Essentially, these agreements are NAFTA on steroids. The TTP is a secret agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States, and recent newcomers Mexico and Canada (since June 2012), while the office of the United States Trade Representative has announced it hopes that 40% of the World’s population will eventually be covered by this Agreement (the countries above already account for 40% of world GDP). The TTIP, on the other hand, is a similar agreement between the US and Europe.
Discussions by governments and multinational corporations were held in complete secrecy. Those attending were not allowed to record anything, had to leave their phone behind before entering, and if they made any notes during the meeting, they had to leave them at the door before departing.
Since the agreement has been drafted and finally released, it is now in “fast track” mode, meaning that it is meant to circumvent public review and pass through by executive order, or rubber stamped by Congress as a take-it-or-leave-it proposal, not open for discussion. In the US, this decision was aided by almost $18,000 given by the US Business Coalition for TPP to each of the 65 yea votes when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate.
And why is it so secret? Here are a few important points about this agreement:
- extension of copyright from 50 to life plus 70 years. Works created more than 50 years ago and by authors who have already deceased will no longer transfer to the public domain. Copyright laws have also tightened, making work more difficult for journalists and libraries and easier for companies to sue users for as little as reposting a small snippet of text. You can now look forward to jail time, or your computer seized if you were found sharing online.
- The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) allows companies to sue governments for lost profits, such as due to environmental protection laws. So a population could vote to go more green, but its government (essentially the taxpayers) would have to pay for it dearly. It is also a clever way how to infringe on national sovereignty and transfer more power to the multinational corporations. Such disputes would be handled in unaccountable international tribunals outside of the public domain. This would naturally further shift production to countries with weaker labour and environmental protection laws and reduce wages in the more advanced economies.
- according to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), “the U.S. is asking countries to create new, enhanced and longer patent and data monopoly protections for multinational pharmaceutical companies so they can keep competitors out of the market and charge higher prices for longer.”
This would increase the price of drugs, preventing the manufacture of much cheaper, generic alternatives.
Basically, it is an agreement between the mega corporations against the people, and another big move towards a new world order / one world government where individual nations will lose control over simple choices such as environmental protection and worker rights. It will level the playing field and cause a natural shift towards fewer rights and lower wages and environmental standards rampant in the poorest and least developed countries.
What concerns ISDS, such provisions are already incorporated into trade agreements such as NAFTA, but cases are expected to greatly increase under TPP. Take for example the recent case of TransCanada suing the U.S. government for $15 billion in US taxpayer money as compensation for lost profits because of the blocked Keystone pipeline. There are many other examples posted in this article by The Guardian.
Here is a simple video organised by moveon.org to explain the devious plot of this plan:
Full text of the agreement here.
What we can do about it
Obviously, the mega corporate-controlled mainstream media (all owned by something like 6 massive companies) are painting a rosier picture of this agreement than is reality, or practically not reporting on it at all, except perhaps in response to growing opposition.
One thing we can do is to spread the news of these secret plans, such as by sharing this article, since the “free press” is obviously not fulfilling its role. The more that people are aware of these games, the harder it will be for the global elite to completely subjugate us under their thumbs. Such important deals should definitely be reviewed and discussed extensively by the general public, since it will affect them to such a large degree.
As a side note, I studied economics, used to believe in free trade, and have certainly been sold its positive points. But over the years I grew to learn how the 1% and multinational corporations use such deals to undermine the general population everywhere, while allocating themselves more power. Instead of reducing trade barriers to give companies more rights to move their production to countries with weaker labour and environmental standards, we should aspire towards fair trade, where countries willing to export their products into ours must either have the same standards as us, or a tariff be imposed on their goods to compensate for that unfair, competitive edge; otherwise, consumers will naturally choose the cheaper product and undermine our own standards. These trade deals can be a good thing, but they should level the playing field to encourage good standards for the general population across both borders, instead of helping the big companies increase their profits and hide them somewhere offshore in tax havens.
The second thing we can do, which I would like to focus on in the next 100 days (starting August, 2016), is the US elections. Out of all the candidates, only Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein oppose these agreements. Hillary may say she has changed her mind (again) and is now against it, but it has already been incorporated into the official platform of the corrupt DNC (Democratic Party) and Hillary certainly cannot be trusted, as may be revealed in this group started by a friend of mine.
However, Bernie has been pummeled by the DNC and media from the get go and has finally succumbed to endorsing Hillary. But I believe he is standing by in the hopes that Hillary will be taken down, due to her extensive criminal and abominable activity, both present and past. And the fact that her character cannot be trusted. This is quite a fascinating election and I believe it will be a world changer, bad or good depending which way it goes.
If Bernie will not be given the helm (and there is already talk that the DNC will choose Joe Biden if Hillary is thrown out), another option is Jill Stein. She actually has a better platform than Bernie, and such a good character that she offered Bernie to lead her party to the elections (he has not responded to that offer yet). The reason why her platform is better, although very similar to Bernie’s, is Bernie would continue the war machine while Jill would immediately cut its budget in half, pull a lot of troops and bases off foreign soil, stop with oil company subsidies, and use all those savings to invest heavily in green energy, wipe students loans off the slate and make education free, and a single payer healthcare system like they have in Canada and other developed countries… The list just goes on and on. This is what the world really needs. Not bombing Syria to cause a refugee crisis in Europe, but I digress.
The media constantly talks about “lesser of two evils”. This is a lame copout, and the establishment wants you to remain loyal to the two party system. But both parties have been corrupted by corporate financing to such a degree that they behave like mere lapdogs to big money. Enough people have grown tired of this that the number of independents outnumber the Democrats and Republicans combined. If Bernie does not step up properly to the bat, I believe it is a good time to give this third party candidate proper support. With enough of it, many of the independents will feel emboldened and there could result a dramatic shift before the November elections. This would send a nice and much needed slap-in-the-face/kick-in-the-arse to the establishment, who think they can play all these games behind closed doors while paying for their monkeys in politics.
I have grown increasingly pissed off at how they manipulate humanity in this horrid way, using the media (their propaganda machine) to constantly sound the trumpets of war, based on such lies as WMD in Iraq to justify the bombing of weddings (blowing up innocent children and pregnant mothers) because “maybe there are some terrorists there”. Imagine if this was done to your own neighbourhood. Because of this I have started a page, Stir Some Shit, where I post useful articles to promote the growing revolution.
Imagine, there are more than seven billion of us on the planet, and US foreign policy affects much of it. Because of Citizens United, anyone now, whether foreign or domestic, can buy out US politicians. The Koch Brothers have dedicated 1 billion dollars towards this election. The racist psychopath Donald Trump is heavily in the game. Several billions of dollars have been invested into these elections, but if each person on this planet invested $1, that would bury whatever contributions of the billionaire’s club. Not that we necessarily need to invest all that money, since the elections have proven themselves to be so rigged anyway.
No, it is time to stand up and wake yourself from your comfortable complacency. I believe the world is at a dangerous tipping point now — it can go to either extreme.
We need to move towards free energy, fair treatment and a good life for all. I believe we are entering a new revolution, which I call the self-sustaining revolution. With 3D printers, our own currency and free energy, we no longer need to be slaves to the factory or the monetary system, borrowing from banks just to make ends meet and not permitted to grow our own vegetables.