Rumors That the TTP and TTIP Are Dead Seem to Be… Premature

tpp-wikileaks

Or: Will Obama still be able to f*ck over Those Who Don’t Matter™ and the ecosystems of 85% of the planet despite some… obstacles?

This is likely old news by now, as I’ve been so long getting this diary together.  But I’d been getting pretty weirded out by some in the Twitterverse declaring them dead, so I went a-hunting.  This was the first, although Assange used the caveat ‘may’.

The Wikileaks video is dated, but still a good overview: ‘WikiLeaks – The US strategy to create a new global legal and economic system: TPP, TTIP, TISA’  I failed to find a transcript anywhere.

We’d seen headlines of the Demise of the TPP as ‘Mitch McConnell won’t bring it to a vote’, but it pays to actually read an article.  As in: ‘Obama’s Chances To Ratify TPP Sink As Senate majority Leader Says No To Vote’, staff, RT via the popular resistance newsletter.

“Washington, DC – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not be dead in the water, but it’s struggling to stay afloat now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said he’s not willing to serve as its lifeguard.

McConnell said he will not bring the TPP up for a vote in the Senate this year.

“The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific [Partnership], which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year,” McConnell said at the Kentucky State Farm Bureau breakfast on Thursday, The Hill reported.

McConnell wasn’t willing to kill the deal completely, however, saying that it could see a vote in 2017 if some changes are made.

“It will still be around. It can be massaged, changed, worked on during the next administration,” he said.”

Nice to read that UPS CEO David Abney threw his weight behind the deal recently; the 200,000-member strong American Postal Workers Union (APWU) opposes it.

But sure, maybe they just don’t intend to let the Negro in the White House have his signature victory party; pus: the R’s want more?  And don’t forget, if the Queen is The Parlor in 2017, she was adamantly for the treaty…before she was (cough) ‘against it’.  Tim Kaine can’t make up his mind, of course.

I’d kept checking at Public Citizen’s ‘Global Trade Watch’ and on their Twitter account: nothing.  But finally, this came in on the Popular Resistance newsletter:

Lori Wallach, Sept. 2: ‘TPP Is Not Dead, Unfortunately’

“The reports of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s death have been greatly exaggerated, unfortunately.

It would great news if the pact, which would mean more power for corporations over our lives and government, and fewer good jobs for Americans, were ready to be boxed and buried.

But more urgently, if last week’s news stories convince the growing transpartisan movement fighting the TPP to stand down, the prospects that the pact’s powerful proponents can succeed in their plan to pass it after the election will increase.

Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at the Kentucky Farm Bureau: “The current agreement…which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year.” This generated a wave of press coverage declaring that there would be no lame duck vote on the TPP.”

Yep, Paul Ryan had said much the same thing: we ain’t got the votes, why bother?  Obama has a lotta work to do yet, as in, and I agree with Wallach:

“…negotiating for changes to obtain even more corporate goodies – longer monopoly protections for pharmaceutical firms’ high medicine prices, elimination of an exception protecting some tobacco regulations from TPP attack, and more.

If the GOP leaders get what they want, they will be pushing hard to pass an even more damaging TPP in the lame duck session, despite their insincere political posturing over the unpopular agreement leading up to the elections.

It’s also possible congressional Republicans will jump into gear to pass the deal in the lame duck session even if they do not achieve that last one percent of corporate goodies for the one percent.
Thanks to Fast Track, President Obama gets to decide if the TPP vote clock is started – not the Republican leadership. It is risky, but Obama could call the GOP leaders’ negotiating bluff.

Fast Track is a one use tool. Failure to pass the TPP once a president starts the clock [90 Congessional Days] means that Fast Track for the TPP is “used up.” Knowing that corporations that fund the Republicans want the TPP, Obama could gamble that the GOP leaders would fold on their demands and start pressuring their members to vote “yes” if he submits the implementing legislation.”

And make no mistake, the massive corporate coalition pushing for the TPP is aggressively lobbying to pass the pact in the lame duck session—that unique moment of minimum political accountability when the retired and fired in Congress get to come back and vote one more time knowing they will not be facing their voters again. These interests are rolling out big-money AstroTurf “field” operations to generate paid telephone calls for the TPP, wrangle corporate retirees to write their Representatives and carpet cyberspace with paid social media.

