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TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws (boingboing.net)
180 points by etiam on Mar 29, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 83 comments



An example of how this can play out:

    Australia enacts a law on cigarette labeling,
    requiring warnings on the package.
    
    Tobacco companies sues Australia under a 
    Hong Kong - Australia trade agreement, to
    get them to revert the labeling law.
    
    (this isn't hypothetical, it's already happening)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_cigarette_packaging#Tobac...

I'm definitely a big champion of capitalism, but these investor-state dispute settlements seems really wrongheaded.

Also, I cannot understand why these negotiations are secret? All in favor of trade-deals as long as they remove/reduce tariffs and tolls, but they should be conducted in the open.


We already have very little tariffs and tolls. This is being negotiated in secret because the TPP isn't about "free trade" in the traditional sense; this is an attempt to allow the free movement of capital.

A nice explanation of the realpolitik of the TPP, in comic form:

http://economixcomix.com/home/tpp/


Could you explain why the free movement of capital implies or requires secrecy - and how this is different than other trade agreements freeing up the movement of capital that haven't been as secret?


The high degree of secrecy is in response to the previous decades of protest and outrage at e.g. G20 meetings. You can't protest what you can't see.


Yes - exactly. And in spite of claims that our elected representatives will ultimately decide whether or not to ratify the agreement, when the agreement is presented it's take-it-or-leave-it - any opportunity to have shaped the agreement will be long gone.

Of course, this is to be expected in diplomacy and trade agreements, right? We give a little, they give a little, and no one gets everything they want. The only problem is that we're not negotiating against China or Japan or Australia - our chief adversaries in these negotiations are Phillip Morris, Monsanto, and other non-nation states that have insinuated themselves into diplomatic discourse and have gamed the system for their advantage. Our own national negotiators are working against us and our interests. It's not a matter of compromise - its a matter of being completely raked over by multinationals under threat of lost jobs and an even further deteriorated standard of living.


I am waiting for when they start incorporating anti-leak technologies in their drafts, like including unique steganographics, and then using evidence of "bad faith" to punish leaker countries.

I understand in practical terms why it's good to keep draft legislation under wraps while it's being negotiated, but it's pretty clear with TPP that the secrecy is being done to large extent to mitigate the fact that so many in the public would be completely opposed to parts of it.


Nitpick: you have stated that tobacco companies are suing Australia using a HK-AUS trade agreement to get them to "revert the labelling law". That's simply not true: they are suing for compensation, not trying to force a change in the law (they'd have to try and get the law struck down as violating some other constitutional law to do that).

> I'm definitely a big champion of capitalism, but these investor-state dispute settlements seems really wrongheaded

Why? Can you at least see the underlying motivation for them?

As it happens I don't like tobacco companies at all. I'm very sympathetic to what Australia is doing and think other countries should adopt the same idea. Nonetheless, I'm OK with the idea of Australia paying compensation to Phillip Morris and other cigarette companies in this case, even though these companies are quite loathsome. The reason is the higher principle might still be worth it.

The rationale for ISDS is simple: politicians answer to citizens, citizens want jobs and a growing economy. Period. They want that more than anything else. In hard times "the economy" is always at the top of voters concerns. Politicians know this and will do almost anything to juice the economy e.g. quantitative easing. One of the ways to boost the economy is to increase trade, it's classical economics and it seems to work. Hence there's always some free trade agreements being worked on somewhere.

Free trade is a great idea. However in the developed world most of the easy, low hanging fruit has already been picked. Tariffs are mostly gone. The remaining bottlenecks to trade are often things like differing technical standards or different regulations, which are hard to fix.

One bottleneck is that business values a stable and predictable business environment nearly as much as citizens value jobs, however "stable and predictable" is obviously in tension with the desire politicians have to change things around at a moments notice in order to try and win votes. In particular, businesses fear sudden and arbitrary banning of their business model or sudden seizure of their assets.

This holds back trade: company executives say to themselves things like, "our factory is in the USA and lots of our customers are in the EU so we have high shipping costs. We could set up a factory in the EU but that will take five years and be a very expensive and complex project. If we do it and after seven years the laws change such that it's no longer economic for us to do that, we're screwed. And we don't trust the politicians over there not to screw with us, so maybe we'll just stay as we are". Result: Europeans have fewer jobs so are less happy, they pay more for the imports so are less happy, the company doesn't expand so it's also less happy.

