TPP Trade Deal Protects Profits Over People

Newly-leaked classified documents show that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would greatly expand the “investor-state” provisions that permit corporations to use private World Bank or United Nations Tribunals to demand compensation for any environmental, labor, public health, consumer safety, financial regulation or other protective laws that could diminish any “expected future profits.”

The TPP will include the U.S., Canada and 10 Pacific Rim nations, including notorious human and labor rights violators Vietnam, Brunei and Mexico.

The leaked documents, obtained by the New York Times in collaboration with WikiLeaks, contain the investment chapter of the TPP that includes the tribunal framework. Although the investor-state system is already used in previous trade deals like NAFTA, the TPP provisions grant even greater powers to global corporations.

According to the Times, the TPP would allow foreign investors to use the tribunals to demand compensation if member nations “expropriate or nationalize a covered investment either directly or indirectly.” The chapter defines “indirect expropriation” as a government action that “interferes with distinct, reasonable investment-backed expectations.”

Corporations have already made taxpayers around the world pay more than $400 million in compensation and there are nearly $14 billion in pending claims. “Buy American” laws would be diminished because corporations in any TPP signatory country would be granted equal access to U.S. procurement contracts.

As negotiations for a final TPP agreement continue, the U.S. Congress is considering Fast Track legislation that would restrict Congressional action on the final deal to a yes or no vote and would bar any amendments.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Vote NO on Fast Track for the TPP and if your current or past job, family or community has been affected by NAFTA and other past U.S. trade deals, tell us your story and we’ll share it with your U.S. Representative and Senator.

Click here to read the New York Times story and here for the TPP chapter on WikiLeaks.