic laws behind our own borders, and this feature in effect represents a kind of slow motion coup d'etat via trade agreements.
International tribunals within the TPP would allow individual foreign corporations to be raised to the same level as our whole sovereign nation, and directly sue our government with equal status in order to privately enforce a public treaty. As a result, the 200 cases now pending under other agreements promises to expand exponentially under the TPP since it adds 10,000 corporations to the list that can sue the U.S.
Small farmers all over the world have been among the most severely impacted by all of these trade agreements, and the TPP threatens to put an end to our sacred and sovereign right to choose healthy food. Please spread the word. For quick information and lots of simple ideas for things YOU can do to become involved, including something a simple as contacting your legislator please visit Expose the TPP.
You can help others learn about the history and impact of the various free trade agreements as well as information about the TPP and alternatives to corporate globalization here.