With ISDS maybe the decision looks like this instead: "we should set up a factory in the EU, because even if the laws there change and suddenly our factory can't operate or doesn't make sense any more, we'll be compensated and can use the compensation money to smoothly transition our business somewhere else ..... so let's do it".

So by agreeing to compensate companies for changes in the political environment, the hope is that there will be more trade, more investment, more jobs and thus more happy wage-earning citizens.

Of course, politically this is a hard sell because people like to think that if their elected politicians start whacking a foreign company doing business in their country it's because the dirty foreigners are immoral and nasty and generally deserve it .... and not, say, because their votes are easily bought by a bit of crafty populism. But then again, they really want the jobs too. So we'll have to see how this works out.


I find it a ridiculous notion that corporations are entitled to compensation if a country changes laws that impact their business. Part of the process for implementing changes to laws is to think about the ramifications it may have on businesses. If a country changes a law so that foreign businesses do not want to do business in that country anymore then that is a consequence that the country will have to deal with. It is not up to an international tribunal to decide that the people of said country actually prefer jobs rather than the changes made to the law. The people will decide that, even if it is to their detriment. And that's how it should be.


ISDS does NOT entitle companies to compensation when a country changes laws - it entitles foreign investors to compensation when a country violates their rights under public international law, for example the right not to have their property expropriated. This actually does happen fairly often, and in order to promote international investment it is a good idea to have treaties which regulate it.

In fact cigarette companies are claiming that by prohibiting them from using their branding, Australia expropriated their intellectual property. NO ONE expects the cigarette companies to actually win, and as such they will not be entitled to any compensation.

There is a huge number of misconceptions about ISDSs and the TPP in this thread.


> ISDS does NOT entitle companies to compensation when a country changes laws - it entitles foreign investors to compensation when a country violates their rights under public international law, for example the right not to have their property expropriated

That's often a fairly thin distinction. Unless a country literally has a law that says the government can seize any property at the whim of any bureaucrat for no reason at all, the way governments expropriate property is usually to pass a new law, tax, or to creatively reinterpret existing laws to allow them to do that.

> NO ONE expects the cigarette companies to actually win, and as such they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Obviously they think they have a chance otherwise they wouldn't waste time on trying. Brands are assets, they are bought, owned and sold and some are clearly more valuable than others. If your brand is suddenly made worthless by a change in the law then arguably that property is if not expropriated then at least destroyed.

The whole ISDS arbitration procedure seems vague and informal enough that the outcome could be anything, really. Without real courts and a well developed process I'm not sure how you can say whether they'd win or not. Seems like it'd rest on whether the arbitrators can be convinced that this action would fall under the relevant clauses or not.


I think markets solve this already. Countries with weak property rights see less foreign investments. No need for an additional mechanism.

In addition, US & Europe are already very business friendly[1], which is great! This is the reason EU/US are comparatively prosperous already.

ISDS is about lobbying and regulatory capture (wrapped in the veil of property rights).

[1] http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings


Maybe because no one knows what's really in the agreement?


The agreement doesn't exist yet, it's being negotiated. However, there are misconceptions about how FTAs, ISDSs and public international law in general work.


Misconceptions about elements of a secretive process? Hardly surprising given the secrecy surrounding something like this.


If this is that fine and dandy, why is it being done in secret?


It's not being done in secret; everyone knows that the negotiations are happening. For example the U.S. government has a mini-website all about the TPP:

https://ustr.gov/tpp

The negotiations are being conducted solely by national representatives because the TPP is an agreement between nations. When the national representatives think they have a deal, they will present the proposed deal to their governments for ratification. In the case of the U.S. that will mean a Congressional vote.

Similarly:

Corporate deals are negotiated in private by company staff, and then presented to shareholders for ratification.

Domestic legislation is negotiated in private by Congressional staff, and then presented for consideration by the appropriate Congressional committee.

Etc.

National negotiators do seek input from their citizens who might be affected by the TPP. From the USTR site:

"On Wednesday, March 6, negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership Countries paused talks to meet with more than 300 global stakeholders at an engagement event hosted by the Government of Singapore. Representatives from academia, labor unions, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations from around the world spoke with and heard from negotiating teams about priorities for and progress on the pending trade agreement. The negotiators also had the opportunity to listen to 60 lecture-style stakeholder presentations."

https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/tran...

edit: speling


I guess there's some back story there. Perhaps in previous rounds they had problems with unfinished, known to be flawed drafts triggering big political upsets back home that ended negotiations early. Whereas if the process had been allowed to play out the final agreement presented for ratification would have actually been acceptable. I don't know though, that's just a guess.