That is not the behavior one would expect from interests with close personal relationships to McConnell and Ryan if in fact the Republican leaders intended to block a lame duck TPP vote, something the GOP could do even if Obama started the clock.”

So, stay tuned.  As a side note, can you parse this sentence from Wallach?: (That is why Sen. Bernie Sander’s statement last week, praising McConnell for announcing he would “block” the TPP was so very sly, because of course McConnell said no such thing.)  She blows by the corporate-funded Dems’ positions in the main…

Now the TTIP is a bit trickier, but for instance, from globaljustice.uk, Aug. 29: ‘’TTIP has failed’ – a victory for people power’.  Well, maybe not.

A number of pretty bright folks were Tweeting this with glee, but hadn’t apparently read past the title.  ’‘Trade wars: Why the central pillar of global order is in danger of collapse as TTIP disintegrates’, telegph.uk.  But Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (yes, that one) proceeded to show why it ain’t dead at all.

ttip-trojan

“The Transatlantic pact intended to unite Europe and North America in a vast free trade zone is close to collapse after France called for a complete suspension of talks, accusing the US of blocking any workable compromise.

“Political support in France for these negotiations no longer exists,” said Matthias Fekl, the French commerce secretary.

Mr Fekl said his country would request a formal decision by EU ministers at a summit in Bratislava to drop the hotly-contested deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).”  [snip]

“Sigmar Gabriel, the German economy minister, said over the weekend that talks were going nowhere. “The negotiations with the US have de facto failed because the Europeans would naturally not submit to American demands. I can’t imagine that the social democrat movement in Europe will opt to carry on and say ‘we stick to the whole bad deal’”, he said.”

“The Americans are offering nothing, or just crumbs. That is not how allies should negotiate. There must be a clear and definite halt to these talks, to restart them later on a proper basis,” he said.”

Merkel of course is still advocating for it.  Related, of course is: #Brexit, and the war of words, claims, counter-claims, etc.. Evans-Pritchard adds:

 But even if Germany stays the course on TTIP, it is far from clear whether The Netherlands would ever be able to ratify it.  Dutch law allows activists to force a referendum on any new treaty once they have collected 300,000 signatures…and that TTIP likely wouldn’t fare much better.”

Now as for those Pesky Dutch, it’s conceivable that given Greenpeace Netherlands leaks may have hit closer to home, no?  From RT, May 3: ‘LEAKED: Explosive TTIP documents expose plans for corporate takeover, dismantled climate protection’

“Greenpeace Netherlands published the documents on Tuesday to dismantle a veil of secrecy over the watershed deal and lay bare its implications for climate protection, human health, labour rights, internet privacy rights and the very social fabric of Europe itself.” [snip]

“Executive Director of UK social justice campaign War on Want John Hilary [he’d spoken in the Wikileaks video at the top] said the leak uncovers how TTIP threatens jobs, food safety and the democratic foundations of Europe.

“It is even worse than we feared,” he said. “Today’s leak shows the European Commission preparing to sell us down the river, doing deals behind closed doors that will change the face of European society forever.

“It is simply unacceptable that a group of unelected officials should be allowed to contemplate such a thing without any public scrutiny.”

Hilary went on to suggest the leak signals TTIP’s demise.”  Again, the rest of the exposé is here.  Well done, leakers!

We hope you’re right, John Hillary and others, but then:

“A global trade deal currently being negotiated in secret and involving 50 different countries could prove to be a serious threat to public services according to a briefing published today by campaign group Global Justice Now.

The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA)  is a proposed international trade treaty between 23 parties, including the European Union and the United States. Unlike most trade deals, TISA is about services, not goods. The briefing argues that this means it will affect areas like labour rights, banking regulation and whether public services like electricity and water are run for public good or private benefit.

