Evil trade treaty for Pacific, Europe next?

SumOfUs 28.06.2012 00:07 Themen: Globalisierung Soziale Kämpfe


You could have to pay a big fine for simply clicking on the wrong link. Right now, a group of 600 corporate lobbyist "advisors" and un-elected government trade representatives are scheming behind closed doors in a San Diego hotel to craft an international agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


Why the secrecy? We know from leaked documents that the TPP includes what amounts to an Internet trap that would:

1.   Criminalize some of your everyday use of the Internet,

2.   Force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards, and

3.   Give media conglomerates more power to fine you for Internet use, remove online content—including entire websites—and even terminate your access to the Internet.

4.   The TPP would create a parallel legal system of international tribunals that will undermine national sovereignty and allow conglomerates to sue countries for laws that infringe on their profits.

The TPP's Internet trap is secretive, extreme, and it could criminalize your daily use of the Internet. You could be fined for simply clicking on the wrong link. We deserve to know what will be blocked, what we and our families will be fined for.

This treaty threatens to impose dangerous censorship that would threaten the open foundation of the Internet.

If enough of us speak out now, we can force participating governments to come clean. Your signature will send a message to each country's leaders. Please sign the petition and share it with everyone you know.

The trade deal would also empower corporations to sue governments if they dare pass any laws that might infringe on profits.

The agreement would provide intellectual property restraints beyond those in other free trade agreements like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In developing countries like Vietnam, TPP could even limit access to affordable medication, including generic drugs.

Under the TPP, corporations would gain an array of privileges:

  • Rights to acquire land, natural resources, factories without government review
  • Risks and costs of offshoring to low wage countries eliminated
  • Special guaranteed “minimum standard of treatment” for relocating firms
  • Compensation for loss of “expected future profits” from health, labor environmental, laws (indirect or “regulatory” takings compensation)
  • Right to move capital without limits
  • New rights cover vast definition of investment: intellectual property, permits, derivatives
  • Ban performance requirements, domestic content rules. Absolute ban, not only when applied to investors from signatory countries

The TPP would impose a set of extreme foreign investor privileges and rights and their private enforcement through the notorious “investor-state” system. This system elevates individual corporations and investors to equal standing with each TPP signatory country's government - and above all of us citizens.

Under this regime, foreign investors can skirt domestic courts and laws, and sue governments directly before tribunals of three private sector lawyers operating under World Bank and UN rules to demand taxpayer compensation for any domestic law that investors believe will diminish their "expected future profits”.

According to a leaked version of the TPP’s Intellectual Property Rights chapter, the TPP would:

  • Criminalize some everyday uses of the Internet,
  • Force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards, and
  • Give media conglomerates more power to send you fines in the mail, remove online content—including entire websites—and even terminate your access to the Internet.

Currently, 11 countries are party to the negotiations including the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The U.S. joined the talks in November, 2009, and both Canada and Mexico will be taking part in the 13th round of negotiations that begin on July 2, 2012. By this time next year, Japan is expected to join. The Agreement is designed to be expandable to accommodate new members.

But we can stop this. The corporations are counting on ramming the treaty through as quickly and secretly as possible -- before the public and the media even start paying attention. That's why we're partnering with pro-internet organization OpenMedia.ca: If we speak up with a unified voice now, we can force participating governments to come clean. 

Tell national leaders and trade representatives negotiating the TPP in secret that we won't let them ambush us with a hidden agenda to let corporations censor our internet, and gain more power over our lives.

Sign our urgent petition at StopTheTrap.net today!

The only reason that we know anything about these top-secret talks is because two chapters of the draft agreement were just leaked. Now, we know that drug companies will be able to stop generic medicine from being produced -- which means that a young girl with HIV will die because her family can't afford the medicine any more. And a foreign-owned oil company will be able to sue your democratically-elected government simply for strengthening environmental regulations that will threaten its profits.

Corporate lawyers are trying to avoid at all costs us knowing about the controversial provisions in the agreement, because it will draw criticism from citizens and businesses, making reaching an agreement more difficult. That’s why we need a massive public outcry now to make sure that our leaders know that we’re watching. 

Sign the urgent petition now to national leaders and trade representatives before next week's talks begin. Your signature will send a message to each country's leaders.

Thanks for making sure that people come before corporate profits,

--Emma, Kaytee, Taren and the rest of us


Further Reading: 

Is TPP Worse Than SOPA, PIPA & ACTA? If secrecy and limited information is an indicator of worse, then yes it is. WebProNews.

Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Investment Text, Public Citizen. 

What's Actually in the TPP?, Public Knowledge.

EFF Analysis of the TPM Provisions in the U.S. February 2011 Proposal for the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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