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CONTRIBUTION · 27th September 2012
Hilary Matfess
The Stephen Harper Conservative government is pursuing, actually begging, to be a full partner in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As the specifics of the charter have already been determined, Canada has no manner in which to modify them. It is an “all in” or not at all organization. The concern expressed by this article, written with an American perspective, is the entire effort is entirely secret, even from the elected representatives who will approve it without knowing much about it. Below is an excerpt.

The TPP: A Quiet Coup for the Investor Class

It would be a relief to report with any certainty that the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a massive proposed free-trade zone spanning the Pacific Ocean and all four hemispheres—are definitely empowering corporations to the detriment of workers, the environment, and sovereignty throughout the region. Unfortunately, the secretive and opaque character of the negotiations has made it difficult to report much of anything about them.

[…]

While Congress, the press, and the public have had to make do with leaked chapters of negotiations, Just Foreign Policy reports that 600 corporate lobbyists were granted access to the negotiated text. American democracy is in a sorry state when corporations are granted more access to even the text of sweeping government agreements than the public and its elected officials. Although corporate influence on U.S. trade policy is hardly a new phenomenon, the simultaneous waning of congressional oversight is all the more unsettling.

Read the entire article here.