The Trans-Pacific Partnership is deceptively billed as a free-trade agreement. It’s real purpose is quite different from that and is genuinely evil. TPP says corporations have rights and powers that are above that of nations. Under TPP, corporations can force countries to rescind laws they don’t like and can also sue for damages. This isn’t free-trade at all. This is giving unparalleled, unrestricted power to big business. And Obama continues to push to get TPP passed in the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.
Fortunately, chance of passage is slim. Many Republicans oppose it, as does Sanders and Clinton (even as her support may be soft.) Obama apparently doesn’t care that TPP would hurt US workers. Cynics among us might opine Obama wants to ensure big speaking fees and well-paying “consulting” work after leaving the White House.
“Right now, I’m president, and I’m for it,” Obama said. “And I think I’ve got the better argument.”
In a clear reference to Clinton, the president’s preferred successor, Obama said he respects those who warn the deal undercuts U.S. workers and their wages. Yet he pointedly asserted that none of the deal’s opponents had effectively argued that TPP would be worse for labor and the environment than no deal at all.
Yes, it’s evil.
All of these concerns about the TPP stem from what seems to be its central endeavor—a dramatic expansion of the rights of corporations in trade partner countries.
Government watchdog group Public Citizen writes on their website that the agreement would “elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations,” allowing them to directly sue governments for any domestic laws that might “diminish their expected future profits.”
Essentially, federal governments could be encouraged to strike environmental and health regulations from the books, or else to pay corporations because of them.