wikileaks releases the TPP environment chapter

Copy/paste links PSA only; sorry.  No time today if it goes as planned./s  In case you need more reasons to be pissed off and at the very least, call your Reps and say “No TPP, No TAFTA, and No Fast Track!  It’s economic treason!”  Sorry, my IE is down, and I can’t create hyperlinks the usual way.   If I find time, I’ll fix them.

From WikiLeaks:  TPP – ‘Sacrificing the Environment for Corporate Interests’:

“Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The leaked secret draft of the TPP´s (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter, published today by WikiLeaks, underscores how multinational corporate interests rule the negotiating process of this important 12-nation treaty, representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP and one-third of world trade.

On 13 November last year, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, which showed how nations were forced to change laws and to prosecute in defence of the biggest corporate interests in the field of IP rights.

In sharp contrast, the Environment Chapter does not include enforcement mechanisms serving the defence of the environment; it is vague and weak, and adheres to the lowest common denominator of environmental interests.

The word “appropriate” is found in various forms in 43 places in the draft text, in such contexts as: “Where possible and appropriate, the Parties shall seek to complement and utilise their existing cooperation mechanisms and take into account relevant work of regional and international organizations.” The word “may” is also found 43 times in the 23-page draft.

In the draft Consolidated Text, governments are urged to “…make every effort to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution…”, “…by any technological means available agreed by the consulting Parties…”, “…on the basis of objectivity, reliability and sound judgment…”, “…provided that the disputed Parties so agree…”, “…take measures to prevent…”, “…shall make best efforts…”, “…exercise restraint in taking recourse…”, “…in recognition of the importance…”, “…each Party retains the right to make decisions…”, “…adopt or maintain appropriate measures…”.

A selection of other favourite words in the draft include: “enhance” (12), “consider” (12), “encourage” (11), “address” (10), “endeavour” (9) and “seek” (9).

The Environment Chapter clearly shows the intention to first and foremost protect trade, not the environment. The principle is spelled out in this draft that local environmental laws are not to obstruct trade or investment between the countries. Furthermore, there is great emphasis on the self-regulatory principle when it comes to environmental protection, and emphasis on “…flexible, voluntary mechanisms, such as voluntary auditing and reporting, market-based incentives, voluntary sharing of information and expertise and public-private partnership”. But even such measures should be designed in a manner that “…avoids the creation of unnecessary barriers to trade”.

The Consolidated Text of the Environment Chapter of the TPP Agreement was drafted by Canadian officials after bilateral consultations with other TPP Parties. It is dated November 24, 2013, the last day of the TPP Chief Negotiators’ summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. It outlines what the Chairs of the TPP Environment Working Group evaluate as a compromise of the Parties’ different positions across issues. In a separate four-page document the Chairs of the Environment Working Group outline the main obstacles to agreement between the negotiating countries.

It is noteworthy in the assessment by the Chairs that the US government is isolated in its interest in placing enforcing mechanisms into the treaty to protect the environment. Without access to the negotiating table, it is hard to assess if the US representatives fought for this principle with the same vigour as they did for policing and enforcement on behalf of intellectual property interests, as can be seen in the leaked IP Chapter.

The TPP negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy during the three years the treaty has been in the making. The United States, as the largest of the 12 economies party to the negotiations, had originally pushed for the closure of the agreement before the end of 2013. According to recent reports quoting Andrew Robb, the Australian trade minister, the negotiations are in the final stages and the treaty is “ready to be sealed”.

The Obama administration wants to fast-track the TPP treaty through the US Congress, preventing Congress from amending or discussing any part of it. A bill to this effect was released last Thursday, 9 January, by the leaders of the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over US free trade agreements.

With the WikiLeaks release of the drafts of two of the most controversial chapters of the TPP, the media has now an opportunity to critically dissect the issues with the public interest in mind.

The TPP negotiations have wider implications than for the 800 million people in the 12 negotiating countries because the US administration, the dominant Party at the table, has declared that the principles outlined in the TPP will be a benchmark in the equally secretive US-EU trade talks for the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) initiated in January 2013.

