Weighing in on the highly secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), President Obama admitted that as a result of ratifying the agreement there will be losers and certain sections of the economy will need “help” to “transition”.
“The question is, are there a lot more winners then losers and the answer in this case is yes,” Obama explained in a interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssda
“But that doesn’t mean that there is not going to be some impact on some sectors of the economy, by definition,” the President continued. “Thats going to be true anyway by the way, but it may be that as a consequence of this trade deal there are particular markets, particular niche parts of the economy, where we got to provide help to transition and to re-tool and adapt.”
The TPP currently remains almost entirely secret as “fast-track” legislation to approve of the agreement has entered the U.S. House of Representatives.
What is known about the TPP, according to Wikileaks, is there are 29 chapters with only 5 pertaining to trade. As reported by Red Statements, “Wikileaks will be publishing the entire bill and they have already released the chapter on Investment. It’s very interesting. It is written in a such a way as to give multinational companies a huge advantage on trade. If a public hospital is built close to a private one, the private hospital has the right to sue the country for expected losses.”
The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits”. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations.
Obama admitting that there will be some negative impact on parts of the economy can be interpreted in many ways considering the long history on lies he has spouted as the POTUS. How can the American people possible know the full economic impact of the agreement when it is secret? Is it possible to trust the same man who said “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” under Obamacare. Or raising the debt ceiling doesn’t raise the national debt?
Obama has made absolutely no attempts to make public any part of this agreement that is set to affect 40% of the worlds economy. Even as labour unions and members of congress campaign for transparency, the President is set on quickly pushing legislation through congress to prevent any debate on the TPP treaty.
Considering Wikileaks assessment of the agreement and the fact members of congress can only view the text of the agreement in total secret, Obama’s claim that there will be losers should be taken as dire concern.
Star Fox is a U.S. based journalist who contributes to Eyesopenreport.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative new sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com and Intellihub.com. Follow @StarFoxReport