Sachs on TPP: "This is a NAFTA Treaty Writ Large"
September 12, 2014
"These are largely industry- and lobby-driven activities. They are not yet in any way proved to be in the interest of American people, and this is a matter of significant concern. I don’t understand how something of such vast significance for billions of people could even presume to be treated in this manner."
That's the take on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) from Jeffrey Sachs -- prominent economist, Columbia University professor, and Earth Institute director.
Prof. Sachs lambasted the proposed deals on Wednesday at a Forum on Free Trade Agreements, hosted by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Other speakers who criticized the pacts and called for a new trade agreement model included Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, K.J. Hertz of AARP, Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Thea Lee of the AFL-CIO, and Debbie Barker of the Center for Food Safety.
Check out this video of their incisive critiques of hte TPP and TAFTA. Excerpts from Prof. Sachs' remarks follow.
Excerpts from Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on the TPP and TAFTA (also known as TTIP):
TRANSPARENCY: The fact that the public is not engaged means that we should worry because we do know that when things are managed in secret, as these negotiations have been, it’s the organized and powerful interests that by far dominate the proceedings. These are largely industry- and lobby-driven activities. They are not yet in any way proved to be in the interest of American people, and this is a matter of significant concern. I don’t understand how something of such vast significance for billions of people could even presume to be treated in this manner. One could imagine that negotiations over very specific tariff rates or very specific numerical clauses in some of these chapters could be held privately. But the idea that the main text around issues as broad as investor protection, dispute settlement, taxation, financial flows, intellectual property, would be done secretly, is shocking actually to me. But we’re talking about the basic rules of the international economy for the three major regions of the world. There is no reason in the world I can see for this text not to be public, not to be publically vetted, and not to be updated over time.
WRONG TRADE AGREEMENT MODEL: [W]hen President Obama talks about TPP and TTIP being 21st century trade agreements, the starting point should be that the phenomena of globalization more generally, the extent of financial crises, the growing environmental catastrophe worldwide of climate change and loss of biodiversity, the crises of international disease (such as we now have with Ebola in West Africa) need to be not only considered as footnotes. And they’re not even that in any way. They need to be in the forefront of our international economic relations…And in that sense I can’t support either of these negotiations with what I see now. I think that they would distract us from the more important global issues. I don’t think they rise close to the standard of being 21st century trade and investment agreements, not even close. They are very much 20th century agreements which were already out of date by the time they were negotiated. This is a NAFTA treaty writ large, or this is the same negotiation that we’ve had in many other cases.
TPP AND TTIP AS INVESTEMT PROTECTION AGREEMENTS, NOT TRADE PACTS: [T]these proposed agreements are mostly investor protection agreements, rather than trade agreements. There are trade elements in them, but this is mostly about investor protection: investor protection of property rights of investors, of prerogatives of investors, of IP of investors, of the regulatory environment of investors, and so forth. Recognizing that, we have some reasons to support some of these issues, but a lot of reasons for worry, because it’s not true that everything that is in the investor’s interest is in the worker’s interest. Its’ not true that everything that’s in the investor’s interest is in the broad interest of the American people or the people in host countries where the American investment may be going, or in the same way, investment that could be coming into this country. So we’re talking about mainly investment rules. And trade, which is already quite liberalized in the straightforward trade manner, doesn’t change all that much from what we know of these treaties. These are basically not trade agreements. They are investment agreements.
INVESTOR-STATE: [T]he whole issue of investor-state dispute settlement: to my mind, it is quite alarming that the administration seems until this day to be pushing something which more and more observers, participants, legal scholars view as out of control…And the problem with this is that it creates an extra-legal venue for arbitration that has proven in many investment treaties in recent years to be highly deleterious for basic government regulatory processes and especially around issues of health, safety, environment, and other issues. The mechanism proposed here which is already part of many bilateral treaties and some multilateral investment treaties — is giving more and more power to investors to challenge general government regulatory actions. Not breach of specific investment contracts, but general regulatory and legislative actions on the claim that those general regulatory or legislative actions are against the interests of the investors and somehow therefore violate the implicit standards or guarantees that these investors have vis-à-vis the host countries. In other words, standards of general applicability against smoking or for environmental protection, or for taxation of natural resources and so forth are now coming under challenge in these investor-state dispute arbitration panels and forcing governments — the host governments — to back down or rescind or, in the face of a lost arbitration, to cancel laws of general applicability, and therefore to lose the sovereign right to pursue national interest at the face of investor interest. …As far as I know the United States government continues to press this clause today. I regard that alone as reason to oppose both of these treaties. If this remains in place, it is absolutely in the wrong direction. And, these clauses have proven to be increasingly dangerous and I’ve seen publicly no response to this at all.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
5:05 am September 17, 2014
David E.H. Smith
If one knows anything about economics, then you’ll understand how economics is like a waterbed in several different ways. There is only so much value at any time. You can push down in one spot & the rest comes up. And, the TPP, et al, is just a terrific way to take money out of the waterbed without anyone knowing that the floor might be wet & re introducing the cleaned money later as if one won it in Monte Carlo.
