Opposition growing to giant Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries. It was signed in February this year in Auckland New Zealand. It took seven years of negotiations to arrive at the agreement.
|There are 30 chapters to the agreement mainly concerned with public policy. The stated goals of the TPP are to:|
.. "promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections."
"It used to be the basic principle was polluter pay. If you damaged the environment, then you have to pay. Now if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars."
The Council of Canadians opposes this deal because it includes an investor-state dispute settlement provision that allows transnational corporations to sue governments over legislation or policies made in the public interest, it extends the patent length (and profits) of pharmaceutical corporations by delaying the introduction of lower cost generic drugs, it slashes the domestic content requirement for automobiles, putting thousands of autoworker jobs at risks, and it undermines family farmers by opening up the Canadian dairy market to imports without creating new export markets for Canadian farmers.A more detailed explanation of the effects on Canadian automakers can be found here.
And the cases are decided by private sector lawyers acting as arbitrators. Unlike regular judges, these arbitrators, paid exorbitant hourly rates, have a direct financial interest in encouraging foreign investors to bring claims and to stretch them out, and have so far earned “well over $1 billion in fees",
While Sanders won many concessions in the draft platform released July 1, including language promoting a $15-an-hour minimum wage, the document doesn't come out against the TPP. A platform opposing the trade deal would put the party in direct opposition of its leader, Obama.