Opponents call Trans-Pacific Partnership “a deadly weapon against democratic rule”

Video explains how countries are impacted by TPP

No 757 Posted by fw, May 29, 2013

“According to the alliance—which includes such groups as Friends of the Earth, Global Trade Watch, Institute for Policy Studies, Global Exchange—under International Investment Agreements (IIAs) such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a co-signed country can be sued by a transnational corporation if their laws or policies go against the interests of the corporations, such as legislation that favors people or the environment.” Common Dreams

Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues to mount. Over 130 organizations published a statement denouncing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar ‘free trade’ pacts following the most recent round of TPP negotiations in Lima, Peru.

For details, click on the following linked title or scroll down for a reprint of the piece, which includes an embedded 25-minute video, Perils of a Pacific ‘Partnership’. Don’t have time to watch it all – just watch the first 11 minutes.

Groups Slam Trade Deal for Choosing “Private Interests and Profits” over People and Planet by Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams May 28, 2013 

Over 130 organizations publish statement denouncing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar ‘free trade’ pacts

Following the most recent round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Lima, Peru, more than 130 organizations have come out against such international trade agreements calling them a “deadly weapon” against democratic rule, the protection of individual rights and environmental justice.

“These agreements further consolidate the asymmetry of laws that propagate that the rights and power of corporations are protected by ‘hard law’ and are above the rights of peoples and communities,” write the groups write in an open letter criticizing the agreements.

“We believe that Nation-states should have not only the obligation but also the full freedom to implement laws and policies in favour of the people and the environment, without the threat of being sued by transnational capital,” the letter continued.

According to the alliance—which includes such groups as Friends of the EarthGlobal Trade WatchInstitute for Policy StudiesGlobal Exchange—under International Investment Agreements (IIAs) such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a co-signed country can be sued by a transnational corporation if their laws or policies go against the interests of the corporations, such as legislation that favors people or the environment.

“International Investment Agreements grant unprecedented rights to foreign corporations and investors,” said Alberto Villarreal from Friends of the Earth-Uruguay, adding, “They are deadly weapons against democratic rule and the protection of peoples’ rights and environmental justice.”

The group is calling on State signatories to “denounce and stop signing” these agreements that have “unlawfully subjected them to foreign jurisdictions and violate peoples’ rights.”

Rather, they propose an alternative legal framework for international economic relations that is based primarily on democratic principles, prioritizing the rights of humans and nature over “private interests and profits.”

They explain:

This framework should include binding obligations for private and public transnational corporations on issues of human rights, as well as economic, labor, social rights, and respect for mother nature. It should also guarantee governments’ possibility to enact public policy for the realization of these rights. In this context, any investment agreement should also include a mechanism for public participation and democratic discussion with representatives of the relevant social sectors.

The 11 member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, United States of America, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam and Peru—are expected to finalize their negotiations by the end of 2013.

Friends of the Earth produced the below video, Peril in the Pacific, to further explain how countries are impacted by the Trans-Pacific Partnership. [Note: The following embedded video includes Peril in the Pacific right at the beginning].

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I claim no ownership of such materials. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.
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