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(Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the TPPartnership, C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, et al, and The WAD Accord,
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Posted by: David E.H. Smith | September 17, 2014 at 07:22 AM
USA; International NEWS; TPPartnership, et al; More Taxes & Less Services to pay The SHAREHOLDERS (Tribunals).
The SHAREHOLDERS, corporates AMERICA,CANADA, MEXICO, The TRANS PACIFIC NATIONS, et al,
the harmless non shareholders of America.
The European Union is NEXT? Has Frau Bundaskanzarin Angela Merkel (Germ.) shared the Info with YOU?
“WILL The COURT CONSIDER...?”
Are YOU Depriving your Highest Court of the INFO to Decide Against the Global Corporate Economy?
by David E.H. Smith
...Therefore, as a consequence of the aforementioned abuses that have been listed in the enclosed research articles & the dire peril that these abuses puts the NON shareholding Canadians in, both; Native & non Native, et al, as an elaborate, ”inhumane”, ”unethical”, “immoral” & probably, criminal, enterprise, the writer humbly asks; under what circumstances would The Court consider the following?
1) Will The Court consider ensuring that any further attempts by off shore enterprises, such as the aforementioned attempts by the global corporate “arrangements”, including
corporate Canada & its associates within the government of Canada, et al, as a “reciprocity pool” of shared “secret decisions” against the non shareholders of Canada, et al,
will be dealt with punitively.
2) And, in the interim, until The Court can make a determination of any wrongful intent, &/or, abuses of the ”arrangements” as a criminal enterprise,
will the open & public Supreme Court of Canada consider
preventing the further use of the non shareholders' tax dollars from being used to make any, &/or, any more secret decisions against themselves, ie. the NON shareholders.
3) Furthermore, can, or, will The Court consider ordering the return of any & all of the tax dollars that have been used by the government, &/or, corporate Canada & their lawyers, et al, that have been used for the development of the aforementioned “arrangements” of a what The Court may determine to be a criminal enterprise (for examples; a) as a means of using/legitimizing off-shore money, et al, b) laundering money from the proceeds of criminal enterprises, &/or, c) going toward the funding of “criminals”, et al, who may be involved in other criminal, or, unethical, or, inhumane, immoral enterprises),
the tax dollars have not been used for the purposes that the taxpayers had intended, such as; for goods, services (particularly to police organizations & judiciaries for their investigation of, not only the aforementioned secret/privileged relationship between corporate Canada via its lobbyists
the executives of the relevant political parties,
but, the alleged wrong doing by others, as well),
programs, health, education, etc. that are consistent with the NON shareholders' understanding of what “good” government entails
return the tax dollars with punitive penalties paid to the NON shareholding Canadians, both: Native & non Native, et al.
Similarly, given the reckless endangering situation that the government, et al, has placed the NON shareholders in, can, or, will the Court ensure that the necessary funds will be spent for their, the NON shareholders', intended purposes in order to “guarantee” these services, et al,
consider ordering corporate Canada, its shareholders & their lawyers, advisers & service beneficiaries of the present “arrangements” will be paid with their own funds, prior to presenting their future “adventures”, &/or, “arrangements” to:
A) The Court, &/or, its representatives
B) the NON shareholders for their consideration, discussions, improvements, &/or, rejections, et al,
in open forums that have eliminated the fear of recriminations, retributions, etc. by corporate Canada, its shareholders, The Tribunals, et al.
4 A) And, less one forgets that the revelation of the present perilous International treaties/”arrangements” began with the regard for the rights of Native Canadians as per the Treaties/”arrangements” that corporate Canada & the Government of Canada have “foisted” upon Native Canadians who have been deliberately deprived of the due diligence information, such as the information in The W.A.D. Accord, et al, I am compelled to ask The Court:
will the Court consider whether, or, not The Court's recent “Tsilhqot'in Decision”, makes
it easier for corporate Canada, its global economic associates, their shareholders, et al, to sue the Tsilhqot'in First Nation & other Native communities in Canada
and thereby, to seek financial relief from the harmless NON shareholding, non Native Canadians via the Government of Canada? And, will The Court consider preventing
any unrelated hardship to the NON shareholders as a consequence of the creation of the
aforementioned Tribunals & corporate Canada & its associates intent to obtain the unencumbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be found in Canada & irrespective of Native title to these lands & its resources?
