Top-secret, global corporate power grab of breathtaking scope
|Published: 13th September 2012 13:30|
Details are leaking of a top-secret, global corporate power grab of breathtaking scope -- attacking everything from a free Internet to health and environmental regulations, and we have just 4 days to stop it.
Big business has a new plan to fatten their pockets: a giant global pact, with an international tribunal to enforce it, that is kept top secret for years (even from our lawmakers!) and then brought down like a Death Star on our democracies. Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Walmart and almost 600 other corporate lobbyists are all in on the draft -- including limits on smoking laws, affordable medicines and free speech on the Net.
The latest round of negotiations ends in just 4 days -- but outcries in each of our countries could shake the confidence of negotiators and scuttle the talks forever. Let's get to a million against the global corporate takeover. Sign below and forward widely. Avaaz will project our petition counter on the walls of the conference so negotiators can see the opposition to their plan exploding in real time:
The deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is written to protect investors from government regulation, even if that regulation is passed in the public interest. Leaked versions suggest the TPP would undermine protections for air and water safety and reintroduce measures from the US Internet freedom attack as well as steamrolling efforts to produce generic affordable medicines. Worse still, lawmakers who fail to conform to the TPP's rules face sanctions in an international tribunal -- a place where corporations can sue us for deals previous governments signed in secret!
Negotiators say this is just a trade agreement, written to facilitate investment and profit for all. But the leaked draft imposes so many limits on citizen protections, it's clear this "trade" agreement is skewed to put corporate profit above people's needs -- that's not surprising since it's been drafted in secret with almost 600 corporate lobbyists.
But there is hope: Australia is bucking against the international tribunal system, and New Zealand is objecting to the takeover of its medicine-pricing protections that keep drugs affordable. Massive public opposition, casting doubt over each country's ability to sell TPP at home, could derail the talks for good. Sign the petition now, and forward widely -- the delegates and lobbyists are watching the wave of opposition grow in real time:
US Candidate for Senate, Elizabeth Warren in a recent speech said: "Corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters, because we don't run this country for corporations, we run it for people." Let's reach one million to stop the corporate takeover of our governments.
The Nation: "NAFTA on Steroids"
The Guardian: "The Pacific free trade deal that's anything but free"
Huffington Post: "Leak Cracks Open Trans-Pacific Partnership Scandal"
Reuters: "Lawmakers press for open Trans-Pacific trade talks"
TechDirt: "Hollywood Gets To Party With TPP Negotiators; Public Interest Groups Get Thrown Out Of Hotel"
Electronic Frontier Foundation: "Background and analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement"