The Kill Switch

New Zealand just released the draft of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)and it is worse than we could have imagined. According to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, the TPP, “…allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

Journalist Chris Hedges calls the TPP a corporate coup, and says that under the TPP, ” Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good.”

How will the deep state make out under a secretive trade pact like the TPP?

Glad you asked.

Banks and other financial institutions that are facing efforts to curb their excess would be able to use provisions in the proposed TPP to block new regulations that cut into their profits, according to the text of the trade pact released this week.

Oil and gas companies like Exxon/Mobile that are under investigation for covering up global warming would be able to use the TPP to squash the investigations and keep burning fossil fuels.

And, the military/intelligence/industrial complex loves the TPP, which is all about confronting China as part of the US’s pivot to Asia. After all, this will mean increased arms sales, more spying and much more secrecy. More than just being a trade deal, the TPP is an important component of the US scheme to maintain its hegemony in Asia. “US President Barack Obama and State Secretary Hillary Clinton made it clear during the APEC Honolulu meeting in 2011 that the TPP serves as the economic arm of the US geopolitical strategy to maintain its political and economic influence in Asia Pacific by creating a region-wide legal regime that serves the interests of and is enforceable by the US and its corporations.”

The TPP’s Investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) places investment tribunals above states, above democracies. This puts key economic decisions beyond democratic scrutiny. At a national level, legislators can change laws that do not work out well. This is not possible at the global level under the TPP. The transfer of power is as good as definitive: it is practically impossible to withdraw from (deep integration) trade agreements.

This is perfect in a perversely humorous way. These ISDS secret tribunals are decided by a star chamber of corporate lawyers. Isn’t that kind of a mini-me deep state?

Trade agreements like the TPP give the deep state another way to circumvent representative democracy. This seems to be the plan. So-called free trade pacts like NAFTA and now the TPP have not only wrecked the world’s economy they have left western democracies a hollow shell, more theatrical than substantive. Kabuki.

Vote all you want, it doesn’t matter.

Our elite despise accountability and believe that only they are capable of making the tough economic and foreign policy decisions, free of pesky citizen input. Having a secretive trade pact that works in concert with an unaccountable power center within democratic government is the elite override, or kill switch.

Update: Patrolling at night in the Army they trained us to use our peripheral vision to spot movement. Here’s some movement by the deep state. Can you spot it?

“The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has named former banker, government official and unsuccessful California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari to become its new president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Kashkari’s views on central bank interest-rate policy are not publicly known. He’s not an economist, beginning his career as an aerospace engineer working on space missions before earning an M.B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He’s an alumni of investment bank Goldman Sachs and investment fund Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco.

Mr. Kashkari rose to public prominence as a member of President George W. Bush’s administration by running the government’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program—a controversial effort aimed at stabilizing the financial system by pumping capital into banks during the 2008 financial crisis. Critics called the program an improper intrusion by the government into private enterprise and an unfair bailout of big banks.”

Love the name.

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