The Trans-Pacific “Partnership”

You have probably heard about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new trade agreement that President Obama plans to introduce to Congress for “fast-track” approval. You probably also heard that the TPP has bipartisan support and is considered a great idea by corporate media.

In fact, it is a terrible idea. The TPP has rightly been called “NAFTA on steroids.”

The experts at Public Citizen have compiled useful information on the agreement. They have also created a ready-reference section with short descriptions of the ways the TPP would affect labor rights, food safety, public health, and other subjects. The section on financial deregulation includes these appalling facts:

The TPP would forbid countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG. It would prohibit policies to prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail,” and threaten the use of “firewalls” to prevent banks that keep our savings accounts from taking hedge-fund-style bets.

That section also contains this warning about an especially toxic provision of the new trade proposal:

The TPP would empower foreign financial firms to directly attack these and other financial stability policies in foreign tribunals, demanding taxpayer compensation for regulations that they claim frustrate their expectations and inhibit their profits.

The “partnership” allows global corporations in other sectors to sue in order to eliminate regulation or to demand compensation for regulations they don’t like. If the TPP is approved by Congress, any future attempt to regulate corporations will have to take account of what is effectively a corporate veto.

The people need to get informed (and active) on this subject this before it is too late.