Trade agreements like the TPP, TTIP and the newly leaked TiSA will sideline national laws around the world
Hail the corporate coup! Corporations are set to take a giant leap over ordinary citizens and actual law makers when it comes to writing domestic policy. Leaked documents from secretive trade deals like TiSA, TPP and TTIP imply that governments will be surrendering a large part of their global sovereignty and worsening the social inequality of poorer countries in the process.
Even though the general public may not yet be aware of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), they have gotten some decent exposure recently as President Obama has pushed for the passage of Trade Promotion Authority, also known as fast-track authority. A way to pass these controversial trade deals with little debate and no amendments.
As if those two massive deals aren’t bad enough, leave it to WikiLeaks to once again expose another massive trade deal. According to documents recently released by WikiLeaks, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) would take a major step towards deregulating financial activities, and could affect everything from local maritime and air traffic rules to domestic regulations on almost anything if an internationally traded service is involved.
“Once again Wikileaks reveals what we cannot learn from our own government, a government that defaults to giant trade deals that affect generations of Americans shrouded in secrecy until they are virtually adopted” – Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen.
As we’ve seen, there is language within the TPP and TTIP deal that essentially allows corporations to sue governments if their regulations interfere with the company’s profits. It is a similar rule that has allowed Philip Morris to sue Australia and Uruguay for increasing the size of their warning label on cigarette packages. TiSA allows this to go even further.
“Unaccountable private ‘trade’ tribunals would decide how countries could regulate activities that are fundamental to social well-being” – WikiLeaks
There are 17 chapters of the TiSA deal that have been leaked, here is a sample of what the deal includes:
- A proposal for standardizing financial services, which, according to Wikileaks, “sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers.” This would allow too big to fail banks to keep growing overseas.
- A proposal eliminating government monopolies in postal services, allowing private postal companies to compete. Say goodbye to the USPS and Canada Post.
- A proposal to standardize regulation of the telecom sector across member countries. The proposal would “prevent states from discriminating against foreign or foreign-owned telecommunications providers where to do so would create obstacles to trade.” I can see it now, forcing Fox News to be aired in every country.
- The most ridiculous proposal that was leaked would require governments to consult with multinational companies on decisions that would affect their businesses. In other words, if we want to pass some environmental regulations for instance, we’ll need to consult with the fossil fuel industry first.
Our leaders keep telling us that these trade deals are for our own benefit, they will create jobs and opportunity, even though deals like NAFTA created nothing but a cheaper job market and a wealthier corporate class.
In fact, these latest “trade deals” don’t have much to do with trade at all, they are secret partnerships between governments and multinational corporations to further the corporate cause. If the TPP, TTIP and TiSA get signed into law by the dozens of countries involved, ordinary citizens will become nothing to a system that now operates for the benefit of a select few. The people will have lost control.