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(114,904 posts)
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 06:55 AM Oct 2013

Another Reason to Hate TPP


Like the rest of the TPP, we only know what has been leaked. Based on that, it seems the negotiators are poised to give private corporations new tools to undermine national sovereignty and democratic processes. Specifically, TPP would give multinational companies the power to sue countries over laws that that might diminish the value of their company or cut into their expected future profits.

The provision that gives them this power is called “investor-state dispute settlement” (or ISDS for short). The policy was originally intended to ensure that investments in developing countries were not illegally expropriated by “rogue” governments, thereby encouraging foreign investment. But what began as a remedy to a specific problem has since been co-opted to serve very different purposes. Under investor-state, if a regulation gets in the way of a foreign investor’s ability to profit from its investment, the investor can sue a country for monetary damages based on both alleged lost profits and “expected future profits.” There are no monetary limits to the potential award.

Apparently a country’s own courts can’t be trusted to administer this kind of lawsuit, so investor-state also requires the creation of a new court. It would be comprised of three private-sector attorneys who take turns being judge and/or corporate advocate.


The supposed “cause” of these lost “investments” can include environmental standards, labor standards, and yes, even intellectual property rules. So far, countries have been forced to shell out almost half a billion dollars thanks to similar provisions in other trade agreements. The cases have mostly dealt with environmental protection regulations (challenged by oil companies), or pharmaceutical companies (complaining about regulations invalidating their medicine patents). Ecuador was ordered to pay 2.3 billion dollars in damages and fees to Occidental Petroleum last year, in a dispute over oil exploration. Eli Lily and Company, a pharmaceutical giant based in the U.S., filed a $500 million lawsuit against Canada last month under a similar investor-state provision contained within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

But the disputes won’t stop there. Let's say a country adopts a new flexible copyright law. For instance, one that gives users a blanket right to remix songs or videos for noncommercial purpose and post them online, or one that ensures greater user protections for everyone including educational institutions, libraries, or people with visual or learning disabilities. Companies could bring an investor-state case, alleging that the policy undermines their copyright protections, and therefore, their profits. Or, more likely, it could use the threat of such a lawsuit to stop that law from getting passed in the first place. Indeed, given the perverse nature of investor-state powers, even if all the other harmful provisions are taken out of the TPP, corporations could still have the ability to attack and potentially unravel virtually any pro-user digital regulation.



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(14,255 posts)
2. Basically,carried out far enough by international corporations, seems like
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:18 AM
Oct 2013

most existing laws and regulations could be declared illegal.
Imagine, a case that paying into social security or even paying taxes at all - impacts profits.
Allowing generics AT ALL impacts profits. All regulations impact profits.....
Also looks like a field day for eminent domain - even now, Keystone XL was able to just take a woman's land in Texas.

No support for anyone who supports this. Let the chips fall where they may - the chips are being thrown anyway, just a matter of whether they are being flung or being gently tossed.


(8,159 posts)
3. Why is Pres. Obama wanting to fast track this
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:31 AM
Oct 2013

As I understand even congress had to ask for more information on it.

This seems to be all for big corporations and wealthy owners. Any damage done will not be their responsibility. Our laws would be overridden by TPP.

I don't understand why this shit is even being considered!


(29,179 posts)
6. Along with many others on this forum,
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:35 AM
Oct 2013

I have many questions about President Obama's true motives and intentions.


(802 posts)
8. Wow. Sort of encapsulates my feeling, despite my voting
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:14 AM
Oct 2013

for the lesser of the evils all along. The pharmaceutical companies filthy hands in this leads to speculation that TPP intellectual property rights may lead to taxing meds obtained over the U.S. borders, or paying direct royalties. Even some of the Tea Partiers will be upset to find this one out if it is indeed part of it. Certainly doesn't exonerate the GOP's involvement, but sure may influence my small voice in democracy if not made more transparent. Not that I'd ever vote GOP even if they did blow the cover on this.
Has any of the national media covered this debacle at all? I don't subscribe to any teevee providers, I find most of teevee annoying and stupid, personally.


(5,178 posts)
9. Wall St loves it. Investors love it. Millions of money voters can't be wrong, can they?
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:19 AM
Oct 2013

This is a glorious culmination of all their efforts. Every dollar in the markets a vote for more of the same.

"Make me a lot of money!" each donor screams. "I know full well what will happen to our ecosystems, our democracy, our children's futures. I don't care that much about those things! Oh mighty Dupont, oh glorious Chevron, oh magnificent Microsoft! Grant me that my full financial support of your actions will guarantee profits for me. In your actions I trust. Amen."

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