Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TPP Will Be the ‘Death of the Republic’

 TPP Will Be the ‘Death of the Republic’
April 27 (EIRNS)—The resistance to the supranational straitjacket masquerading as
the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) continues to galvanize Democrats,
especially in the wake of Obama’s callous, imperial dismissal that Elizabeth Warren
and others were being “dishonest” in their criticisms. In fact, Arizona Democrat
Raul Grijalva took the fight directly to Obama (and implicitly Hillary Clinton)
telling Roll Call magazine this morning, that, “if the vast majority of Democrats in
the House are willing to confront their President, it only makes sense that any
candidate for that position is on the line.”
    Today, Politico trapped Hillary Clinton, running comments by White House
Deputy Press Secretary Eric Shultz at a press conference April 22, telling reporters
that, as far as they know, Hillary Clinton is foursquare behind them and fully
supportive of the TPP. “I haven’t seen anything to suggest any distance,” is the way
Schultz put it, and, when asked if the White House considers Clinton an ally on
trade, Schultz said “yes.
    Senators Warren and Brown are not backing down. On April 25, they wrote a
powerful letter to Obama, urging him to make the text of the TPP available to the
public. “Your Administration has deemed the draft text of the agreement classified
and kept it hidden from public view,” they say, “thereby making it a secret deal. It is
currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the
text of this agreement. And while you noted that Members of Congress may walk
over ... and read the text of the agreement—as we have done—you neglected to
mention that we are prohibited by law from discussing the specifics of that text in
    They make the case that, in 2001, even George Bush made “portions” of the Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) deal public “several months” before the
Congressional vote on fast track. At the time, U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Zoellick noted that the release would “make international and its economic and
social benefits more understandable to the public and would increase public
awareness of and support” for the deal. “We respectfully suggest,” they say, “that
characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, Members of Congress,
and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as
‘dishonest’ is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American
    Glass-Steagall promoter Ellen Brown wrote a piece in her The Web of Debt blog
April 24, taking aim at the supranational Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
courts in the TTP. Brown concluded that, “something else besides attracting investment
money and encouraging foreign trade seems to be going on. The TPP would destroy our
republican form of government under the rule of law, by elevating the rights of
investors—also called the rights of ‘capital’—above the rights of the citizens. That
means that TPP is blatantly unconstitutional.”
    In today’s Australian blog MacroBusiness, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman
expose that, after examination of the intellectual property and investment chapters
that have been leaked via WikiLeaks, the TPP would establish a U.S.-style
regulatory structure that would hand considerable monopoly-style power to U.S.
pharmaceutical and digital firms. “Included in the draft intellectual property chapter
was the proposal to extend patent protection and strengthen monopolies on clinical
data. It also flagged the extension of patents for new forms of known substances, as
well as on new uses on old medicines—an outcome that would lead to evergreening,
whereby patents can be renewed continuously.”

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