Edit: illustrated video (2:27) by MoveOn, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3O_Sbbeqfdw
"Mind boggling in its complexity (the US takes 80 specialists to each negotiation, Japan 120, and Australia 22) the negotiating text is secret. Robb says even most of the negotiators don't know what's in the whole thing. Each knows about little more than the chapter they are working on and there are more than 20 chapters.", http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/trans-...
(from the Warren article)
This is complete misdirection: If every bit of ISDS were pulled from the draft negotiations, Sen. Warren would still oppose the pact because she comes from the protectionist wing of the party.
Maybe we can get Al Gore to take a break from his climate change work and debate Sen. Warren as he did Ross Perot back in the day.
God I miss free trade Democrats like Bill Clinton.
I wish the Doha round had gone somewhere. But it didn't, so here we are.
It would be helpful if trade agreements were documented like open-source projects which coordinate with larger upstream projects, while retaining private forks that are not accepted upstream now, but could become more relevant later.
Is everything in TPP unacceptable to WTO, by definition? If TPP can negotiate 20 chapters independently, why can't WTO unbundle problematic issues to regional agreements? Governance and trade agreements that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of humans should not require all-or-nothing bundling. There is no shortage of paper or electrons to negotiate interoperable agreements which segment risk and goals.
"Conservatives who believe that labor and environment rules are excessive and heavy handed, should support ISDS because it will also allow these rules to be challenged for being protectionist. Libertarians should be encouraged that the ISDS effectively would commit nations to smaller governments. And progressives should support ISDS because it makes government accountable for the impacts of their actions on the wider community, instead of focusing exclusively on narrow self-interest.
As for Republicans,well,the idea of trading a big government for an even bigger government,only international, isn't going to fly.
Anyway,that shit will happen sooner or later. It's obvious that the world will be run not by states but by corporations,it's not just a science fiction fantasy.
The Demonstration against TTIP with roughly 50.000 attendees in Berlin a few weeks ago received no news, no articles and did not spark discussions other than satirical/comedy shows making fun about it. I start to believe they aim to kill the seriousness of the outrage.
Everyone jokes about how bad it is developing nations (and dictatorships), and makes fun of everyone that raises concerned about western countries as being nut-job conspiracy theorist who believe in lizard people or whatever.
US News in particular is breathtakingly propagandist. It is like watching a US themed Russia Today. And only the "comedy" shows in the US, and some internet-only sources really provide a moderately unbiased view.
The Internet is a great achievement. For the first time we can get the information the media isn't wiling to share with us, and it is damaging. People are noticing. They are just not reacting the way you (and me) expected - what should be expected.
That's not the same as being a propaganda source for government, unless the only viewpoint anyone is allowed to express is the one approved by the government.
In the west (especially the US) I'd say the media is a propaganda source for big businesses, and the only viewpoint anyone express is the one approved by big businesses.
You definition of propaganda is overly specific. If you're waiting for leaflets to be dropped out of airplanes, you're going to be disappointed.
>unless the only viewpoint anyone is allowed to express is the one approved by the government.
That's totalitarianism, at least WRT the media and public discourse.
The mainstream media expresses plenty of opinions the government doesn't share. Consider Fox News during the Obama administration.
E.g. Chomsky sees the government as a vehicle for the rich elite, and so when he speaks about being propaganda, he has in mind the media spreading messages that benefit the rich elite. E.g. he thinks that the US encourages a right wing regime in Israel in order to stir up trouble in the middle east, which I think is ridiculous.
Someone on the economic left (without Chomsky's social or geopolitical viewpoint) might consider the government to be working to lower wages by doing deals with other like minded governments. And (as people are saying here) the media would be complicit by not reporting this.
I think that the government is primarily controlled by ideological forces, and that the government does not exercise much direct control over the media, but that both the media and government are heavily influenced by the same ideologies.
You seem to think that the Muslim issue is there to distract the masses, but everyone has a different view of what the "real problem" is. Some people would consider issues around Islam in Europe to be of great importance, and the free trade agreement to be a distraction.
