Bernd Lange, the chairman of the European Parliament's important trade committee, has indicated that he now expects the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations will probably fail, following a major leak of confidential documents from the talks.
Greenpeace Netherlands has released half of the entire TTIP draft text as of April 2016, prior to the start of the 13th round of TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US, which reveal US demands in detail for the first time.
Although the EU has improved transparency recently, and routinely publishes its offers for each TTIP chapter, the US has consistently refused to do so. Even MEPs and MPs have faced extreme restrictions on what they are allowed to look at, copy, or even say when it comes to the US position. The new leak by an unknown whistleblower represents a major blow to US attempts to keep its negotiating demands confidential, and provides important information to the both the EU and US public for the first time. (Ars Technica)
If the world is going to be saved, it will be due to the actions of whistleblowers and document leakers. Like "The Man" likes to say, "If you see something, say something." The day after the Greenpeace TTIP document release, Hollande announced he would not back the trade deal in its current form. The deal is widely unpopular in France and Hollande is looking to boost his popularity. The deal is even less popular in Germany. France’s trade secretary said that negotiations over the deal will most likely be suspended.
This is a serious blow to Obama’s dream of getting the TTIP ratified before he leaves office. If the UK decides to leave the EU, that is another blow. RT has been airing a clip of Obama saying that the world must bend to US trade rules. He really comes across as a malevolent emperor in that clip. This TTIP story is widely covered overseas, but it is hardly mentioned in the US MSM…. except for a short article in “Foreign Policy.” Guess who owns the US MSM?
You think it is different in Europe? Greenpeace is just very anti TIPP (especially the ISDS court) and very good at getting in the MSM and you still rarely hear about TTIP
“If the world is going to be saved, it will be due to the actions of whistleblowers and document leakers.”. I fully agree, and I might add that “the Net” is the one place they cannot yet control. However, I am afraid our lords and masters will try to plug this conduit sooner or later. I have been thinking of how to get around that.
Is there a link to that clip of Obama giving the Evil Imperial lecture about trade rules and obedience?
Here’s one. RT has done quite a bit on the subject.
After the Panama Papers, here’s another dubious leak from a Soros-backed organization.
Last week Hollande said he was eager to speed up the negotiations, and today he would grandly oppose a project he pushed from the start? Same thing for Merkel.
It looks like a bait-and-switch to me. The TTIP will be dropped only to be ratified in a different form.
The EU bureaucracy is in the dirty habit of getting its own way despite negative votes or referendums, with the complicity of governments.
The TTIP (like its Pacific counterpart) is designed to impose corporate hegemony in supposedly democratic countries (just as NAFTA did). Since these corporations are mostly US ones (even the supposedly non-US entities are controlled by US interests), the US government leads the charge to get these deals ratified.
Such leaks are meant to alert ordinary people to the looming danger. Another hope is a Trump presidency.
It is hard to underestimate how radical the TTIP and its Pacific brother-market absolutism are. For they dissolve the sovereignty of all legitimate national governments and transfer it to private corporations and to transnational technocratic arbitration panels, stacked in their favor, whose authority will transcend that of the United States’ laws and courts.
THEY ABROGATE SECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION
There is no precedent; indeed, there is no approximation. For it (1) entails the transfer of entire segments of national sovereignty to those panels of multinational arbitrators, and (2) accords business corporations a legal status equal to that of the signatory states. In summary, its central provisions empower private parties to challenge laws and regulations promulgated by governments on the grounds that they in some manner curtail or obviate the privileges and prerogatives of investment institutions written into the 5,400 pages of the TPP treaty.
The obligatory dispute resolution mechanism is the constitution of ad hoc, three person panels which are endowed with final power of judgment. One of the three will be appointed by the plaintiff corporation, one by the defendant state and the third agreed mutually between the two parties. Their decision permits of no appeal. The purview of the panels, as derived from the comprehensive provisions of the treaty, cover inter alia safety regulations, environmental regulations, repatriation of funds rules, alterations in taxes and fees, and legislation/rule that allegedly favors domestic business over foreign business.
The terms of the negotiations, including the positions of the United States, were kept secret from the Congress and the public. Business and financial interests participated directly in the preparation of the United states’ proposals and in the negotiations throughout the multi-year negotiations. At the insistence of President Obama, Congress was forced to vote on according the administration fast-track authority that allows him to present the treaty as a package with no amendment possible. Despite immense lobbying pressure from business interests, the resolution that set “fast track” in motion failed in the Senate only to be rescued by some devious maneuvering by the White House. On no previous occasion had the President made anything like the exertions that he did on TPP.