That said, I try and assume the best in people. I really doubt there's some moustachioued cigar smoking trade negotiator explicitly demanding secrecy because otherwise the plebs might realise how much they're getting screwed. Seems more likely it's done for their own convenience. People always like to shield themselves from criticism by invoking secrecy, it's an easy "fix".


Free trade agreements are always negotiated in secret in order to enable the two sides to come to a comprehensive agreement. Transparent negotiations fail.


That is circular reasoning. That sentence says agreement is secret so that there can be agreement.

What nonsense.


No, the sentence says negotiations are secret so there can be agreement.


So much contradiction here. So you know that people want jobs and a growing economy, and when they actually vote for something else, it is "crafty populism." Demagogues and uneducated voters are real but separate problems. But the people should remain sovereign, not elevate capital to some level of international rights. Seems like you're mostly arguing that capital should be protected at the cost of people, not at the cost of capital. In your example, the company could buy insurance against certain losses, thus creating jobs in the insurance sector.


https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150325/17151130431/corpo...

This is a slightly better discussion of the problem in the recently leaked draft.

edit:

I guess they aren't bothering to even pretend this is would be anything other than a show trial:

    "...the tribunals would be staffed by private sector lawyers unaccountable
    to any electorate, system of precedent or substantive appeal. Many of those
    involved rotate between acting as “judges” and as advocates for the investors
    launching cases against governments. Such dual roles would be deemed
    unethical in most legal systems."
Regulatory capture is a helluva drug.


This sounds like a typical arbitral tribunal system that companies commonly use to settle various contractual disputes - nothing sinister or unheard of there. What is odd is that it appears to me the agreement would effectively equate changes in legislation that affect profits to a contract dispute.


Is anyone surprised that examples of this power being used currently and in the past includes an oil company complaining that environmental regulations hamper its profits and a tobacco company trying to prevent plain packaging?

Most democracies do not create laws which scare away multinationals. There really is absolutely no incentive for it. Even corrupt politicians don't want to scare away multinationals because the bribes from those companies are their largest source of income.

This law effectively neutralizes democracy. It's also hilarious in a macabre way to see supposedly nationalist Americans railing against Agenda 21 which is non-binding, while treaties such as TPP which allow an international tribunal which override national laws to be pushed forward by their govt.


I wouldn't way it neutralizes democracy, just makes it less effective. To me the core mechanic of modern democracies is control of society through legislative power and the democratic procedure to rotate those that have it.

Taxation, even if just nominal, is one of the most powerful proven mechanisms to control human behavior. This is effectively a tax on changing legislation, thus impeding the democratic process.

Effectively this says that the rights of the stock holders to profits are more valuable than the rights of the citizens. Which is a rule that has been historically enforced in various countries time and again.

No wonder this is secret. Everyone who gets most of their livelihood through labor and not capital investment are the unwilling benefactors.


It is completely unacceptable that this treaty is being written and negotiated in total secrecy. Its even more unacceptable that the thing is supposed to be secret even after it goes into force. This treaty will have a power of law and you will be subject to it without knowing what it actually says. God knows what it will contain when it comes out.

International trade can be very beneficial for all countries involved. But they should be entered into force like all other treaties and laws. They should be publicly known and subject to public debate.


Trade is good, secrets are bad.

Worst part of secret trade agreements is that it is isn't fair to the future of workers affected by agreements.

If your business or career is going to be affected, knowing about this as it happens is good to prepare and make a change. No doubt there is no changing what capital, corporations and wealth want to do but at least give the little guy a heads up.

In secret, all you are doing is harming people and then when it affects them in the end it will be too late or put them in a bind.

In an age of information and being smart about careers and futures, a secret trade agreement is feudal in nature and only for the kings.


I cannot understand how nation states can willfully enter into an agreement that actively curbs their sovereignty and moreover empowers global corporations to leverage profit mechanisms that can hurt their national interests.

Sure, western capitalism especially in anglosaxon countries has always been neck to neck with foreign policy and had been able to leverage considerable national resources (including military) to the benefit of their shareholders. So this is a continuation of that tradition.