Muslim issues compared to TPP have 0 relevance. TPP and the like will erode democratic societiey untill there is only plutocracy left.
Wait, what? I'm on the mailing list of stop-ttip.org and had no idea. How can I be sure to get notified of any scheduled demo in my area?
You could have made a good point without your unnecessary rant and insult against some people that express their opinion peacefully. You're the definition of arrogance and why the little people don't listen to people like you. These insults were unnecessary. It's not about Pediga.If Pegida didn't exist the media would talk about anything but the TTIP. So please continue to defend whatever cause you defend that way. Because you do it so badly.
It's a power grab, pure and simple. It's kind of bold to be undermining state sovereignty, but other than that it's your standard attempt to tilt the playing field.
Also, what if one of these three-judge panels gets asked to rule on the legality of debt-slavery? What are the limits these panels operate under?
"The wealthy enjoy greater procedural rights. The U.S. Model BIT and the leaked TPP investment chapter provide greater procedural rights for foreign investors than U.S. investors enjoy. For example, they get to pick one of the arbitrators.
.. A separate “court” for foreign capital is established. Foreign investors would be able to bypass domestic courts and bring suit before special international tribunals designed to encourage international investment.
.. Tribunal arbitrators typically have a pro-corporate bias. Arbitrators in these cases are typically international commercial lawyers who may alternately serve as arbitrators one day and return as corporate counsel the next ..
.. Crippling awards of money damages chill regulatory initiatives and put pressure on governments to settle.
.. These models bear little resemblance to property rights and substantive due process protections in the U.S. Constitution or the legal traditions of other countries .."
When will people here realize that ANY new law, regulation, or such, should be fully made in the public. Apparently the price of silence is promises of cable internet providers getting taken to the woodshed
It takes an act of God to overturn a treaty.
Thus Congress can abridge any trade pact with a majority vote and the President's signature.
It's still an affront to democracy that commercial entities with enough political clout can sue whole countries because those countries dared to believe in their sovereignty.
I understand that it is a mechanism to reduce risk and therefore incentive wealth creation but when you have to make exceptions to democracy and sovereignty is when I say that your pursuit of wealth creation has become a bit too fanatical.
Source: The EU commission says “The protection given covers a limited number of specific actions which can concretely affect an investor’s daily business operations in a foreign market, i.e. discrimination, denial of access to justice, expropriation without compensation and the inability to transfer capital to invest.“
“ISDS is not about giving unlimited rights to multinationals to challenge any legislative measure taken by sovereign states in any area of regulation. Under TTIP, investors will not be compensated with taxpayers’ money just because of a fall in profits due to a change in the law. Nor will it be possible for investors to override bans of practices like fracking.
The protection given covers a limited number of specific actions which can concretely affect an investor’s daily business operations in a foreign market, i.e. discrimination, denial of access to justice, expropriation without compensation and the inability to transfer capital to invest. Legitimate policy measures taken by public authorities to protect the environment or public health and which apply to all firms in the same way – foreign or national – cannot be successfully challenged under these provisions under the guise of investment protection.“
Not to mention that you make it sound like ISDS is a new thing that was marketed ineptly when in fact the notoriety stems from foreign businesses suing counties who tried to reduce trade in asbestos.
And besides, I'm not even sure whether it would be economically wise for a country to always threat foreign business and local business equally. Right now I'm sure many Europeans wish they had more local alternatives to US tech.
Why shouldn't commercial entities be able to sue the government? When a government has agreed to an ISDS agreement (if they hadn't, the agreement wouldn't be in effect), it's only appropriate that they are held accountable to keep up on their promise.
An ISDS agreement is simply about a government promising “We will not discriminate against foreigners (and also don't do a bunch of other terrible stuff, like expropriating foreigners), and if we still do, we will at least compensate them.“
It would now be interesting to know whether these are just one-sided views ignoring the potential damages EU companies could do to the USA respectively US companies to the other TPP countries, or if these agreements would really turn out to be one-way streets, Vietnamese companies hurting the USA and US companies hurting Germany because there is a very real gradient with regard to the relevant standards.