The briefing, A blueprint for global privatisation argues that:

  • TISA would lock in privatisation of public services. TISA contains mechanisms, such as ‘ratchet ’and ‘standstill’ clauses, that make it much harder to reverse privatisations and will allow greater market access for foreign companies;
  • TISA would be terrible for the climate. TISA entrenches the idea of technological neutrality on energy policy. This could stop countries favouring renewables over coal, oil and gas;
  • TISA will mean more casino capitalism. TISA will undermine efforts to regulate the financial sector and avoid another crisis;
  • TISA threatens online privacy. TISA promises to hand much more power to the likes of Google and Microsoft to move personal data across borders to countries with lax data protection laws;
  • TISA will be especially damaging to countries in the global south. TISA includes countries like Pakistan that could be hindered in developing public services. It also poses a threat to countries outside TISA, because, once approved, rich countries will seek to impose TISA-style measures globally through the WTO;
  • TISA could mean a rollback on the rights of migrant workers. Proposals being negotiated under TISA mean that some migrant workers may end up being categorised as ‘independent service suppliers’ and will consequently not have rights to things like the minimum wage or be allowed to join a union.  Workers’ presence in a country could also be tied to their employer. This form of indentured labour is in effect in countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and has resulted in horrific working conditions under unscrupulous employers.

Nick Dearden added,

“Many people were persuaded to leave the EU on the grounds they would be ‘taking back control’ of our economic policy. But if we sign up to TISA, our ability to control our economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change – are all massively reduced. In effect, we would be handing large swathes of policy making to big business.”  (the rest is here)  

(NAFTA and TTIP as well, but the latter’s still under final ‘negotiation’, according to the Guardian.)

Back to Wikileaks, then:

Wikileaks’ ‘Trade in Services Agreement’  (an array of releases, documents, articles)

Aug. 28, 2016

The Court that Rules the World; A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. Part one of a BuzzFeed News investigation. Part one of a BuzzFeed News investigation — read the whole series here.  (An in-depth investigation into Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunals

isds

isds-on-the-rise

isds-to-sue-and-be-sued

And let’s not forget #CETA  (The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement EU-Canada treaty)  But hoka-hey; if Juncker, Justin Trudeau, and Chrystia Freeland love it, why should The Rabble fear and loathe it so?

Two relevant quotes from Pepe Escobar, both pre- and post G-20 in Hangzhou:

‘ASEAN and East Asian powers, meanwhile, keep weighing the merits of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — 16 nations, 29% of global trade – as an alternative to the US corporate-pushed TPP, a sort of NATO-on-trade that excludes China.” and

“China’s “message” anyway was unmistakable; it has set a geoeconomic path for the future and it’s lobbying hard for scores of nations to join on a win-win framework. And whatever the future of the graphically confrontational “pivot to Asia” – the TPP “NATO on trade” arm included – Beijing won’t sit silent to US intimidation, or threats to what it considers China’s vital security interests.

The G20 in Hangzhou showed China is ready to show off its economic clout and to exercise a much more active role in geoeconomics. It’s clear that Beijing’s prefers to play the game in a multilateral trade system based around the WTO. Washington, instead, has been trying to rig the game with new “rules”; TPP and TTIP.”

33 responses to “Rumors That the TTP and TTIP Are Dead Seem to Be… Premature


  1. Of course it’s not dead. US corporations can’t let go of sunk costs and they’ve spent a lot to get this far.

    But the likelihood of it appearing during the lame duck session went down with McConnell’s determination to hang it around the neck of Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama.

    That really is baiting Obama to muscle the Democrats into shoving it through enough that minimum set of Republicans, who really want the deal, can pass something that their constituents hate and point to the Democrats — while the Democrats point to Republican obstruction.

    Will the Congressional Democrats who oppose the TPP be that feckless again. Let’s just say that this was the reason they passed Fast Track. To do the deed without leaving fingerprints.

    • guess i agree more with wallach, and that in a game of chicken: timeliness matters, and he may just start the clock a-tickin’. guess we’ll see, as the Rs of course want to get it done, perhaps even without more ‘goodies’.

      yes, wallach was quite unclear about those D fast-treakers and their current stands, but on her twit account (well, really Public citizen’s) she/they sorta play the R v. D. game a bit too much for my liking.

      and what if mcConnell meant ‘trump’ in the ‘next administration’ language’?, lol.

