2013 is proving to be a hectic year for corporate lobbyists and free trade advocates, as they frantically flit, like busy bees pollinating succulent orchids, from one global free trade conference to another. And at long last, it seems that their hard work appears to be paying off.
In the last month alone world leaders from 12 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Mexico, pledged to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by the end of the year. On the other side of the globe, meanwhile, Europe has signed a sweeping free trade agreement with Canada. And what’s more, despite all the furore over allegations of NSA and GCHQ spying on European national leaders, most EU member states are determined to ensure that the fallout from the scandal does not derail ongoing talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a treaty that would effectively knit together countries with nearly half the world’s GDP into a massive free-trade zone.
Via Naked Capitalism, By Don Quijones, November 3
Indeed, the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has already suggested that it may be necessary to temporarily suspend negotiations — not out of concern for joining in partnership with a nation whose recent actions have betrayed every possible notion of mutual trust, but rather out of fear that continued negotiations in the current climate could feed anti-free trade sentiment:
“If such events continue, and more news comes out, I fear that those who are against the free trade agreement in principle will become the majority,” said Schulz during last week’s EU summit. “My advice is to stop for a moment and discuss how we can avoid such a development.”
Just as with the signing of NAFTA and the creation of the Global Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, to later become the World Trade Organisation (WTO), there will be no public consultation whatsoever on the potential ramifications of the treaties.
And for good reason. For just as the late Sir James Goldsmith warned about GATT, NAFTA and the merging of sovereign European nations into the EU in this eerily prophetic interview with Charlie Rose in 1994, their enforcement will lead to the destruction of millions of middle class jobs and the obliteration of traditional agriculture (as happened in Mexico) and local businesses. And who in their right mind — apart from, of course, our corporate masters and their political servants — would ever vote for that?
Intellectual Property Watch: New Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus In US Congress , October 30
BillMoyers.com, By Dean Baker: The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Trade Agreement for Protectionists, October 29
IBT: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): A Trade Agreement You Should Care About, October 15
Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders Statement, October 8
Alternet, By Jim Hightower: A Corporate Coup in Disguise – The Trans-Pacific Partnership would create a virtually permanent corporate rule over people, October 1
Oh, if you’re jonesing for some Sarcasm, (somewhat related to this post, even!) you could do worse then reading Arthur Silber’s: Attention Must Be Paid: Loving Petey.