So can somebody tell what the US view on TTIP is? Are there the same concerns getting hurt by companies from EU countries?
Watch the John Oliver video elsewhere in this thread about Philip Morris using Hong Kong to sue Australia. No one knows how companies will use these proposed powers, it may become less legally clear what constitutes the home-nation of a corporation.
See also corporate inversions, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/tax-reform/report/20...
That said, the basic idea of TTIP is a REALLY GOOD THING. It's not just about making it easier to trade across the Atlantic, which could give a huge fillip to both US and EU economies. It's also about the political results that will cement our relationship. Both the US and EU are facing rising powers which do not share our fundamental values. We will be stronger if we stand together. Binding our economies closer will help that happen.
Not wishing to close criticism down, but TTIP is too big an opportunity to be spoilt by the greed of some lobbyists - or by knee-jerk opposition. Fight over the details, not over the principle.
But that changed. I would love if we could distance ourselves from the USA for a multitude of things from spying over torturing to the offensive war against Iraq, to just name some obvious examples. If we as Europeans impose sanctions on Russia right now for their actions related to the Ukraine, we should have imposed sanction on the USA long ago.
But we can not because we are so dependent on the USA, especially when it comes to IT with most of the major players like Microsoft, Intel, Google, IBM and Apple being US companies. We would be screwed without them. Could we openly oppose the USA and still do business with them? Maybe. Do we want to find it out, test who gets hurt more? Not really.
In the same way the USA is doing business with regimes like Saudi Arabia we keep doing business with the USA. But I am convinced we should really avoid getting even more entangled with the USA wherever possible to not risk worsening our position further. At least until US politics gets sane again.
We fly drone strikes out of your country and you are worried about CPUs?
Or for humanitarian reasons, same as we claim when we impose them elsewhere? Examples such as our continued use of torture both abroad and local (especially since solitary confinement is viewed as torture when it goes on longer than a few weeks), our continued life without parole imprisonment of non-violent offenders for miniscule crimes (3 strikes and you're out), our still imposing the death penalty, etc.
Or for our breaking international law in the various wars and attacks the US has undertaken without international backing? I mean, we're basically a rogue state in that regard, just, you know, big enough no one responds to it, same as Russia with the Crimea.
What exactly do you think it would take to deserve sanctions, if not those?
How about harmonization instead of confrontation (Remember when that ever had a positive outcome?).
How about global trade mechanics with a global currency not controlled by privately held banks and ever-corrupt governments of single nations.
From my perspective the US and Russia look very similar. I'm guessing many US readers will find this implausible or shocking, but on paper, those two countries really are very similar, and have similar chronic problems.
Being dragged down into the mire of problems with the US is a nightmare many Europeans. We would prefer to distance ourselves as much as possible from the US.
 Few other dire problems (ie. Much worse than the global average) in the US I could mention.
Wealth gap, terrible standard of education, public healthcare, contamination of your land and water from dirty mining oil fracking processes , prison industrial system with a huge % of your population in jail, huge defense spending and military industrial complex, spy and security agencies out of control
Every country has problem, money in politics is a problem everywhere. I would say Europe and the USA are pretty equal in every regard, some have some pros over here, some cons over here. It would be better if everyone could try learning from each other.
This is a big detail.
The only way to solve those issue will be to create an international democratic judiciary institution, with elected members. But then, knowing that a wide majority of the worldwide population doesn't live under a true democratic regime, those kind of institution are doomed to repeat the UN fiasco.
Today, the things presented are all private industries.
And it's not just about Snowden leaks. I've been reading a lot on AI topics in past few years, and the show resonates with my interests strongly.
EDIT: even previous week's episode - I thought that people hired to listen to queries spoken to in-show equivalent of Siri was writer's invention, only to learn just few days ago that it is in fact real...
This week they stepped back from the AI briefly to look at how marijuana legalisation affects the criminal underworld and managed to tie in money laundering via online gaming virtual currencies. Love it :)
And look at those beautiful visualizations:
Those are the prettiest pictures about War on Drugs I ever saw.