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

by Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks Spokesperson

EcoWatch: ‘WikiLeaks Exposes Obama Administration’s Weakening of Environmental Policies in TPP’

Mother Jones:  ‘WikiLeaks Exposes What Obama’s Secret Trade Deal Would Do to the Environment’

BBC: Giant US trade deal might weaken shark fin ban

Global Mail: ‘Hostile Environment: TPP Green Chapter “Virtually Meaningless

Panda: ‘Green Groups: Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Environment Chapter Unacceptable’

If you find things of note at any of the links, please do share with the rest of us.  :)


13 responses to “wikileaks releases the TPP environment chapter

  1. TPP will drown (among myriad others) this eminently enforceable, but languishing environmental protection Law’s DEADLINE for ELIMINATING U.S. water pollution, FOREVER:
    (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)
    AN ACT To provide for water pollution control activities in the Public Health Serv- ice of the Federal Security Agency and in the Federal Works Agency, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SEC. 101. (a) The objective of this Act is to restore and main- tain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters. In order to achieve this objective it is hereby declared that, consistent with the provisions of this Act— (1) it is the national goal that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be eliminated by 1985.”
    TPP is poison; thus, anathema to Our SURVIVAL.

  2. But, but we’re exceptional, exceptional, exceptional because Monsanto!

    [Don’t tell anyone – I’ve got some non-genetically modified corn seed.]

  3. boy, howdy, yes it is, bruce. and i know that you know the water pollution control act backwards and forwards, and why it was crucial that it was enacted.

    what do the folks tryin’ to jam this through consider about even their own futures? which planet do they think they might escape to? it’s all…insane.

  4. if i’m not mistaken juliania, close to 95% of all corn seed is transgenic now. i love corn, nonetheless, and can’t seem to kick it, mainly all the forms of masa. :)

  5. Here’s what happened today in my home city, Auckland NZ – very happy to see that the Herald gave it top billing on their website – headline of ‘Thousands protest TPPA’ :

    (Cunliffe continues to uninspire.)

  6. nice photos, too, ww. cunliffe equivocates much like our Prez, eh? the herald’s numbers didn’t begin to add up, which was funny, but at least they did promote the protests. i wonder if there is something to be learned from nations with smaller land masses and protests, as in: people feel they can make more of a difference? plus, travel distances are so much shorter, city hubs fewer.

    i cringe every time that the *next* DC Protest! is scheduled. why the heck can’t organizers pick a dozen cities across the US instead? parenthetically, i wonder how seriously folks are taking the re-occupy wave on april 4? there’s also the major fact that in this country, there are so very many things to protest! choosing which issues even in major cities must be fraught, esp. as so many people can’t afford to miss work, or if one is somewhere in the vicinity, afford the travel expenses.

  7. Yes to all your comments, wendye. And here’s the stuff article this morning – sorry about the steroids comment:

    At the bottom it mentions there’s a protest in Japan today. Nice if all the countries involved had scheduled one after another, but really only practical for the two sides of the dateline I guess.

  8. More like the US’ NWO stealth Hegemony On $TEALING; they’ve already spun y’all into adding the plusgood doublethink descriptor, Agreement to TPP’s depraved “partnership”! In the Obamanable pivot to East Asia; TPP serves to further embargo China, while the US’ neo-PNACis pre-occupy Putin’s Russia on the “Western Front” ! If this appears like a re-runup to WW II; It IS! (Don’t volunteer for the TPP “Co-prosperity Sphere” !)

  9. ‘but aside from that, rodney shakespeare: how do you like us?’

    true pacific ally, indeed.

  10. Here’s a link to some recent comments by Prof. Jane Kelsey in New Zealand about TPP negotiations going underground – I should say, further underground:

  11. damn, juliania; miz kelsey rocks. ‘at her own expense’ she’s investigating all this, my stars. the irony she notes that she can only find any information from *other nations’* stakeholders, not her own must really harsh her mellow.

    remember ‘badger bunkers’? ;)

  12. Aha, yes! Subtle reminder I was gonna review “The Bone People” – got sidetracked onto “In Paradise” by the world spirit, and I have to say the former will have to wait till it warms up (if ever), being a warm tale in its own right. There was another TPP link at scoop – not a lot different, but I will bring it in case there’s material we haven’t listed yet.

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