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Wed Jan 21, 2015, 12:21 PM

TTP Isn’t the Only ‘Trade’ Takeover Busting Our Sovereignty



http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/20/troubled-ttip-isnt-only-trade-takeover-busting-our-sovereignty

Even as controversial ‘trade’ deal, TTIP, sputters, other deals to give corporations as much power as countries are being negotiated even more secretively.

Billed as the biggest trade agreement ever, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is in trouble. Started in July 2013, negotiators hoped to have it wrapped up by the end of 2014. The deadline has now slipped to the end of 2015, but that too looks unlikely. So far the talks have achieved little in terms of reaching agreement for specific market sectors. And they are facing increasing scepticism because of TTIP’s plans to deregulate goods and services like health through “harmonisation” of EU and US standards – something that in practice usually means leveling down.

The most contentious area is undoubtedly that of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which enables companies to sue for alleged losses caused by government actions. Originally, these were intended to cover physical expropriation, but companies now use ISDS to make claims for “indirect expropriation” of future profits. This might be something as simple as bringing in plain cigarette packs or health warnings, or refusing to grant a patent for medicines.

ISDS not a new idea: it has been included in bilateral trade agreements for decades. But those were generally between Western nations looking to invest in developing countries that were keen to attract foreign companies. The ISDS mechanism was there to protect investments in regions where legal systems were often weak and governments capricious.

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Response to Ferd Berfel (Original post)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 12:23 PM

1. Cue the folks who say this is all about raising wages and working conditions. Bullshit.

 

That won't happen, but the real thrust is the corporate investment state takeover.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 01:24 PM

3. It sure isn't about raising our wages or improving our shit labor and environmental protections

which they love to imply hoping to catch the gullible in the dragnets.

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Response to Ferd Berfel (Original post)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 01:19 PM

2. K&R!!

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Response to Ferd Berfel (Original post)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 01:46 PM

4. We will all be making the same wages as the Asian countries

Universal Slave labor is what the corps have been after for some time. Why they busted the Unions, brought in slave labor through our borders, and dumbed down our education system.
The generations to come will never know the middle class we grew up with.
This is intentional to create and keep forever, what GW called an "ownership society"
He wasn't talking to us. He was talking to his base.

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Response to misterhighwasted (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 01:59 PM

5. In the long run it'll all level out

Say free-trade pollyannas.

"In the long run, we'll all be dead", astutely noted Keynes. The theororetical levelling out would take many lifetimes. The fattening of corporate bottom lines due to labor arbitrage pay off right now.

I wonder why the plutocrats want FTAs. Raising living standards abroad? Yeah yeah, that's it!

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 02:21 PM

6. yes, raising dirt poor living standards abroad while lowering our US standards here. levelling off.

Universal Slave Labor
I think I've seen this scenario in a futuristic SyFi movie.
Corps are set to make a similar reality for their global new world order.

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Response to misterhighwasted (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 21, 2015, 03:22 PM

7. How about a rise in 'dirt poor living standards abroad' while maintaining US living standards?

Would that be OK?

The good news: In the last 25 years the poorest 2/3 of the world people have seen most dramatic increases in incomes.
The bad news: The other big gainer is the top 1%. And the biggest loser is the middle class in developed countries.




I don't think there are many liberals who support LESS equality in global incomes. (That sounds like a republican/conservative goal.) We want our standard of living to improve even if poorer countries improve faster and eventually catch up with us.

Most of the income gains in the past 25 years have gone to the bottom 2/3 and the top 1% on the global income scale. Those who have suffered have been those in the 80-90 percentile in income - most of us in the Western middle class.

FDR was able to rein in top 1%. Europeans and other countries do it today. There should be a way for the US to harness the exponential increase in incomes of the top 1% and redistribute it to our own middle class (the 80-90% people on the global scale). We should be able to do this without jeopardizing the progress made by the poorest 2/3 of the world's population.

The key is to help the American middle class while those of poorer countries rise. It can be done as evidenced by many progressive countries with progressive taxes, good safety net, strong unions and effective regulation. These countries have much stronger middle classes than we do. It takes smart legislation on taxes, union, regulation and the safety net. Without such legislation (and we are nowhere near passing anything of the sort), our middle class will continue to suffer.

We can blame our middle class' problems on the improvements in the incomes of the bottom 2/3 of the world or we can blame them on the huge increases enjoyed by the top 1%. I know which policy I prefer.

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