I wonder if there's ever a case where a U.S. law has actually been invalidated, and the U.S. hasn't just ignored the ruling, with no real consequences. Anyone know? In general NAFTA has served as a weapon to make sure third world economies stay maximally exploitable by U.S. corporations -- as it was intended.
This isn't a reason to support such provisions, of course. It's not right, it's not fair -- AND the U.S. won't be this powerful forever. We'd all be better of strengthening democracy, not strengthening corporate rule -- the corporations don't really care which country is on top, as long as it's one that they can control.
But it is noteworthy that NAFTA isn't even mentioned in Warren's piece; how's that working out?
There's 18 months of updates on ComputerWorld's UK blog about the EU TTIP agreement, http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up... but I haven't seen a similarly consistent US reporting effort on TPP. The EFF has covered some copyright topics, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/white-house-doesnt-wan... . Twitter has activity, including lobbying of Sen. Ron Wyden on fast-track, https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tpp
"That's right. A company was able to sue a country over a public health measure, through an international court. How the fuck is that possible? Well, it's really a simple explanation. They did it by digging up a 1993 trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong which had a provision that said Australia couldn't seize Hong Kong-based companies' property. So, nine months before the lawsuits started, PMI put its Australian business in the hands of its Hong Kong-based Philip Morris Asia division, and then they sued, claiming that the "seized property" in question, were the trademarks on their cigarette packages."
Another dispute, between Canada and Eli Lilly on IP, http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/02/11/canadian-reply-to...
"The Canadian government has delivered a scathing response to a $500 million lawsuit from the American pharmaceutical industry, dissecting the intellectual-property practices of the company that launched the case. .. Eli Lilly had filed for 12 separate patents between 1992 and 2004 claiming it could treat psoriasis, stuttering, incontinence, hot flashes, anxiety, learning disabilities, tic disorders and, finally, ADHD. .. “Canadian law does not grant patents for almost-inventions,” said the submission. “Even if the applicant’s speculation at the time of filing is later confirmed.”
There is a proposed US-EU equivalent of the Australia - Hong Kong arbitration panel for ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) in TTIP, http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up...
"So what the European Commission is proposing with the dispute resolution chapter is how future clashes with the US over those key social constructs should be resolved. And the answer is: by a three-person arbitration panel.
That is, key aspects of everyday life - the social, environmental and safety protections that have been laid down over decades or more - can be thrown out purely on the say of those three people if it is decided that they clash with TTIP. And remember: "The ruling of the arbitration panel shall be unconditionally accepted by the Parties." So if, for whatever reason, the arbitration panel says a well-established regulation protecting health and safety, or the environment, has to go, well, it has to go, even if the vast majority of the public that it will effect disagrees."
The point is, it works both ways: if you want to know what the corporate elite will try to do in 5 years, watch what they're doing in Australia today ..
> "What’s so wrong with the U.S. judicial system? Nothing, actually"
That's a very unique point of view only the government paper can present.
In this special case having a bit more international law would do better for everybody. The post should rather critize the TPP where it really is broken, not with this international arbitration argument. Read the TPP leaks Wikileaks published and you will be surprised.
Our justice system is far from perfect, but at least it allows the accused a say in the matter.
The truth is that if the TPP ever stops being a net win for the United States, we can leave it.
Would you only support a trade system that forgoes any neutral arbitration between partners?
(As usual, "free trade" or "free markets" is a euphemism for "trade policy that will help the guy using the term 'free trade'". Truly free markets would entail lots of bad things like freedom of children to work and the freedom to create Bohpal disasters. This is no exception)
Children working is better than a family starving to death no? Child labor laws are a first world problem, and could have disastrous consequences for the third world. Union Carbide was a corporation, a legal fiction in which ownership is divorced from responsibility, that cannot exist without privileges given to it by a state. State capitalism has little to do with actual free markets i.e. voluntary trade in a free society.
Agree with you about the TPP, though, and the way that the term "free market" is often used in the vulgar sense.
People are starving (well usually the problem is that they are very poor, not literally starving) because they don't have money, because they don't produce things of value that they can trade for money. Free trade gives people the opportunity to produce more value (e.g. by working in factories or producing cash crops) so that they can earn more money.
