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IBTimes: The TPP will leave us unprotected

The TPP gives industry lobbyists the power to sue our government in secret form tribunals over any law or regulation they claim affects their future profits. Speak out now at Article by David Sirota for the International Business Times 

In promoting a proposed trade pact covering 12 Pacific Rim nations, President Obama has cast the initiative as an instrument of equity. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would, in his words, “level the playing field” and “give our workers a fair shot.” But critics argue that within the hundreds of pages of esoteric provisions, the deal -- like similar ones before it -- includes a glaring double standard: It provides legal rights to corporations and investors that it does not extend to unions, public interest groups and individuals.

Recently leaked drafts of the agreement show the pact includes the kind of “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) provisions written into most major trade deals passed since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Those provisions allow companies to use secretive international tribunals to sue sovereign governments for damages when those governments pass public-interest policies that threaten to cut into a corporation’s profits or seize a company’s property.

But also like past trade deals, the TPP is not expected to allow labor groups, environmental groups or other nonprofit organizations to bring their own suits in the same tribunals to compel governments to enforce labor, environmental and human rights laws. Meanwhile, Congress has refused to act on legislation that would empower citizens to bring their own cases.

The discrepancy is a deliberate effort to make sure trade policy includes a “tilt toward giant corporations,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said.

- Read more at International Business Times


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