B) And, similarly, does the plan espoused by the American born Tom Eugene Flanagan which would enable First Nations communities to become municipalities, also make it easier for corporate Canada, its associates, et al, to sue Native communities, or, seek remedies from the Government of Canada (ie. from the NON shareholders) for any encumbrances that the new, Native municipalities, et al, might impose upon the development, &/or, access to the aforementioned natural resources, etc.?
(And, regarding the settlement of Native land claims that are presently before Canadian courts, & will continue to be before the courts for some time, the following question can help The Court a great deal in these deliberations, and that is; how were Europeans convinced to settle in North America in the first place & in particular, the land that became known as Canada?)
5) Therefore, can I only hope that given the enclosed information about the abuse, the potential for abuse & the intent of the aforementioned Tribunals which is:
A) to abuse & to limit The Court's ability to hear cases, &/or, challenges, to determine
the legality of the actions of litigants & to enforce decisions, penalties, damages, remedies, compensations, et al,
B) perpetrate fraud, et al, upon the NON shareholding Canadians, et al,
or, can The Court give me, et al, the hope that it might consider rendering “broader” interpretations of the existing laws that the corporate leaders (& their shareholders) of Canada, et al, seem intent upon secretly destroying, avoiding, etc. for their sole benefit,
rather than rendering “limited”, or, “narrower” interpretations of the laws that corporate Canada (& their shareholders), et al, would prefer as it would continue to enable corporate Canada to abuse of the justice system & the NON shareholders by way of the existing laws that were created for “intended abuse” by corporate Canada, et al?
Will the Supreme Court of Canada consider compelling public investigations/inquiries into the alleged abuses & alleged on-going abuses,
starting with, but, by no means limited to, the investigation of the role that Members of Parliament, both; in the House of Commons & in the Senate, play in the NON shareholders deprivation of their “right” to obtain due diligence information (as opposed to the deprivation of the information on the basis that the information has been classified as “privileged”)
by way of investigating:
1) the Member of Parliaments' relationships with:
A) the executives of the political parties that are operating in Canada
B) the corporations that are operating in Canada & elsewhere
C) the lobbyists for the aforementioned corporations that are operating in Canada & elsewhere,
2) the party executives relationship with:
A) the corporations ...the lobbyists for the aforementioned the corporations that are operating in Canada & elsewhere,
The Court can determine, amongst other things;
1) what the aforementioned individuals & groups, know about:
A) The W.A.D. Accord & The Compensation that is embodied in The Accord, (& how The
WAD Accord may effect, &/or, is effecting the “arrangements” and the NON shareholders, both; domestic & foreign, ie. foreign NON shareholders in the potential signatory countries, et al),
B) the basis of opening the treaty processes to the public in order that the public can develop of limited/narrow, &/or, broader treaties, agreements, partnerships, et al, such as; the FTAgreement, the NAFTAgreement, the C-CITreaty, the CETAgreement, the TPPartnership, et al, as the public sees fit
C) et al,
2) as a consequence of the above information & questions, etc., what can the Member of Parliaments , the party executives, the lobbyists, the corporate executives, et al, (ie. THE WITNESSES) demonstrate about their understanding of:
i) The Accord & The Compensation as per a list of questions that will be provided...
...Similarly, will the Supreme Court of Canada consider compelling the government of Canada to withhold any & all payments “awards” & “damages” assessed by the tribunals,
either, based upon:
1) as a temporary measure while The Court compels an investigation into the legality of the tribunals “fraudulent” self indulgence, (eg. The shareholders, et al, using the secrecy of their tribunals as a means of off loading the responsibilities, &/or, liabilities of the shareholders on to the harmless NON shareholders while the shareholders & their
corporate leaders use their, the shareholders', liabilities as means of increasing the
2) as a permanent decision to protect the harmless NON shareholding Canadians...
To SHARE Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human
(Nature) Rights & Economics in 1) TPPartnership, the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, et al, and 2) Native Canadian Treaties via The WAD Accord,
see; Facebook; "David Smith, Sidney, BC".
Posted by: David E.H. Smith | September 17, 2014 at 07:30 AM