THIS STORY IS SORT OF A LONG SLOG, BUT MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY YOU READ THIS YEAR - BY A LONG SHOT!
I have copy/pasted here some small examples from this well written story:
A Stealth Attack on Democratic Governance
It takes quite a “trade” agreement to undermine financial regulation, increase drug prices, flood us with unsafe imported food and products, ban Buy America policies aimed at recovery and redevelopment, and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards before tribunals of corporate lawyers. Trade, in fact, is the least of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Investor Rules to Facilitate Offshoring and Undermine Domestic Law
Backdoor deregulation and imposition of new corporate investor and patent rights via trade negotiation began in the 1990s with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But the TPP now threatens a slow-motion stealth attack against a century of progressive domestic policy. At stake is nothing less than a democratic society’s ability to regulate a market economy in the broad public interest
Not surprisingly, the idea for a Pacific region NAFTA-on-steroids originated in the alliance between the George W. Bush administration and U.S.–based multinationals eager to increase offshoring while rolling back domestic consumer—safety, financial, environmental, and other safeguards. After a pause (ostensibly premised on Obama’s establishing his own trade policy), the new administration renewed negotiations. The operating text, though, is the one drafted by Bush official
Avoiding domestic courts not only eliminates major risks for firms seeking to relocate but inclusion of this regime in past pacts is establishing an alarming two-track system of justice. Chevron is now asking one of these corporate tribunals to invalidate 18 years of U.S. and Ecuadorian court judgments that resulted in the company being ordered to pay for the cleanup of horrific Amazonian toxic contamination.