The secretive conferences where delegates are hammering out the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are effectively rewriting the law for the United States, particularly in the area of intellectual property.
The TPP is an international trade treaty currently being negotiated behind closed doors by nine nations located along the Pacific Rim (Mexico and Canada have been invited to join and would bring the total number of participants to 11). The 14th round of talks is set for September 6-15 in Leesburg, Virginia.
As The New American has reported, among the many problems with shrouding the details of such a binding agreement behind a thick veil of secrecy is the fact that if the TPP is approved by the Senate, it would become the law of the land, and the laws of the United States would be subject to abrogation by an international body that is unelected and unanswerable to the people of the United States.
According to a proposed draft version of the treaty leaked to the public, the United States, as part of its membership in the TPP, would agree to exempt foreign corporations from our laws and regulations, placing the resolution of any disputes as to the applicability of those matters to foreign business in the hands of an international arbitration tribunal overseen by the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Furthermore, the text of the agreement reveals that U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk has agreed to place the approval of “domestic stakeholders” (read: large corporations) on a level with that of the Congress. It is precisely this exalting of big business that has troubled many of the people’s representatives in Congress.
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