TTIP: the Corporate Empowerment Act

Roberts, Paul Craig
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/01/ttip-the-corporate-empowerment-act/

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  01/06/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX17765

The Transatlantic and Transpacific Trade and Investment Partnerships have nothing to do with free trade. "Free trade" is used as a disguise to hide the power these agreements give to corporations to use law suits to overturn sovereign laws of nations that regulate pollution, food safety, GMOs, and minimum wages.

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

The first thing to understand is that these so-called "partnerships" are not laws written by Congress .... these laws are being written without the participation of Congress. The laws are being written by corporations solely in the interest of their power and profit. The office of US Trade Representative was created in order to permit corporations to write law that serves only their interests. This fraud on the Constitution and the people is covered up by calling trade laws "treaties."

Indeed, Congress is not even permitted to know what is in the laws and is limited to the ability to accept or refuse what is handed to Congress for a vote. Normally, Congress accepts, because "so much work has been done" and "free trade will benefit us all."

The presstitutes have diverted attention from the content of the laws to "fast track." When Congress votes "fast track," it means Congress accepts that corporations can write the trade laws without the participation of Congress....

What the "partnerships" do is to make private corporations immune to the laws of sovereign countries on the grounds that laws of countries adversely impact corporate profits and constitute "restraint of trade."

For example, under the Transatlantic Partnership, French laws against GMOs would be overturned as "restraints on trade" by law suits filed by Monsanto.

Cigarette companies can sue for warning labels on cigarette packs, because these labels discourage smoking and thereby constitute "restraint of trade."

Efforts to control environmentally damaging emissions would also be subject to damage suits brought by corporations. Under TTIP, corporations would be compensated for "regulatory takings," the corporate designation of environmental protection. Of course, this means taxpayers would have to pay damages to the polluting corporations.

Countries that require testing of imported food, such as pork for trichnosis, and fumigation would be subject to lawsuits from corporations, because these regulations increase the cost of imports.

Countries that do not provide monopoly protection for brand name pharmaceuticals and chemical products, and allow generics in their place, can be sued for damages by corporations.

Under TTIP only corporations can sue. Unions cannot sue when their members are harmed by jobs offshoring, and citizens cannot sue when their health and water supplies are damaged by corporate emissions.

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