This is the great underreported story of our times. The draft proposals are the most radical move in the direction of an unregulated world market place in history. In effect, states would relinquish a large slice of their sovereign authority to set standards in a variety of areas: environment, working conditions, etc. That authority would not be transferred to a supranational authority a la the European Union but to the market itself whose rules would be applied by a pro-business corps of private persons. In effect, the authority to control would cease to exist.
The issue here is less unconstitutional conduct than the vitiation of the Constitution itself.
The Twisted Genius,
Thank you for that link. I don’t know what “context” those clips could be put in that would make them seem any different or less nasty than they seem as clips.
Maybe we should start re-naming “Free” Trade as “Forced” Trade.
No Forced Trade!
I would go further and say that one of the democratic countries these Forced Trade Agreements are designed to impose corporate hegemony on is the United States itself. Our government has been reduced to somewhat of a front for the International Free Trade Conspiracy which works through our government to lead the charge to get these deals ratified. . . . under US government cover.
If Trump has people reading these threads, I hope those people are advising him about how these Forced Trade Agreements are about more than just Forced Trade and should be considered as more and deeper than just good or bad bussiness deals. I would hope that any Team Trump intelligence gatherers might advise him of the dilution and erosion of national, regional and local sovereignty and self-governance these deals are also designed to enshrine and lock down. Things like the secret Star Chamber “ISDS” “Courts”, for example, are designed to . . . uhhh . . . “trump” our national, regional and local sovereignty.
“impose corporate hegemony on is the United States itself”
Exactly. I working for one of the Fortune 100 companies. Our lobbyist are is always trying to push the pro-treaty line. one has to wonder just how stupid our senior management team must think we are.
I think US leaders – political and commercial – have given up on the idea of working through existing international institutions that, ironically, United States had exercised a major leadership role in their creation – such as UN or WTO.
These deals, excepting NAFTA which dated prior to WTO, are indicatives of failure – to work through WTO and its long and arduous rounds of negotiation.
In my opinion, US is trying to get one-to-one or one-to-many deals because her leaders expect such deals would be more workable for them than anything through WTO.
Chinese are also doing this, on a much smaller scale, through their own “Silk Road” initiative.
With the disintegration of the Peace of Yalta, the eclipse of the so-called Unilateral Moment (really an interregnum), and the absence of the new Peace of Makkinejad to replace the Peace of Yalta, it follows that we would be seeing more such efforts of creation of economic trading blocks to compensate for such a peace.
The 3 states required for the Peace of Makkinejad all now posses hyper-sonic nuclear weapons – even the foundations of the nuclear deterrence theory must be revisited.
I do not know if you have read the novel “1984” – world dominated by a permanent state of war among 3 totalitarian states – US and China being two of them.
But I think we are getting closer to that world.
Much of what you write about was laid out by Richard Gardner in the April 1974 Foreign Affairs article “The hard road to world order”. Still have the original paper copy somewhere. The “multinational” corporation has been superseded by the preferred term “transnational” in the sense that it has transcended the nation state. These are not US corporations as they have not a patriotic bone in their bodies and will, for their own benefit, sacrifice US interests upon the altar of an emerging utopian fascist global corporatocracy.
The handful of people who have leaked draft sections of these three “trade treaties” (TTIP, TPP AND TISA) are the true patriots of our time and the tricks being employed by their advocates, starting with Obama, are shameful assaults on the intent of the Constitution. The conditions under which the members of Congress who are not in on this treason are so restricted that it will be almost impossible for them to begin to understand the documents before they are asked to vote on them. If these are ratified and go into effect the race to the bottom will accelerate to being unstoppable.
You are quite right. However, as we have discovered, the use of the term “the market” (as some magic domain that will lead us all into the Promised Land) is just a cover for the rule of big international corporations. TTIP etc are merely the final offensive to demolish whatever few protections average people still enjoy.
The fact that Obama and Co have tried, and are still trying, so hard to get these treaties through merely bespeaks to the fact that they are all paid minions of Big Business (their remuneration being both current and in the promised future).
Ordinary people in the US have woken up to what is going on. Hence their support of candidates such as Sanders and Trump. The former is going to get rolled over by Clinton, which leaves us no choice but to hope that Trump may win, and may also seize the historic opportunity he will have to stop this slide into corporate slavery.
