Tuesday, June 24, 2014

David Cay Johnston — Thanks to WikiLeaks, public can debate alarming new trade deal

WikiLeaks last week again pierced the veil of official secrecy that surrounds global trade negotiations. The peek it gave us should alarm everyone.
Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to WikiLeaks, they failed.
The draft agreement WikiLeaks released on June 19 is fresh, written in May. It is a model of secret law, blatant in its disregard for transparency, democratic process and history. Its opening page says the terms are to remain secret for five years after negotiations formally end or the proposed new rules take effect. Talks to refine that agreement were to resume Monday in Geneva.
Even the secrecy-shrouded Trans Pacific Partnership that President Barack Obama and his Big Business allies want to ram through Congress without changes and only perfunctory debate does not include a five-year veil of secrecy after adoption. WikiLeaks has released a portion of TPP draft documents to the public.
It is impossible to obey a law or know how it affects you when the law is secret. And that is what this agreement would be, a new rulebook for trade in services — principally banking, insurance and trusts.
The 18-page draft agreement involves 50 nations, which produce more than two-thirds of officially measured global economic activity. That means the consequences of the new rules would be enormous, especially for those living in the more than 140 countries not taking part in the talks. Whether people can get loans or buy insurance and at what prices as well as what jobs may be available will be affected by any new trade rules.
Al Jazeera America
Thanks to WikiLeaks, public can debate alarming new trade deal
David Cay Johnston


Roger Erickson said...

that's why our gov is desperately searching for excuses to label Wikileaks a terrorist organization;

what, they're either perfectly better than us, or they're so worse than us that they must be imprisoned?

Is there no middle ground?

Maybe not without a Middle Class.

Texans have changed

davidcay said...

Thanks for the kind words. FYI there is a"t" in my last name.

Tom Hickey said...

Oops. Sorry. Fixed now.