Friday, May 8, 2015

TPP should be flushed away ...

... as one would do to TP, and with prejudice. Robert Reich lays bare the problems with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The question is: why is Obama pushing this thing? It seems clear that there is nothing good in that treaty for American workers. Watch the news channels for reports on Obama's speech today at the Nike plant. (WTF? Nike plant? Last night Rachel Maddow speculated that Obama was going to drop some big surprise because of Nike's off-shore outsourcing of jobs. Let's see.)

Here is some more from an email letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren.

I have serious concerns about ISDS – a policy in the new TPP trade agreement that would let foreign companies challenge American laws outside of American courts.

I’ll give you a recent example of how it works: A big mining company wanted to do some blasting off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Canadian government refused to provide permits because it thought the blasting would harm the local environment and scare off fish that local fishermen needed to make a living.

Thanks to an ISDS provision in a past trade agreement, that mining company didn’t have to go to a Canadian court to challenge the permit decision – they went right to a special ISDS panel of corporate lawyers. Last month, the international panel ruled in favor of the mining company, and the decision cannot be challenged in Canadian courts.

Now the Canadian taxpayers may be on the hook for up to $300 million in "damages" to the mining company – all because their government had the gall to stand up for its environment and the economic livelihood of its local fishermen. And the next time a foreign company wants a blasting permit, what will the Canadian government do?

This "partnership" seems like a really bad deal for America. And it seems like opposition should be rooted in both ends of the political spectrum. What could be more TP-ish than to campaign against this partnership which seems to violate American sovereignty?

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