  2. Talk of the net this morning with Ms Wallach appeared again this morning on Democracy Now:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/8/leading_economists_oppose_tpp_provision_giving

    Oh and a week ago, Mr Dayen at the Huff Post:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/isds-lawsuit-financing-tpp_us_57c48e40e4b09cd22d91f660

    On the home front our retiring GOP Congressional Rep Ribble assured me in two phone calls from his Washington DC office and by snail mail last April that (after he voted for fast track authority which) he would work to make sure that the TPP was a good deal for WI residents in his district. Specifically he mentioned our dairy industry would have increased export sales opportunities. No concern about agricultural imports flooding the US at all, apparently.

    On the phone to his office again this afternoon. First sun in a few days after inches of rain, is just now appearing. Buckwheat hedge (cover crop) is full bloom and full honey bees, hope most all is well on your homefront. To the phone.

    • ta for both links, nonquixote, and esp. the DD huffpo one. he went to the trouble of enumerating a lot of buzzeed’s work, and quoted wallach extensively (just as per scanning). re: ag and dairy, remember that in these treaties, the lowest common denominator in the (potential) signatory nations would rule: gmo’s, no precautionary principle left standing, pesticides, herbicides, prolly raw sewage on croplands, you name it.

      glad you’re still fightin’ the good fight on the ground where it matters most. cool on the buckwheat edge, hard to visualize for me. srsly. if i say stuff here couldn’t suck more, i know that’s hyperbole, but try and tell me that most days. ;-) nice to see you, amigo.

  3. No one seems to be able to explain how the TPP works to the advantage of the countries involved. It seems to be slanted to the top 600 US corporations. Per Pepe Escobar’s article China is pitching its policies as being toward the interests of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which of course become part of the Chinese supply chain for exports.

    So we are seeing a scramble for firms in Southeast Asia-Pacific supply chains just like we used to see a scramble for markets in last century’s imperialism. Or resources before that.

    • thanks for interpreting pepe’s essays on china and your similes.

      how they explain the advantages are two-fold: they lie! obama on nonquixote’s DN interview w/ wallach:

      PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “On the merits, it is smart for America to do it. And I have yet to hear a persuasive argument from the left or the right as to why we wouldn’t want to create a trade framework that raises labor standards, raises environmental standards, protects intellectual property, levels the playing field for U.S. businesses, brings down tariffs. It is indisputable that it would create a better deal for us than the status quo.”

      i liked susan rice’s too, lol. oh, bother; didn’t i include it? fiddlesticks, i had to go to her own acct; gotta love the truth lurking beneath it:

      • That’s an interesting straw man. The President should demonstrate just how the TPP is that kind of trade agreement. Most analysis says that on those marks, it does nothing, and on intellectual property if gives corporations a windfall at the expense of consumers.

        • as i’ve read, most economists worth anything say it will do worse than nothing for workers, the environment, tank any regulations for banks, product or consumer safety, and a long list now the ttip is said to feature (as above) allowing personal data to be shared far and wide, as per google and bill gates, etc., extend patents for years, and tra la la. but dang; i went and fetched O’s li’l speech on the tpp from laos, iirc, but had forgotten you haven’t a sound chip.

          we were advised to follow the WH account, i tried, but no link to text, and it’s a pip. but military alliances and protection, as well, remember?

      • Nice of Susan Rice to set up a self-fulfilling prophecy as a straw man. She doesn’t know that US leadership is already called into question in the Western Pacific. That question is “Why is the US still here?”

  4. the homo economicus gang at wsws have some good stuff on trade blocs & preparations for war, esp. world war. cf below or search there “world war and trade blocs”:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/10/08/tppt-o08.html
    “The claim that the TPP is a “Pacific deal” and a major advance for free trade is absurd on its face. It has been specifically designed to exclude China…[in order] to weaken China and create the conditions for reducing it to semi-colonial economic status.

    This objective is proceeding hand-in-hand with the military encirclement of China under the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia, in preparation for a war should that be considered necessary. However, one of the key problems confronting the US has been the close economic ties between China and the countries of South East Asia.

