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Two Secret Managed-Trade Treaties

Posted on March 3, 2015

by Don Quijones

Already many key economic decisions affecting our lives are being taken and implemented in complete secrecy behind hermetically closed doors. In the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between 12 nations including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand, an army of over 600 corporate advisers have been allowed access to the accompanying text while the public and even members of Congress have largely been kept in the dark.

Indeed, the only way for the uninitiated to learn about some – but far from all – of the potential repercussions of today’s trade agreements is through leaked documents. The current negotiations for a US-EU trade deal (TTIP) are so clandestine that the few Members of the European Parliament that are granted access can only view the plans in their original documentation, in a secure location, with the threat of espionage charges hanging over them if they are caught making copies or sharing the details with the public.

The Treaty That Must Not Be Named

If you think that’s bad, the hyper-secret Trade in Services Act (TiSA), which seeks to bind together the U.S., the EU and 22 other Western-aligned nations under a new system of laws and regulations covering telecoms, water, gas, electricity, transport, financial and legal services, software design, electronic data, tourism, healthcare and a whole lot more, is infinitely worse. The treaty’s text is designed to be almost impossible to repeal, and is to be “considered confidential” for at least five years after being signed.

Much of the political pressure behind TISA has come as a result of widespread frustration among the globalist elite with the snail-like pace of trade liberalization in the WTO’s Doha Round, notes Glen Newey in a rare article on the trade agreement in the London Review of Books.

As Roberto Bendini of the EU’s Directorate-General put it in an extraordinary gaff-blowing statement last year, the WTO talks stalled because some countries remain “uncommitted and unbound in their schedules of services liberalization. In general, trade in services has not been liberalized to the same extent as trade in goods, for both political and technical reasons.”

In other words, because some sovereign states opposed getting locked into liberalization at the WTO, the EU and others decided to start a new game under different rules. At TISA, the EU negotiates for its 28 members under Lisbon Treaty powers; even the EU Parliament’s Rapporteur, Viviane Reding MEP, remarked recently that TISA began with no integration of the Parliament and ‘no transparency at all’. [To read more about TiSA and the leaked document, click here]

In the U.S. the level of secrecy over the government’s trade agenda has been even more pronounced. According to Media Matters for America, the TPP hasn’t been mentioned at all by ABC, CBS, and NBC during the 17-month period from August 2013 to February 2015. During that same period, Fox News and CNN each mentioned the TPP trade deal just once.

(For the rest of the article, click the link.)

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