I understand bilateral treaties where USA has considerable leverage but this... this is so many countries unanimously lowering their pants expectantly to wallstreet. What the fuck. Sure, most of the corporations that benefit from this have issued stocks so in a way 'everyone can benefit' but what I do not understand is this: why are so many countries passing away their sovereignty to companies. Or, to look this in another way, enable companies to tax countries for legislation that is incompatible for their nexy quarter strategy.


It's not nation states as a whole entering into a deal. It's the legislatures of nation states, most of whom have come from big business and will probably go back to business at some point, who are acting in self interest. They are giving our sovereignty away. IMHO.


National sovereignty is unpopular these days, on both sides of the aisle. Liberals started it decades ago with their love of international criminal tribunals and increased UN power, and now the conservatives are getting in on the act. The underlying premise of both movements is that your pet issue is more important than the sovereign right of nations to have domestic processes free from foreign influence.


There's a long history of conservatives co-opting liberal ideas and techniques. During the 2000s the right played both identity politics and deconstructionism to great effect. The deconstructionism went into play in areas like the "intelligent design" assault on evolutionary science -- if you read the IDist arguments they are basically deconstructionist attacks on the validity of induction and reason in general. The right has always done identity politics better than the left.


Japan is resistant. There is some hope.


This is out and out fascism folks, only it should be being spelled with a capital "F", which of course can also be used to represent the huge FUCK YOU that is being sent the way of the sovereign citizens whose very rights of existence are being usurped by this agreement. And, it is an agreement, no less, to destroy the very fabric of the societies in which we all participate, enjoy, perpetuate and belong. Because .. after a 5 year evolution has occurred, once the pre-teens grow up and get used to the machinations of this agreement, and it 'becomes normal', and 'always how its been', then we can kiss our freedoms goodbye.

Make no bones about this, it is a play for total fascism to take over. A new era of civilization will be in play - it will only take 5 years of this act to be compelled by the societies-at-large which it seeks to destroy - and this new age will be basically this: a trademarked boot, stomping hard on a human face.

Fight this now, or watch your children devolve into a state of lesser being. What we enjoy now will not be possible in 5 - maybe 10 - years from now. The world is devolving, it is not getting better. Modern civilization is the perpetual fight against those who would bring us - all of us, not just a few at a time - down.


I saw a TED Talk [0] a while back about how Git could transform the legislative process and help bring transparency to how our laws are formed.

I've known about the TPP for a while. I tried to discuss it with people and no one had even heard of it.

What if we had a Github-esque site where all of our legislation (and all revisions) are readily available with annotations. Would society be more interested in participating in the creation of our laws? I know I would be.

[0] http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_the_internet_will_o...


I think it's unappreciated the extent to which Congress has been doing version control long before programming existed. Public laws (i.e. commits) are written as amendments (i.e. diffs) to the United States Code. When a bill is voted into law, they are accompanied by reports in the Congressional Record (i.e. commit messages) explaining the rationale of the changes. And it's all documented with decades of CSPAN footage.

The biggest missing piece is the United States Code Annotated. It has notes showing for each provision the public laws that changed it (like svn log). Unfortunately, this information is collected and maintained by West and Lexis in proprietary databases. But everything else is out there and web-accessible.


The rationale might be explained in the commit message, but it seems courts never refer to it, preferring instead to reverse engineer the meaning from the compiled code(law).

The rationale for the PATRIOT act was to fight terrorism. The rationale for copyright extension was ... well, there was some gooblydock. But the courts never seem to reference that when they actually apply these laws.


The metaphor works better when you imagine the courts as part of the runtime (or similar). The comments are available for us to use, as citizens, but when the system is executing, it only cares what's in the code.


> The comments are available for us to use, as citizens, but when the system is executing, it only cares what's in the code.

In that case, the comments are entertainment.

We are not the users of this system. We are its input/output.


Courts use legislative history all the time to determine the meaning of the law when it isn't clear. But just because the rationale for the Patriot Act was terrorism, it was never limited to only terrorism.


Can you point to a place where they have looked at the C-SPAN discussions leading to the law? I was not familiar with the fact that they ever do.

They do look at the history of legislation, yes. But the rationale ("commit message") does not appear there.


Is there anything stopping someone (including the government) from making this all appropriately public and in a reasonable format? e.g., contracts with West and Lexis?


I think there is a lot more work to do before calling this web-accessible.

As the classic goes, if my mother can't find it and use it without assistance it's not ready.


It's not even a Congressional thing! Other legislatures have long done the same (for example, the Parliament of England, later the Parliament of the UK).