A principle of American foreign policy that goes back to at least the late 19th century has been to use soft and hard power, to the extent we could get away with it, to coerce other countries into bending their rules in directions favored by US industrial and financial interests. Up until World War II these actions were confined mainly to the Western hemisphere and the Pacific basin because there were the limits on the capability and national will to project power beyond these regions. The War changed that. The three Sovereignty Surrender agreements are an initiative of the civilian elements of the Borg to entrench their ability to bend the rules to their advantage throughout the world and, oh by the way, gut the Westphalian world order that was established nearly four centuries ago. That order has not been an unmixed blessing. But in spite of the fact that some of the wars that have occurred during its purview have been the most widely spread, devastating conflicts in history, it has arguably been a key factor in enabling some peoples to live extended times in peace and to have fostered an environment that enabled the rise of science-based technology and industry. Which are themselves definitely mixed blessings, the downsides of which only began to be widely recognized since the end of that war. We mess with the Westphalian order at our peril. Statesmen and women, if there are any any more, should be trying to reenforce that order while mitigating its weaknesses, not trying to trash it.
That is all fine, but what has US gained through her engagement with Japan since Admiral Perry’s mission in 1852?
Can someone point to the standard of living of a family in US over 100 years past and state that x% of that has been due to engagement with Japan?
I wish the bean counters could furnish an answer to the question: “Did Imperialism ever pay any dividends to USA?”
It paid dividends to the wealthy industialist and banking elites who were looting the countries in which they were doing business with the backing of the often not-so-veiled fist of the US military but the rest of us, not so much.
Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, nailed it in 1935 in “War Is a Racket.”
Was it a “racket” for you? pl
“He really comes across as a malevolent emperor in that clip.
“This TTIP story is widely covered overseas ”
Well perhaps he comes across as a malevolent emperor because that is what he is. If you look at his policies other than at the margins he’s continued the policies of his predecessors, unfortunately he’s been a bit more efficient and effective than Dubya.
Can’t agree with you the TTIP story being widely covered at least when it comes to Europe. It may be that it’s widely covered compared to the USA MSM but that’s not the same as wide coverage.
Until recently there’s been very little coverage of it either in the UK press or the German press or the Danish press in fact in the Danish press it’s pretty much non-existent. I get a fairly comprehensive round-up for the Spanish and French press and at least as far as the round-up is concerned it’s pretty much a non-story.
Well . . . that’s what blogs like this are for. If enough readers of this post and thread send it to enough people . . . who send it to enough people . . . who send it to enough people . . . then it will achieve the wideness of coverage which the the BloBorg has instructed its MSM to prevent it from achieving.
But of course! Any ‘dropping’ of TTIP will merely be temporary and tactical. It’ll be back some day, possibly under a different name or in a slightly different form.
You can purchase the article from their archive here: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1974-04-01/hard-road-world-order
The dark net. With no IP adresses and total anonimity.
In reply to different clue 08 May 2016 at 01:56 PM
You’ll get no argument from me on that one.
In reply to FB Ali 07 May 2016 at 12:09 PM
The “market” is just the latest idol and I use that word in it’s original sense of a false god.
C S Lewis wrote that the ultimate “good” had become something or an activity being “economic” and the ultimate damnation of something in modern times was to say that it was “uneconomic”.
The false gods seem to be becoming more and more concentrated not only must something now be “economic” but it gains virtue by being annointed by the “market”.
If that’s not as close to idolatry as to be indistinguishable from it I don’t know what is.
Well, if enough pissed off people hit the streets these types of comprehensive trade agreements can be defeated.
A good example was the Free Trade Area of the Americas. It met lot’s of organised resistance – in the Quebec meeting even George Bush got teargassed, and in Miami (Nov. 03) the whole thing started to fall apart when the Ecuadorean reps (who were feeling like the US trade reps were pushing all the South Americans around) looked out the window and saw a huge scrum around the security fence. Someone had brought some rope and a grappling hook and the crowd was trying to pull the fence down. The cops started launching flash bangs and shooting 12 gauge bean bag rounds at the crowd (I took one in the knee cap). The next day was also pretty crazy, cops shot a city council woman, union retirees were beaten and gassed in a peaceful march, and a few blocks away one of my crew got shot in the eye with an experimental pepper spray ball.
So the Ecuadoreans were quoted as saying that their realization that the whole thing was opposed so militantly by American citizens gave them the courage to stand up to the demands of the US trade reps, this spread to other Central and South American delegations. The agreement as a whole broke down, and the only thing left is a couple of individual agreements.
It’s interesting that folks on the right end of the political spectrum are starting to also get bent about these issues. I’d like to see what would happen if righties and lefties could get together in one spot to oppose something like this without slagging each other.