Trans-Pacific Partnership: The Marriage of Secrets and Power

Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a massive multi-country agreement being negotiated entirely in secret that would give corporations the power to decide our laws on everything from access to affordable medicine to what we eat. It would undermine financial reform and destabilize job markets across the globe. It would open up our local and national governments to lawsuits from corporations if we pass laws that infringe on profits.” – SumOfUs

This is only a brief look at the nightmare that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP is one of the most secretive trade deals in US history. The public, press, and our Congress have been denied access to the draft text for years. A small group of non-elected negotiators advised by heads of corporations have finalized rules that limit democratically-enacted policies affecting air quality, access to media, food, and safety, to name a few.

In this “fast track” endeavor, the President has the means of negating and preempting important legislation by our elected representatives. Laws to protect the environment, food safety, consumers (from monopoly pricing) and other public interest concerns can now be traded away in “trade negotiations.” Laws in the US must be made to conform to the treaty.

Corporations are in this effort to win one of the biggest power grabs in history. A major goal of US multinational corporations for the TPP is to impose on more countries a set of extensive foreign investor privileges and rights. They can skirt national courts and directly challenge our governments before tribunals of private sector lawyers operating under UN and World Bank rules to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that investors believe diminish their “expected future profits.”

Already, in NAFTA-style deals, over $400 million in compensation has been paid out to corporations. This includes attacks on toxic laws, natural resources policies, health, and safety measures. Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, stated clearly the danger of TPP: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is NAFTA on steroids.” Citizens in all countries will pay for this terrible decision in human health and the health of the planet.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.