Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 2, 2013

Here’s another power grab by the rich elite

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will sacrifice all participating national sovereignties to the greedy whims of multinational corporations.

Never heard of the TPP, aka NAFTA on steroids? You weren’t supposed to.

Had we, we’d have gagged because it’s a plain old power grab by the world’s moneyed elites (aka one-percenters).

If passed by Congress, sweeping new “rights” and escape hatches to shield multinational corporations from accountability to competeing governments and us will shockingly alter business as usual.

Whenever TPP participants claim fairplay discrepancies (for any reason), belonging to the TPP enables them to attempt overriding laws of other countries.

Concerning food safety, any of “our” government’s food safety regulations on pesticide levels, bacterial contamination, fecal exposure, toxic additives, GMOs, non-edible fillers, etc., that are stricter than “international standards,” as most are, could be ruled as “illegal trade barriers” by TPP’s court.

Then, our government (as per UP participant rules) would have to revise “our” consumer protections to comply w/the weaker global standards as well as compensate the grievant for losses. (Sovereignty gone!)

Our government could no longer ban meat imports that don’t meet our safe-to-eat laws, as long as the exporting nation simply claims that its inspection system is “equivalent” to ours. (Sovereignty gone!)

This also means that food labeling laws we rely on (organic, country of origin, animal-welfare approved, GMO free, etc.) would also be subject to challenge as trade barriers.

Big Pharma would be given more years of monopoly pricing on each of their patents and be empowered to block distribution of cheaper generic drugs.

Besides keeping everyone’s prices high, this would be a death sentence to many people suffering from cancer, REV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other treatable diseases in impoverished lands.

The deal would also restrict the rights of our government to negotiate with drug giants to get lower consumer prices with bulk purchases, as Medicare and Medicaid do.

Our Department of Energy would lose its authority to regulate exports of natural gas to any TPP nation.

This would create an explosion of the destructive fracking process across our land, for both foreign and U.S. corporations could export fracked gas from America to member nations without any DOE review of the environmental and economic impacts on local communities.

It also means that most of the gas produced will not go to us, but to foreign users, which will raise our consumer prices.

We need to protect our nation’s sovereignty from this oncoming corporate debacle by responsibly enlightening the discourse amongst nation-state elected officeholders.

For more, try www.tradewatch.org and www.citizentrade.org .

Bill Arnold

Romney, W.Va.

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