    Washington has sought to overcome this obstacle by stoking up tensions over long-running territorial disputes between China and its South East Asian neighbours in the South China Sea. The TPP develops this strategy on the economic front.”
    ———————————————-
    That these trade deals reduce local populaces, the internal enemy, to serfs & worse is essential to each of these deals. But outright warfare & attempts at military subjugation are part of the game. i think i’m w/the wsws gang that the working class won’t just roll over for this, parts of it anyway. Diversion of grievance into nationalism will be no antidote and will only exacerbate the threat of war (“nations don’t exist. They are only PR exercises.” -john cusack in “grosse point blank.”) the idea that someone like hypernationalist trump (or those arsewipes in Hungary, Poland, and the Baltics) won’t make some blather about making these deals work for “us” and then rubber stamp them is just silly. is Ukraine “nationalistic”? or are their leaders in place to gin up conflict w/Russia & rape Ukraine itself, whatever their rabid barking? is there any difference b/n imperialism & nationalism?

    • zonked for now, but just so. ‘war by other means’, ‘Imperialism by other means than…war…just the threats are often enough. china isn’t biting. i’ll read more closely later after i rest mine eyes and bones; this one was a killer, although pretty bleeping long to read.

    • good questions at the end, No. 9, although i can’t think how to comment on them, most especially your final one. i sure do remember this quote beams mentioned: ““When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules.” (and the rubes went wild!!!)

      beams presented a lot of the blowback from smoot-hawley i hadn’t known or imagined, and to his point about the conjoining of the us and japan (#1 and #3 in the global economy: isn’t japan remilitarizing in significant ways? and isn’t germany about to, or so the rumor goes?

      and yes, no china is the thing, as per the wikileaks video at the top. but brrrr: his ending:

      “In its time, Smoot-Hawley was aimed at trying to bolster the position of the US under the conditions of global economic breakdown that began with the eruption of World War I and were accelerated by the onset of the Great Depression.

      Today, another breakdown is underway, marked by the financial crisis of 2008, and now being accelerated by the intractable stagnation of the global economy. The TPP is driven by the same contradictions. The form of the attempt by the US to assert its dominance is very different from that of 85 years ago, due to the vast changes in the world capitalist economy, above all the globalisation of production. But the underlying logic is the same.

      Smoot-Hawley played a key role in exacerbating the tensions that led to World War II. Likewise, the TPP is a significant step toward the eruption of World War III.”

      the chinese, as all say, play the long game; not so the US imperium. and will there be a neo-con or a loose cannon in the white house soon? saw a headline that the latter is now saying ‘boost the military budget as a jobs program’ or something.

      .

  5. “China & US agree to climate accord!” “US militarily encircles China!” “US maneuvers massive trade deal excluding China!” boy Obama can sure mouth off about shit can’t he? is he the perfect MKUltra agent in his ability to unflappably maintain such cognitive dissonance? probably not. probably i’m just paying a little more attention.

  6. dunno why i created two categories for the corporate trade deals, but this one is the most recent on the tpp. and duh, i’d used the graphic of the O quote that beams had mentioned.

    ‘Public Citizen’s Press Release on the TPP 99% Race to the Bottom’; November 8, 2015 Café Babylon

    “Secret TPP Text Unveiled: It’s Worse Than We Thought, With Limits on Food Safety and Controversial Investor-State System Expanded, Rollback of Bush-Era Medicine Access and Environmental Terms.”

    but again, as per beam’s ‘trade deals as spagetti bowls’, i wonder how any side deals are being made w/ various nations? wasn’t that a feature of both NAFTA and the WTO?

  7. I don’t know how my comment showed up at Jaango’s place – apologies, jaango. Reposting here, where I thought I was:

    thedailyblog.co.nz has a reminder that a big NZ wide rally against TPP begins today (Saturday in New Zealand.) Jane Kelsey has an essay on all such trade ‘deals’ at the site, from which I extract the following:

    “. . .The UNCTAD talks of a crisis of legitimacy in the investment arbitration system. Significant countries like South Africa, India and Indonesia have been withdrawing from the bilateral investment treaties that provide charters of corporate rights and a booming business for a ‘mafia’ of international arbitration lawyers-qua-arbitrators, similar to the investment chapter in the TPPA and proposed for the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Those countries are developing various more balanced alternatives, either through new model treaties or requiring cases to be heard in national courts, as we can and should do.

