Mar. 15, 2016 By Jack Jodell.
This is the second installment of an intermittent series I began Feb. 25 dealing with specific reasons why the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a very dangerous multinational corporate giveaway which, if adopted by the U.S., will have dire consequences for all but the very wealthiest citizens of our nation! We MUST DEMAND that our Representatives and Senators vote AGAINST its passage!
This insane agreement was drafted in SECRET by a huge team of corporate heads and their criminalize some of our everyday use of the internet – it would force our ISPs to collect and hand over data without privacy safeguards and would also give media conglomerates the power to fine you for certain types of internet use, remove content, including entire websites, and even end your access to the internet. DON’T WE AS SUPPOSEDLY FREE CITIZENS AND TAXPAYERS DESERVE TO HAVE A VOICE IN THIS MATTER? You BET we do! A large number of international corporate leaders, industry “advisors”, government trade representatives and attorneys have drawn this pact up – secretly, because these sneaks knew that if it were presented to the public, people all over the globe would reject it outright!
There is a boatload of information on it that is benignly deliberately held back from us . For example, this TPP would give huge pharmaceutical companies new powers and the right to increase prices on medicines as well as limiting consumer access to cheaper, generic drugs. These firms would be given monopoly rights over new drugs for a much longer time than they are entitled to now. These monopoly powers would even extend to surgical procedures. These rules would prove deadly for poor people, especially those living in developing nations who are afflicted with tuberculosis, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Worse yet, the TPP would create restrictions on the ability of governments like our own to contain medicine prices. Taxpayer-funded public health programs would become prone to attacks by pharmaceutical giants which would prevent these groups from effectively reducing prescription drug prices. It would explicitly prevent Medicare from reducing health costs for seniors. These giant pharmaceutical companies would be enabled to take a disgustingly easy way out by selling at high prices to the few rather than at more affordable prices to the many. If allowed to perform this way, these companies will effectively bring about rationing of treatment. In the field of medicine and public health, then, the TPP has nothing of value to offer!
Much like a number of negative aspects of “Obamacare”, the TPP would expand the profit and power of private health care insurers, in that it would serve to weaken any attempt at regulation made by government. Whereas Obamacare served to increase the number of people to be insured by force (while having no jurisdiction over ever-rising premium prices, the TPP would eliminate any leverage the government would have had in affecting the price of both premiums and pharmaceuticals. The threat of being sued and losing the case in a TPP tribunal would certainly tend to make any government hesitant to try to lower prices. Thus, there would be no incentive for drug companies to keep drug prices down. There would also be no incentive for the industry to be more innovative or to create more jobs. All the TPP would become is a bonus provider for an already over bloated for-profit industry. This would be a recipe for absolute health care disaster!
While President Obama and other proponents of this horrid pact all promise the TPP will create American jobs, we have all heard this worthless claim too many times before, and this blogger is turning a deaf ear to these unfounded claims. Ln 1993, then-President Bill Clinton said that NAFTA would create a million new jobs over the first five years after its adoption. However, two years ago, on the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, the Economic Policy Institute released an estimate that 700,000 U.S. jobs had been lost as a direct result of that agreement! We have also seen that NAFYA has devastated Mexican farmers, causing many of them to emigrate here, both legally and illegally, to find employment. Experts at the EEPI also report that another 60,000 American jobs were lost in the 2012 U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement. We keep hearing this song and dance about how these ‘free trade” agreements will create good-paying American jobs – but they never do!
In addition to our workers, the TPP also would mean increased protection plus increased sales for low-wage countries like Vietnam and enable these countries to further oppress their labor force. Vietnam, a supposedly worker-friendly “communist” country, has repeatedly refused workers the right to form unions. Child and forced labor has also been used in Vietnam, and also in Mexico and Malaysia. The TPP would completely banish all hopes for these workers to form unions forever. Is THIS what we really want or need for this country? Of course not – that is why we must OPPOSE our entry into this agreement as strongly as we can!
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