CPR's Joel Mintz on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Matthew Freeman

November 17, 2015

In an op-ed for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar Joel Mintz takes a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and concludes that it’s insufficiently protective of the environment, the Administration’s assertions notwithstanding.

In his piece, he notes that the TPP “contains no mention whatsoever of what is widely seen as the most pressing threat to the global environment: disruption of the earth’s climate from the release of greenhouse gases.” Indeed, he notes, the TPP could encourage more fracking, thus contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. He goes on to write,

The most potentially damaging threat posed to U.S. environmental laws by the TPP, however, stems from the agreement’s mechanism for the settlement of inter-party disputes: the Investor State Dispute Resolution system (ISDS). This portion of the treaty creates an enormous opportunity for multi-national corporations—acting with the cooperation of friendly nations—to bypass domestic courts and undermine national and sub-national environmental requirements by raising grievances through arbitration panels. While the treaty indicates that arbitrators must have relevant expertise, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from any party to a dispute before them, it provides scant protection against the possibility that the rosters of qualified arbitrators will be dominated by representatives of corporate interests who view national environmental laws as needless obstacles to private profit-making.

Read Joel Mintz's piece in The Hillhere.

Tagged as: TPP
TPP; Can Obama’s Corporate ‘America’ entice the corporations operating in the Trans-Pacific nations, et al, (Congress & the ‘harmless’ American taxpayers) with its two big selling points? Obama’s first ‘promise’ to TPP corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. is ‘America’s’ new justice system with its emphasis on investment practices. And, as a sign of Obama’s (Corporate America’s) good faith, he, the U.S. government, &/or, Corporate ‘America’ has extended to the TPP Corporations the same protection that it has successfully delivered to Corporate ‘America’ whose culprits made hundreds of billions of dollars, if not more, while causing the 2008 Wall St. melt-down. That is to say that the secret arrangements that Obama’s justice department made with the Wall St. culprits were so favorable to the culprits that it has encouraged the culprits to not only to continue its practices (unregulated, ‘too big to fail/jail fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses were not prosecuted in favor of secretly arranged settlements that admitted no crime & thus, enabled the banks, et al, to write-off the settlements as the cost of doing business), but, it has encouraged Corporate ‘America’ to invite the corporations of the Trans-Pacific nations, et al, to participate in the taking of exponentially larger ‘fraudulent’ rewards by similar means throughout the U.S. led global corporate economy. The second enticement that Corporate America has offered to its TPP partners is the arrangement whereby the adjudication of disputes against the existing laws of the signatory nations will not only be conducted in secrecy, but, will be represented only by lawyers who have very strong conflicts of interest; ie. corporations will be suing governments that have already agreed via signing the treaties/’arrangements’ that they are guilty, but, the payees of the penalties, the harmless taxpayers, have neither been included in; a) the negotiations that relinquished their ‘innocence’ in exchange for any consideration, or, quid quo pro, nor, b) the tribunals that determine the amount of the penalties that will be paid to the plaintiff corporations & their shareholders. That is to say, the net payees of the TPP’s punitive penalties, the harmless taxpayers, will be excluded from being represented while the corporations, both; foreign & domestic, that have lobbied for the disputable legislation in anticipation of the ratification of the TPP & the flurry of other global corporate treaties/’arrangements’, will be represented as the ‘plaintiff’. The tribunals have no appeals. And, once the signatory nations have ratified the treaties/’arrangements’ it will legitimize generation of the customary plethora off-shore business ‘costs’ & to move profits to secret off-shore banks where they will be out of the reach of the ‘lesser’ jurisdictions. The ‘arrangements’ are designed to avoid the repatriation of profits for the purposes of taxation, etc. And, all that Corporate ‘America’ insists upon in return for Trans-Pacific corporations, et al, delivering the TPP signatures in order for them to enjoy the benefits of Obama’s new ‘American’ corporate justice is that its partners adhere to Corporate ‘America’s’ 'not with-standing' clauses which exempt US corporations of certain exclusive business practices. In conclusion, the arrangements in Trans-Pacific Partnership are pretty tantalizing for the ethical & not so ethical corporations of Malaysia, et al, who may have, or, may not have, been stymied by, among other things, the alleged capriciousness, &/or, corruption of their local justice systems from making legitimate profits from ethical & environmentally sustainable enterprises. On the other hand, prior to obtaining any satisfaction from the TPP, Malaysian corporations, et al, might consider Corporate Canada’s pre-TPP solution whereby, Corporate Canada worked with American companies & Canadians invested in American companies that operated in Canada & thus, avoided the ‘capriciousness’ of a fairly open system of government & a very astute judiciary. And, finally, Corporate Malaysia, et al, may rejoice that it will now avoid their own capricious & corrupt (improvable?) Malaysian justice system by joining the U.S. led TPP’s, et al, secret, but, very certain justice system (pre-determined & pro-corporate global economy) with its one-way tribunals (‘Death-Star-Chamber’). However, the bad news about the TPP & the other treaties/’arrangements’ is that all of the harmless taxpayers of the signatory nations are on the hook by way of punitive damages, etc., for any past, present & future semi-democratic legislation that does not favor the global corporate economy. And thus, it might be regrettable that a reasonable person can readily conclude that as a consequence of the aforementioned treaties/’arrangements’ he, et al, is no longer living in a democracy. It may also be regrettable that the corporate sponsors of the treaties/’arrangements’ have made little, if any, attempt to explore the various different ways that the harmless taxpayers will not be the net payees of the tribunals’ punitive penalties which can be determined with certainty in open forums & courts. *** For more information on the determination & mechanisms for making the corporations operating in your jurisdiction persona non grata (Lt; an unwelcomed person) see, davidehsmith.wordpress.com *** Also see; Excerpts from 'The Submission' to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, China, Canada, the EU, the Trans Pacific nations, et al v. the (harmless) Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ including 'The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?' (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com) *** Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others...
— DavidEH Smith
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Also from Matthew Freeman

Media relations consultant Matthew Freeman helps coordinate CPR's media outreach efforts and manage its online communications. His media relations experience in Washington spans more than 30 years, and his client list includes a range of organizations active on the environment, education, civil rights and liberties, health care, progressive organizing in the interfaith community, and more.

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