    But states that act as proxies for corporate power are not about to surrender. TPPA-watchers in the US warn that Team Obama is playing down the prospects of the deal passing Congress during the lame duck period between presidential administrations, so that the opposition eases off. They expect a full-on campaign by Obama to get enough votes in the House and the Senate as soon as the election is over. The prospect that the TPPA might fail has some countries, including New Zealand scrambling to inject as much as they can into the China-led RCEP.

    There is still a lot of water to flow under the Brexit bridge, with a legal challenge pending and a drawn out process that seems intended to minimise the extent of real change. A bilateral free trade agreement with the UK would be as bad, in a country still dominated by bureaucrats and politicians who are committed to the legacy of Thatcher and Blair and an economic captive to the City of London.

    While TTIP has been written off in Europe, the equally toxic Canada-EU Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is being pushed aggressively by the European Commission, which wants to bring it into force on an interim basis before the parliaments of member states get a chance to vote on it, if they do at all. With so many US companies established in Canada, CETA becomes a de facto TTIP.

    When I was in Nairobi recently for the UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum it became clear that Canada and the EU were leading a concerted counter-strategy to pre-empt the collapse of the international investment regime. The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) being negotiated under secrecy in Geneva has become the fall back option for many of the worst elements of TPPA and TTIP.

    Back in Aotearoa, the Key government remains in a state of denial. Labour it still sitting on the fence. If the pro-TPPA Shane Jones stands for New Zealand First their staunch opposition may also change. Hopefully Barry Coates joining the Greens in Parliament will sharpen their resistance to these deals and promotion of alternatives. . .”

    • i deleted the one on jaango’s diary, so never mind. ;-)

      it seems jane kelsey agrees w/ lori wallach (and me) on the possibility/probability that el presidente will play chicken and start the fast-track clock tickin’ on fast track. he want this insanely, as do the corporate profiteers involved in the negotiations. and my, how that number has grown according to wallach.

      fascinating take on the numerous fall-back positions, and yes, apparently a lot of the biggest US corporations will be able to sue under isds via their…canadian branches. bbut i thought i’d remembered that far more nations are involved in ttip than ceta, though that might not matter materially

      it does seem that #brexit is creating a lot of confusion and misinformation/threats about ‘trade deals’, though; her thoughts are worthwhile, i think.

      thank you, juliania; hope you’re well, and that your garden and fruit trees are growing well.

      • Trees and veggies doing well, though two hailstorms in July set them way back, thanks wendye. Recent rains have us green as . . . lovely. Even the NM sunflowers have returned in profusion to the pueblo meadows.

        Maybe we should pontificate there’s a cancer on the TPP, eh? I just posted below on CETA before I saw you here. Thanks for deleting t’other one. Klutzy me.

        • good on your garden growing. a song we used to sing to the chirren every night, they loved it so…and we have enough apples, oddly enough after the spring freeze…to send to our grandchirren when they’re ripe (especially golden delicious) happily.

  8. And here’s a quote about CETA from George Monbiot’s “Here They Come Again” at the Guardian (apologies if I’m missing a previous link):

    “.. .The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is ostensibly a deal between the EU and Canada. You might ask what harm Canada could do us. But it allows any corporation which operates there, wherever its headquarters might be, to sue governments before an international tribunal. It threatens to tear down laws protecting us from exploitation and prevent parliaments on both sides of the Atlantic from legislating.

    To say that there is no mandate for such agreements is an understatement: they have received an unequivocal counter-mandate. The consultation the EU grudgingly launched on TTIP’s proposal to grant new legal rights to corporations received 150,000 responses, 97% of which were hostile. But while choice is permitted when you shop for butter, on the big decisions there is no alternative.

    It’s not clear whether national parliaments will be allowed to veto this treaty. The European trade commissioner has argued that there is no need: it can be put before the European Parliament alone. But even if national parliaments are allowed to debate it, they will be permitted only to take it or leave it: the contents are deemed to have been settled already.

    Only once the negotiations between European and Canadian officials had been completed, and the text of the agreement leaked, did the European Commission publish it. It is 1600 pages long. It has neither a contents list nor explanatory text. As far as transparency, parity and comprehensibility are concerned, it’s the equivalent of the land treaties illiterate African chiefs were induced to sign in the 19th Century. It is hard to see how parliamentarians could make a properly-informed decision. . .”

