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Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:12 PM

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic, Ellen Brown, Common Dreams


"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." —Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution

A republican form of government is one in which power resides in elected officials representing the citizens, and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison defined a republic as “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people . . . .”

On April 22, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that would override our republican form of government and hand judicial and legislative authority to a foreign three-person panel of corporate lawyers.

The secretive TPP is an agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries that affects 40% of global markets. Fast-track authority could now go to the full Senate for a vote as early as next week. Fast-track means Congress will be prohibited from amending the trade deal, which will be put to a simple up or down majority vote. Negotiating the TPP in secret and fast-tracking it through Congress is considered necessary to secure its passage, since if the public had time to review its onerous provisions, opposition would mount and defeat it.

Abdicating the Judicial Function to Corporate Lawyers


James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. . . . “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. . . .”

And that, from what we now know of the TPP’s secret provisions, will be its dire effect.

The most controversial provision of the TPP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) section, which strengthens existing ISDS procedures. ISDS first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959. According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law to do things that hurt corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing a nuclear catastrophe.

Arbitrators are paid $600-700 an hour, giving them little incentive to dismiss cases; and the secretive nature of the arbitration process and the lack of any requirement to consider precedent gives wide scope for creative judgments.

To date, the highest ISDS award has been for $2.3 billion to Occidental Oil Company against the government of Ecuador over its termination of an oil-concession contract, this although the termination was apparently legal. Still in arbitration is a demand by Vattenfall, a Swedish utility that operates two nuclear plants in Germany, for compensation of €3.7 billion ($4.7 billion) under the ISDS clause of a treaty on energy investments, after the German government decided to shut down its nuclear power industry following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Under the TPP, however, even larger judgments can be anticipated, since the sort of “investment” it protects includes not just “the commitment of capital or other resources” but “the expectation of gain or profit.” That means the rights of corporations in other countries extend not just to their factories and other “capital” but to the profits they expect to receive there.

In an article posted by Yves Smith, Joe Firestone poses some interesting hypotheticals:

Under the TPP, could the US government be sued and be held liable if it decided to stop issuing Treasury debt and financed deficit spending in some other way (perhaps by quantitative easing or by issuing trillion dollar coins)? Why not, since some private companies would lose profits as a result?

Under the TPP or the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership under negotiation with the European Union), would the Federal Reserve be sued if it failed to bail out banks that were too big to fail?

Firestone notes that under the Netherlands-Czech trade agreement, the Czech Republic was sued in an investor-state dispute for failing to bail out an insolvent bank in which the complainant had an interest. The investor company was awarded $236 million in the dispute settlement. What might the damages be, asks Firestone, if the Fed decided to let the Bank of America fail, and a Saudi-based investment company decided to sue?


Continued:
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/04/24/trans-pacific-partnership-and-death-republic

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic, Ellen Brown, Common Dreams (Original post)
mother earth Apr 2015 OP
magical thyme Apr 2015 #1
nationalize the fed Apr 2015 #5
NoJusticeNoPeace Apr 2015 #2
cascadiance Apr 2015 #8
zeemike Apr 2015 #15
stillwaiting Apr 2015 #9
hifiguy Apr 2015 #13
LiberalLoner Apr 2015 #23
jwirr Apr 2015 #11
blkmusclmachine Apr 2015 #3
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #4
Faryn Balyncd Apr 2015 #6
WillyT Apr 2015 #7
sulphurdunn Apr 2015 #10
hifiguy Apr 2015 #12
Thespian2 Apr 2015 #14
2naSalit Apr 2015 #16
2naSalit Apr 2015 #17
2naSalit Apr 2015 #18
KoKo Apr 2015 #19
jalan48 Apr 2015 #20
Elmer S. E. Dump Apr 2015 #21
mother earth Apr 2015 #22
Jack Rabbit Apr 2015 #24
Enthusiast Apr 2015 #25

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:16 PM

1. United Corporations of the World.

 

aka New World Order.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:24 PM

5. Joe Biden Agrees!

“The affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order.”-- an exact, direct quote from Vice President Joe Biden. See him say that below

Biden is the first on this vid, followed by Bush, Clinton, Kissinger

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:18 PM

2. The more I read the more convinced I am that Obama has been INFORMED

by the REAL owners of not just this country but most, that the world does NOT need us anymore.

