(Health Secrets) ‘Tis the season to be merry, and governments around the world are counting on it as a time when we are thinking about gifts and holiday cheer, and not paying attention to what they are doing. This year the super secret legislation that Big Business and the administration hope to fast track for swift passage while we aren’t looking is the membership in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP). The Transpacific Partnership is a blockbuster deal that if passed will change the world we live in to the point where we will no longer recognize it.
The Transpacific Partnership has been packaged as an agreement aiming to enhance trade and investments, promote innovation and help economic growth among 12 trans-Pacific countries: the U.S., Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Child, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. At least this is what the wrapping on the package looks like.
But what is in the package has been likened to a Trojan Horse. The Transpacific Partnership is actually a secret weapon against democracy, the environment, and the will of the people, launched by Monsanto, Pfizer, Philip Morris and others of the largest corporations.
Under TPP, Big Business will be allowed to sue governments for damages resulting from such legislation as genetically modified food labeling, smoking bans, banking regulations, and bans on fracking. It would undermine internet freedom, copyright law, and civil liberties. It would keep generic drugs off the market, put compounding pharmacies out of business, and affect many other ways in which people have made the world a better place in which to live. Under the TPP, any law that puts people ahead of profits would be overturned.
Lobbyists for Big Business are out in record numbers to get this deal done. Meanwhile, the populaces of the participating counties are being kept in the dark. For example, it was revealed last week that the Australian government refused to give its Senate access to the secret text of the draft treaty being negotiated in a final round of talks, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Legislators and the public will only find out what is in the treaty after it has been signed.
In the U.S., the TPP is the purview of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. It exists outside of law and has no Congressional or Senate oversight.
But texts of the purported drafts for TPP were leaked by Wikileaks after talks held in Salt Lake City in November. They show that participating governments have taken strong positions on some issues and sold the people out on others, exposing the dangers of the ‘trust me’ approach. According to New Zealand’s publication Uncensored, negotiations are now at the point of “strong-arming governments to wash away those lines in the sand with glorified bribes.”
According to Wikileaks, “The TPP proposes to freeze into binding trade agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible.”
If all this sounds bizarre, no wonder. It is the stuff of nightmares coming to the light of day. As people have slowly figured out what is going on, resistance has grown. The Parliament of Chile has unanimously criticized the deal. Australians are drawing a line against allowing corporations to hijack their democracy. And Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has criticized the pact.
However, as Uncensored notes, TPP has “got friends in powerful places — Obama and the world’s biggest front for greedy corporations, the US Chamber of Commerce, are hell bent on wrapping things up before January.”
While governments are being bought behind closed doors, take some time from your holiday festivities to phone or email your senators and representatives and ask them to investigate the TPP and do what they can to stop it this unprecedented threat to our democracy. Ultimately, the true source of power is in our hands.
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