    Sorry these quotes are so long. I just felt they contained important stuff. The China one Jane Kelsey mentions above is sobering also.

    • sorry to have been so long, juliania, but as the hobbits say: needs must. hah, speak about my bigotry, i saw that on the #CETA account, and cuz my long-time blogging and email quinn always called him out on everything…i hadn’t clicked in.

      but how interesting to know than in the UK the vote will be a simple up or down as well. and i love his ‘african chiefs’ metaphor, we could say that for US tribal treaties as well, though none of them were ever worth the paper they were printed on for that matter. Fort Laramie treaty also leaps to mind, given the #DAPL burgeoning protests.

      yes, how very transparent of them. “a cancer”, hmmmm

    • “it’s the equivalent of the land treaties illiterate African chiefs were induced to sign in the 19th Century.” hmmm…and here the wagons circle back to w.d.’s previous post, no? undoubtedly the effect of these treaties would be to render all such protests a priori illegal.

      who was it said the law is the expression of the conscious intention of the state? as the locus of organized violence, the state’s legal expressions are expressions of its violent intentions. so obviously true w/these treaties.

      take some comfort in the words of the real former US poet laureate? “the constitution is just a goddam piece of paper.” so are these treaties.

      • good on ya, jason, but i dunno who’d said that about the law being the expression of the conscious intention of the satte, but that mot congress critters used to be lawyers… and that ‘the law is what judges say the law is, yes.

        and whoever knew that dubya’s ‘do ya miss me yet?’ might turn out to be…so, albeit his quote proved to be quite prophetic and antecedent (not that he knew). alberto gonzales? i ask you.

        gotta rest now in order to listen for da judge’s decision on da dakota access pipeline. where duz the time go?

        • i think it was michael parenti who said the government is the expression of the conscious intention of the state. his statement would of course apply to the law. THD just posted on the dakota pipeline on the other thread. doesn’t sound good. ahhhh w. unlike obama & hrc, he had moments where one might confuse him for an actual human being.

  9. C’mon, Volks. Together with TiSA to keep US’ proles in place, TPP/TTIP are the Bush Company PNAC-Attacking Oceaniacs’ complementary embargoes against EastAsia and EurAsia, respectively designed to plunge US into WWIII; unless China and Russia capitulate on the Philippine and Megiddo fronts. (Und US, auf dem Heimland, nicht wahr?!).

    • well i can see cheney PNAC energy policy in it, but you could pin a whale of lot more names, think tanks, and oligarchs demanding total corporate control.

      www III does look almost promising in thought; in deed? nato says its ready, china as well; the bear? tryin’ to build up just in case. hope you’re doing okay, bruce. clean and sacred water issues afoot near standing rock.

  10. My research (such as it is) indicates the kiwi population appear to think the issue is a dead duck (not to flog too many avarian metaphors but I guess I have). A search at the Herald for ‘TPP’ produced nary an item for yesterday’s protest agenda, whilst at thedailyblog.co.nz one comment advised very low attendance at promoted venues.

    I am pleased to say, however, that the venerable Otago Daily Times does have front page a march along George Street (I bin on George Street!) to the Octagon presented by about a hundred doughty souls ( bravo folk – it’s been mighty cold down your way!)

    Ev’ry little bit helps. Thanks, ODT.

  11. Further avarian research – I duckduckwent and got this from Wellington:

    Sorry I couldn’t watch a lovely lady from NZFirst in Wellington – saw just a wee bit of this only as I’m limited with respect to videos – she’s a cutie tho!

    • hey, bird gurl; thanks for the info. cutie in waldo’s cap talks that kewl kiwi talk, eh? ;-) the dude who followed her (an elected official, it seems?) spoke bravely that ‘it;s not in the public interest, it WILL FAIL’. ‘carbon pricing’…no, that’s ‘let the market decide’.

      nice group on george street.

  12. You’ll love this, juliania. jane kelsey’s analysis of the newly leaked TISA documents.

    oh, dear, jason; i’d missed that; thank you.

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