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The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact continues on its way toward Congressional consideration. President Obama and the 11 other heads of state will formally sign the agreement in New Zealand on February 4, paving the way for Obama to send the agreement to Congress. Once he does, Congress has 90 days to make its “yes or no” choice.
Whatever the agreement’s impact on the American economy, the odious Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions, alone, argue for a decisive “no” vote. ISDS allows the establishment of three-member panels of international lawyers to rule on disputes between foreign corporations and the countries in which they operate. All a corporation has to do is make a claim that some action by the government has harmed its expected profits to trigger the convening of a panel to decide whether the business is due compensation. The country’s laws, judicial rulings, and precedents, or the legitimacy of the country’s action to serve its citizens’ interests, will have no bearing. ISDS undermines democracy, U.S. sovereignty, and the rule of law.
The TPP will actually expand the reach of ISDS into areas it has not applied before, notably into the financial and intellectual property rights sectors. The TPP agreement Congress will be asked to approve is the equivalent of an omnibus bill that massively rewrites the rules and regulations governing every major sector of our economic and commercial lives—including your personal use of the Internet—in the guise of a free trade agreement. If passed, the net result would be to significantly enhance the power of international corporations and monopolies; restrict the free market, innovation, and creativity; and transfer decision making about U.S. policies into the hands of foreigners.
To view more information, please copy the following URL into your browser: www.TheKeyIsWE.com/tpp.