I am a strong opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the massive trade deal President Obama is trying to ram down the throats of the American people by steamrolling Congress into a single up-or-down vote.
Obama keeps lying about the bill, saying that no American laws will be abrogated or changed by any of its provisions. That is pure unadulterated bull-pucky.
As David Dayen reports on The Intercept today (Nov. 24), at least one American law designed to protect dolphin from “accidental” poaching has already headed to the Dumpster as a result of TPP provisions. More are clearly on the way.
The reversal of dolphin-free labeling regulations came not as a result of Mexico (the country that filed the complaint in question) forcing a change. Rather, it comes about obliquely. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the U.S. regulation unfairly discriminated against Mexico simply by denying their seafood a dolphin-safe label.Mexico and Canada are on the verge of effectively striking down another U.S. labeling law, this one mandating country-of-origin identification on meat and produce. The WTO ruled against that law in May, and Canada and Mexico proposed $3.7 billion in retaliatory sanctions. Once again, the sole grounds for the complaint is interference with profit margins of privately held corporations.
The mechanism that was central to both of those rulings is something called the “investor-state dispute settlement system” which is exactly what it sounds like: a replacement for national courts by WTO committees and councils who can impose huge fines against nations whose trade practices disrupt private corporate profits.
Can you say Fascism, boys and girls?
(Lest you be tempted to jump on my claim, please consider this quotation by American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” (Emphases mine)