Friday, July 8, 2016

Andrea Germanos — "It's About Letting Giant Corporations Rig the Rules": Warren Skewers TPP

Warren makes the remarks about the 12-nation trade deal, which still needs Congressional approval, to progressive activists in a video released Thursday by social change network CREDO Action.
The deal, Warren says in the video, "isn't about helping American workers set the rules. It's about letting giant corporations rig the rules—on everything from patent protection to food safety standards —all to benefit themselves."
Even in the drafting process industry representatives could exert influence—but there was no voice to represent American workers or consumers, she says. "A rigged process produces a rigged outcome," she says.
One specific provision of the deal drawing Warren's ire (as it has before) is the "wonky-sounding" Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS.
"This is the part that gives a huge boost to big multinational companies when they want to challenge a country's laws they don't like," she says. They do that not through courts but "industry-friendly arbitration panels staffed with corporate lawyers." Faced with potential billions in fines, "some countries will just back down and change their regulations," she says.
"Workers, environmentalists, and human rights advocates don't get the right to use ISDS; only big corporations do. That's a rigged system," she says. Warren cites specific examples of ISDS challenges— last year when Canadian taxpayers got stuck with a $300 million bill after the country said a company couldn't expand of a quarry off the coast of Nova Scotia, and when Keystone XL company TransCanada used the ISDS provision of NAFTA to seek $15 billion from the U.S. for its rejection of the pipeline.
With ISDS in the TPP, Warren says, "It will be open season on laws that make people safer—but cut into corporate profits."
Obama must be ruing the day he promoted Elizabeth Warren.

Common Dreams
"It's About Letting Giant Corporations Rig the Rules": Warren Skewers TPP
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

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