I honestly feel like a pro-vaccination advocate when I post about economics.
EDIT: And to address your (very weak) point, how does working in factories not make people in poor countries richer? Are you aware of what a Chinese farmer makes per year, compared with a Chinese factory worker?
In practice, a corporation by far is most likely to owe money to its creditors, and not random third parties. In this case, all limited liability does is create a default contract (and rule out alternatives) in which the creditors cannot go after the investors, but can seize the company if it stops repaying its debt.
It allows a lot of good things like Chinese workers being able to earn $2 an hour instead of $0.20 an hour.
EDIT: $2 an hour is from about 5 years ago when Chinese manufacturing was more controversial. Now it's more like $3.50 (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-manufacturing-wages-rise...)
That said, a luxury car tax is far from the worst offender for free trade.
And then there's Phillip Morris suing Australia and Bolivia for trademark infringement, because they require shock images on cigarette cartons...
2010 handbook, http://a2knetwork.org/handbook
2010 case studies, http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/access-knowledge-age-intellect...
I completely agree about Bush III though. He's a unprincipled fake. Rand Paul is a far better choice. Come to think of it, a Warren Paul race would actually be interesting and likely filled with more constructive disagreement on policy which would give voters a clear choice. A Clinton Bush race would be boring; they're two sides of the same coin.
No . (And keep in mind, I don't want her to run for President. She's far more useful as a policy wonk in the Senate.)
>Rand Paul is a far better choice.
Rand Paul? You mean the far-right anarcho-capitalist who considers one of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act unconstitutional, said that criticizing BP for trying to get out of paying for their own oil spill was "un-American ... criticism of business", fought to defend tax-evaders who stash their money in Switzerland, and says that he's "not a firm believer in democracy"?
Your post smells like you may be one of those people with a hobby of walking into places on the internet and trying to act like we all, for some strange reason, need to vote for the Pauls. While Clinton and Bush would indeed be two sides of the same coin, as was Obama vs Romney, Warren vs Paul would simply be a centrist vs an anarcho-capitalist, a distinction without a difference due to the present climate already being very firmly right-wing on economic matters -- and that assumes Warren wouldn't be transformed into a Clintonite by the machinery of presidential campaigning.
 -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/rand-p...
 -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren#Native_America...
 -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/rand-paul-obama-sou...
 -- http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/rand-paul-tax-swiss-ba...
 -- http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/why-rand-paul-d...
 -- http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012
The problem with calling Rand Paul "far-right" is that he isn't anything like Dick Cheney. Calling someone "far-right" who agrees with the Green Party on so many social issues is just... odd.
So let's go through your list for a second, because it's kind of unreasonable to criticize someone for taking positions that are essentially correct. Forcing employers to hire people they don't want to is pretty clearly a violation of the freedom to associate, regardless of whether you think it's a good idea. It is political pandering for politicians to lambast a company which is taking full responsibility for a disaster and doing the cleanup by the book. Blocking a privacy-invading treaty that requires companies to provide the government with private financial records without any suspicion of wrongdoing is entirely the right thing to do. And the idea that democracy can lead to tyranny of the majority is so old and well-established that I'm not sure how you even expect to question its veracity.
Moreover, the idea that Elizabeth Warren is "centrist" is as wrong as the idea that Rand Paul is far-right. Centrist doesn't mean anything. If you can describe a candidate who agrees with Republicans and Democrats on half of the issues each as "centrist" but apply the same label to someone who takes exactly the opposite position on everything then the label is useless. It typically gets applied to the professional politicians who never take a position on anything and therefore seem to be inoffensive to everyone, which is exactly the opposite of what Elizabeth Warren is.
Elizabeth Warren will tell you what she thinks. You may not always agree with it, but at least you know what it is, which is more than you can say for Clinton, but really quite similar to Rand Paul. Which is why Paul vs. Warren would be interesting -- the campaigns would be spectacular because they're both candidates who take actual positions on things.
But Elizabeth Warren has stated unequivocally that she's not running.