We are not needed to invent anything really, Steve Jobs is dead anyway, and we are not needed to manufacture anything, the big one.

So that if we want to have any jobs other than service jobs, we better play ball.

I mean shit, we cant even provide jobs answering the god damn phone anymore.

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Response to NoJusticeNoPeace (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:31 PM

8. But if we can stay informed, we can vote the FU##ERS out of office!

 

And I'm going to start to continue to try and enlist Peter DeFazio to sign up to primary Ron Wyden here in Oregon in 2016, who committed the cardinal sin and ruined an otherwise decent Senate career by helping steer this huge piece of BS out of committee where it SHOULD NOT BE!

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Response to cascadiance (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:03 PM

15. That is what needs to be done, but it will be too late.

And when they get the big deal done they won't care if they get voted out...there will be a big job for them when they leave...one that will pay some real money...and a membership in the big club.

It is all about money and power.

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Response to NoJusticeNoPeace (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:56 PM

9. I sometimes feel like the real owners (who have NO loyalty to the U.S.) would gleefully

destroy this country. And, I mean tear it apart.

I'm sure that we Americans are colossal pains in the ass in some ways (regarding our entitlements).

But, on the other hand, we Americans are ridiculously naive and are sedated easily through their tactics. And our military is used for their purposes so that definitely would be a huge factor in not destroying the U.S.

Sometimes I do get scared for what the future will bring this country though (apart from the clear and troubling direction of our deepening economic issues).

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Response to stillwaiting (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 06:52 PM

13. Shit, they'd open the Soylent Green processing plants

 

tomorrow if they thought there was a dime in it. And they may yet.

The safety net is being torn apart to facilitate a passive mass die-off of the undesirables (or "useless eaters" as Clinton BFF, war criminal Henry Kissinger, once referred to us). It us far easier and cheaper to simply let people die from starvation, disease and neglect than it is to build camps, and it has an added benefit in that it can be justified as "free market economics doing their job. They were failures and it's their own fault they died."

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:53 PM

23. +1 that is exactly their plan. Lots of us will die in the next couple of decades, I think.

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Response to NoJusticeNoPeace (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 06:43 PM

11. +1

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:20 PM

3. http://www.cristinagrajalesinc.com/images/upload/pieces_229_1_2.jpg

 

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:20 PM

4. That Mark Twain "rumors of demise" quote, seems appropriate here. n/t

 

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:28 PM

6. K and R







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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:30 PM

7. HUGE K & R !!! - THANK YOU !!!

 


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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 06:38 PM

10. Who do you think won the argument?

 

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." —Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution

"The Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper" George W. Bush

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 06:48 PM

12. K/R

 

Can't be posted often enough.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 06:53 PM

14. K & R !!!!

Many people have no idea how the shit will hit the fan if this oligarchy isn't stopped. Think it is already bad enough? Wait 'till Obama and the Repukes push this garbage through!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:14 PM

16. Kick

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:14 PM

17. and Rec...

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:15 PM

18. and K&R again.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:20 PM

19. Recommend!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:25 PM

20. Great Post! K & R! It sounds a whole lot like Britain and the Colonies before the Revolutionay War.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:09 PM

21. Yesterday I would have been outraged!

 

Now, I feel a bit numb. I sure would love to believe President Obama, but I just feel very dejected right now.

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Response to Elmer S. E. Dump (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:39 PM

22. I understand, it is the fact that it grants power beyond any nation's legal system that is truly

the deal breaker.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=259853

What on earth can possibly motivate anyone to approve such carte blanche with only an up or down vote to multi-nat'ls & still claim to be representing the people?

It makes me wonder what is next, downgrading wages to be competitive with third worlders? I mean, the multi-nationals do need a level playing ground.

And then there are the fracking bans that could be overturned...nobody and no law gets in the way of profits or lawsuits ensue.

Our elected (& that revolving door) don't care, corporations have hijacked law and gov't, and they want absolute power.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:43 PM

24. K/R

Thank you for posting this, Mother E.

I know some people think it's overstated. Some sophists who think, if that's the word, that anything Obama does is right will subject it to ridicule. I know because I presented pretty this same argument Thursday night.

I feel I'm in good company with you and Ellen Brown.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 04:51 PM

25. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch!

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