The TPP Trade Agreement, Sovereignty, and Secrecy. Economic Dislocation, Environmental Degradation

Saturday, August 1, 2015
By Paul Martin

By Binoy Kampmark
Global Research
July 31, 2015

“National security secrecy may be appropriate to protect us from our enemies; it should not be used to protect our politicians from us.” Margot E. Kaminski, NYT, April 14, 2015.

It’s coming to you, roughly packaged, crudely thought out, and, we hope, incompetently executed. The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is just about done and dusted, so claim those who have found it appropriate to keep this most “secret” of treaties under wraps. The Hawaii round of negotiations, taking place at the Westin Resort and Spa in Maui, will provide the final touches, though the delegates may be overly optimistic in assuming that their local parliaments will quite accept matters without a fight. If parliamentary sovereignty counts for anything, this will be it.

US negotiators were always in the main lane, suggesting that they would get what they wanted, breezing through the 21st century with Washington’s vision like modern buccaneers. Much of this is based on the illusory idea the future is calculable, that economic modelling becomes truth. Sign on the dotted line, and the Mammon shall be yours.

The US Treasury Department has come up with an astrological figure of increases in American exports to Asia by $123 billion. Other figures have been drawn out of hats, most of which will hardly cut muster when the deal is actually in place. Such deals have a habit of enriching unevenly, leaving a good deal of economic, and social pillage in their wake.

Hurdles to the arrangement include sugar, milk and drugs. Canada refuses to accept more dairy imports, which has put off the delegates of the US and New Zealand. Mexico continues to stall on the issue of opening its market to exports from Asia.[1]

But the quibbling, and to-and-fro nature of such talks belies something more important. The first is the technocratic presumption that what is being negotiated is going to be beneficial for the uninvolved and effectively disenfranchised subject. Naturally, a corporate “person”, and yes, the glories of Anglo-American law were good enough to give corporations personalities, will have the sun shining upon them. (The degree this sun was anticipated can be gauged by the amount of corporate money expended in influencing the trade delegations.[2]) But the TPP, in its entire negotiating process, has become a genuine punch to citizen sovereignty, a trickle-down bonanza of delusionary advances.

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