A modern example:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/30/contents


A Github-esque site is insufficient, and may be unnecessary.

What would be necessary is some form of compiler or preprocessor to sort through legislation - and regulation, unless one has a civil code, e.g., Louisiana or Québec, one need consider regulation, and precedent - and pump out warnings and errors re contradictions, inconsistencies, edge cases, etc.

Yes, there is a degree of "all bugs are shallow" if the legs and regs, etc., are in a system with full histories, diffs, etc., and some form of PR support, but that would be insufficient, given the sheer bulk of the body of law.

This is a major reason why budget bills, e.g., take so long to enact: A simple mandate might be easily stated in a clear, clean, crisp English-language sentence, but now that statement needs to parsed and assessed in the context of hundreds of interrelated legs and regs.

Humans do that now and it is long, dreary labour for well-trained professionals who know how the body of law works and know, to a degree, what can be ignored, left unstated, or need be stated very clearly indeed.

Now we want to add thousands of untrained folk like you and I? Hmm, we'll need a really good compiler, and we'll need a Linus or a Theo or two, semi-benevolent highly-opinionated gatekeepers to manage our promotion from the equivalent of low hanging fruit utilities (minor changes to clearly-defined administrative regulations, e.g.) through to the equivalent of kernel space (major social programs, drug legalization, etc., etc.).


A more formal way to write laws and statically analyse them is a common dream of programmers, me included. But it's unclear how you'd even start to do that. It seems like an AI-hard problem.

The Bitcoin community is starting to explore the idea of formalised software contracts, but they're all very basic and it's all very early days.


Well, it depends on which problem one wants to attack. In this case the problem is transparency; in a world where git would be the primary legislative tool, TTIP and TPP would be stored in private git repositories.

On a related note, I remember somebody qualified in the field, who wrote here on HN how a version control tool would not be an appropriate tool to develop laws (since they are not developed like software), but unfortunately I can't find the thread.


Interesting point. There are a multitude of issues with our current system of governing a society.

If the government were properly incentivized to bring transparency to our legislative process, why would this be stored in a private repo?

Even if it were, every revision to every line would be stored and traced back to an individual author.

In this case, the contents of TPP will be made public 4 years after executing the agreement. At that time, anyone would be able to scrutinize who wrote what when. This could be the proper incentive to House/Senate members to work in favor of their constituents. Politics is a career today - they don't want to screw that gravy train up.


That "make public" part would probably be a copy out of the private repo and "git add" to the canonical one. No history except "first version".


First of all, how is Git itself instrumental to this scheme?

The idea is a very simple one that has been echoed by many due to how straightforward it is. Laws under a collaborative software hosting site.

The most likely outcome is that it'll end up a purely symbolic manifestation of "open government" much like whitehouse.gov is. It'll be flooded with queries and discussion that are red herrings.

The fast pace at which laws end up being revised will prove difficult for parties to catch up with. Yet if the pace is too slow and the focus too selective or narrow, then it will be deemed inefficient. Besides, the sheer complexity of the legal codex will mean most people will be unable to participate to begin with.



> What if we had a Github-esque site where all of our legislation (and all revisions) are readily available with annotations.

It would be attacked with a DDOS from China and ordinary citizens shut out of the legislative process anyway.


Potentially - only after a trial - having to pay compensation is not exactly the same as repealing a law.

Then again, disincentivizing the creation of such laws in the first place more or less has the same outcome as repealing them after they have been passed and may even be more surreptitious as the public may never learn how the law would have looked like without that kind of pressure.


Title is complete biased linkbait. The actual content talks about companies being able to appeal to an international TPP tribunal, not being able to "repeal laws" themselves.


Whose tribunal? Who delegates that power? Who enforces those decisions?

Don't play the fool - this is heinous, totalitarian fascism, at its finest. The TPP represents a far greater thread to modern civilized society than, for example, the ISIS/Daesh 'threat'. These treaties - which must be fought on a regular basis - are being pushed onto the world by ideologues and extremists whose fundamental desire is the suppression of us all.

Fight this, at all costs. Or watch your children grow in a society far more degraded than the one you live in, and enjoy, today. This is not a pro-survival proposition; it is absolutely the end of civilization as we know it.


Poe's Law definitely applies here.


Who appoints the tribunal?


You won't need to worry about that. Its probably going to be as secret as the rest of this "agreement".


