President Barack Obama was met by dozens of protesters when he arrived for his Christmas Season vacation in Hawaii on Friday. The protesters were raising their objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade deal being conducted in secret by the Obama Administration and 600 corporate representatives.
The TPP agreement covers approximately 40 percent of the world economy and 12 countries; Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
Last month, Wikileaks released a portion of the TPP deal that included intellectual property rights provisions that gave corporations unprecedented power over prescription drug rights, internet access, and free speech.
Among the 29 chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, only 5 relate to traditional trade policy. The bulk of the agreement is geared toward giving the multinational corporations currently negotiating the deal the power to overwrite a sovereign nation’s environmental, labor, intellectual property rights, and other local laws so they can maximize their profits.
The TPP “Investor-State” provisions would allow corporations to sue member countries for possible “loss of profits”, not actual losses. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has a similar provision that has already cost US taxpayers $3 billion, with another $14 billion in pending claims.
While the Obama Administration claims the TPP will create American jobs, critics have called it “NAFTA on steroids.”
Since it was signed in 1993 during the Clinton administration, NAFTA has shipped millions of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and done little to bolster the US economy.
Leaked documents from Public Citizen reveal evidence to suggest that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is nothing more than a corporate takeover of the US and 11 other governments under the guise of a trade deal.
According to the New York Times, “The agreement, under negotiation since 2008, would set new rules for everything from food safety and financial markets to medicine prices and Internet freedom.”
A “Twitter Storm to Stop the TPP” is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2014, with the hashtag #StopTheTPP.