Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP)

Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP).Wednesday, January 28, 6pm EST: Due to the profound importance of a what is called a trade agreement being negotiated in secrecy by heads of state of some 11 countries world-wide and the political, economic and jurisdictional implications of this, I am convening another Round Table this week on the subject of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP).

Most people, even educated and politically attentive, don’t know about the TPP or what it’s about or its implications, which is why we’re doing a third show on this.

In short, what is being called a ‘trade agreement’ such as NAFTA and others, is more accurately a political coup d’etat through which a corporate advisory counsel’s decision-making would have authority over sovereign nation’s democratically elected officials, e.g., Congresses, Parliaments, Prime Ministers and Presidents. Sovereign nations could be sued for profits which were projected by a given company’s accounting departments but not realized (for any number of reasons, including inferior product, service or not finding the assumed presence of natural resources in a given location).

Food, air, water, soil, product. worker safety and environmental protection laws and regulations currently in place in the U.S. would be in complete jeopardy due to the terms of this onerous, so-called Trade Agreement that President Obama is seeking to sell to Congress and to the American People. As usual, our representatives don’t read the text of the agreement but their usually young staff interns do and “pre-digest” the salient items for the politician they work for. In this case, almost none of the text has been made available to even Congress it’s so ‘secretive’! Our guests have managed to get hold of some of the paragraphs, sufficient to know why this agreement is so anti-democratic, anti-sovereign and a legal document which would spell the end of Democracy

To add insult to injury, Obama is seeking ‘fast-track’ approval of it. What does that mean? It means that it’s an up or down vote, no discussion or negotiation in Congress, no addition, modification or deletion of amendments. It means that the vow our elected officials made to uphold the Constitution and the will of their constituents, fast-track prevents that vow from being realized. They can only vote yay or nay. Democracy as we know it, ailing in this country as it is, would be explicitly, not just implicitly replaced by a legally-mandated Corporatacracy.

So our actions here are these: 1: urge and demand that our representatives in Congress vote NO to fast-track; and 2: vote NO to the passage of TPP in toto. The lies around it: it will provide more “JOBS”. That’s the holy word, the sacred cow of politics. It’s jobs alright–in the lowest-wage countries corporations can find. Don’t kid yourself for a nano-second that it means “U.S. jobs”. It’ll be good for the U.S. economy. Wrong again: it’s good for multi-national corporation’s own economy, not the U.S. economy! There is no advantage for Americans whatsoever, only the loss of the status of our statutes, loss of sovereignty (unbelievably!) and loss of Democracy.

With this said, I hope you now understand why a grass-roots education of People on all socio-economic levels in our country need to know what is going on behind closed doors. An ounce of prevention is worth, in this case, a ton of cure. Please tune in and post the link of this and last week’s show in all of your social media and lists. Here’s the link:

Joining in discussion with Mitchell is Arthur Stamoulis, Director of the Citizen’s Trade Campaign, Melinda St. Louis, International Campaigns Director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and Adam Weissman of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment.

arthur stamoulisArthur Stamoulis is Executive Director of Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer and human rights organizations working together for trade policies that promote a just and sustainable global economy. Citizens Trade Campaign was the first to publish leaked text of several of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) chapters, and organized protests and other civil society responses at each of the TPP negotiating rounds to take place in the United States. It is currently coordinating national campaigns around the TPP and Fast Track.

Prior to joining Citizens Trade Campaign, Arthur directed the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign. He also served as director of government affairs for Clean Air Council, an editor at Common Courage Press and economics editor for Clamor Magazine.

Arthur is based in Portland, OR, so if you’re thinking of inviting an expert to your event on the west coast, be sure to mention his name when using the contact form.

melindaMelinda St. Louis is International Campaigns Director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, where she works with international allies to roll back WTO financial deregulation and to stop expansion of harmful trade agreements.
Ms. St. Louis monitors U.S. trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization, as well as regional and bilateral talks, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and coordinates with civil society partners around the globe to promote the public interest in the context of these globalization and international commercial agreements.

Before joining Global Trade Watch, St. Louis was director of policy and campaigns for Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 75 organizations dedicated to ending the cycle of crippling debts Africa, Asia and Latin America.
She is the former executive director of Witness for Peace, a national grassroots organization that supports peace, justice and sustainable economies in Latin America and the Caribbean by challenging harmful U.S. military and economic policies in the region. As mid-Atlantic organizer for the Campaign for Labor Rights, she mobilized consumer campaigns in support of workers’ struggles in sweatshops across the globe.

Ms. St. Louis has lived and worked in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and currently serves on the boards of the Latin America Working Group and Witness for Peace. She received an M.P.P. in International Policy and Development from Georgetown University.

adamAdam Weisman works with Global Justice for Animals and the Environment opposing trade agreements that endanger animals, the environment, food safety, and the human rights of communities on the frontlines of environmental struggles. He also works with TradeJustice NY Metro, a coalition of diverse social movement organizations united in opposition to NAFTA-style trade agreements. In two decades of activism, he has worked with numerous organizations including the Wetlands Activism Collective, Global Sweatshop Coalition, A for Anarchy,, Rainforest Action Network, Wildlife Watch, the War Resisters League (both at the national level and via its northern NJ local), The National Child Rights Alliance, the Animal Issues and Trade Justice working groups of Occupy Wall Street, and many others.

Adam has been an activist for human rights, animals rights, and environmental defense for over 2 decades. He is the founder of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, an organization devoted to opposing free trade agreements that undermine animal and environmental protection, violate the rights of indigenous communities, and compromise food safety. He also works with TradeJustice NY Metro, a coalition of labor, environmental, animal rights, AIDS activist, food justice, queer liberation, international solidarity, and immigrant community organizations committed to opposing the global expansion of the NAFTA free trade model.

In December 2012, Mitchell interviewed Mitch Jones of Food & Water Watch on the TPP, and it’s clearly time to do so again in light of its potentially imminent signing.

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