Eventually it comes down to the same thing. No country can afford to pay continuing ongoing fines and compensations. So they will have to change the laws.


Or just not pay the fines. Companies can't "force" countries to do anything, the idea is hilarious. Countries have police and jails and armies. Corporations have got nothing.

They may nonetheless choose to pay the fines because they feel the overall framework is generally beneficial even if they chose to feel the pain in that specific case. Namely, their citizens want jobs and a growing economy, and companies want a predictable and stable business environment. In particular one thing they do NOT want is to spend years building a business in a country and then discover that some politicians have decided to try and grab a few quick votes by quickly passing some badly thought out "anti-Foo" law. See: UK and their new set of "anti Google" laws.

That's the fundamental idea behind all this: countries and their trade negotiators know that their political masters are seen as flaky and unreliable by CEOs, which discourages trade and investment. So tribunals where companies could get compensated seems like one way to try and tackle that problem.


Companies can't "force" countries to do anything, the idea is hilarious. Countries have police and jails and armies. Corporations have got nothing.

Corporations have got media clout/ownership, threats of capital flight, lobbyists and so on.


The vast majority of all corporations don't own any media. Lobbying isn't some magic form of mind control: it's just them presenting their case to the government, which is free to ignore them and routinely does. Threat of capital flight is really just "if you screw us over we'll try and leave" which is hardly any power at all, especially as often companies can't leave because they have huge fixed assets there.

Really, corporations have no power at all. They have the power to speak and maybe to leave. Whereas governments can do whatever they like.


I live in Australia. We could've used the Minerals Resource Rent Tax to build a sovereign fund similar to Norway's StatOil during our so-called mining boom. Instead, mining companies and business interests threatened to invest elsewhere and the tax was ditched.

Capital flight is a very powerful tool.


StatOil is a state owned oil company. Australia could have created a state owned mining company, if that had really been a problem. I guess it preferred not to.


And how would that have gone down with exactly the same opponents?


It wouldn't, but who cares? If they weren't willing to mine, then Australia could have built its own mining company. It would have taken longer but state owned resource extraction companies are common, it's clearly not politically or technically impossible.


That's really unrealistic. Governments are run by people -- who can be influenced fairly easily.


However, corporations have governments in their pockets - and via these they can control when required the police, jails and armies of countries....

See e.g. war in Iraq. TPP itself. Also TTIP.


Interesting that current capitalism is about choice right up to the point where it comes to what kind of government and laws you want to live under. Then it is what you are born in to.


That's democracy and freedom of movement. They are orthogonal and orthogonal to capitalism too. We are used to live in countries with all of them but you can have any combination of them.


How is capitalism about choice? I thought capitalism was about having the means of production privately owned and operated for profit.


Preferably (from the point of view of the owners) in an unregulated monopoly.


This is yet another example of how the Obama administration continues to undermine us. What happened to being the most "transparent" administration in history. Bullshit!


Honest question: do you think Obama is writing the agreement himself, or do you think he lacks political power to stop international corporations from making these deals, or do you think he just doesn't care?


I think he knows about the agreement and the process by which it is being put together and doesn't care enough to open the process and make it more transparent or is deliberately making sure that it's done in secret.


Pretty silly statement since both parties are in support of this agreement. Not every single politician of course but in general it's something both support.


Right but the buck stops with him.


No, the buck stops with his party, and his party would want a political future rather than risk losing power. Corporate interests are just too strong and no party can afford to completely alienate big business.


I can't see how this agreement is supported in the US constitution since it essentially voids the judicial system in favor of some external agency. Even if they can't force a change in laws, fining the U.S. a trillion dollars or something or face crippling trade embargoes amounts to the same thing. Of course U.S. politicians see it as allowing U.S. corporations to dictate foreign laws but are blind to the likelihood of that backfiring terribly.


On April 18 there are planned to be protests in many places across the globe in a Global Call to Action to Defeat Free Trade and Investment Treaties: https://www.globaltradeday.org/


Flagged as obvious linkbait.


Is this agreement negotiated by reptilians? Where are names of people who is working on this stuff? Were they elected? Were they appointed? By whom? How in the world contents of such agreement can stay secret?

Donated money to wikileaks.

https://shop.wikileaks.org/donate


I heard it was being negotiated by Joseph Manderley of the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Coalition (UNATCO). I'm sure it's all above board and the outcome will be majestic.


This reminds me of the corporate dystopia described in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_%28TV_series%29




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