NAFTA is being renegotiated into TPP 2.0

The first round of NAFTA renegotiations happened this week, and they have a very familiar feel.

Despite promises in March by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (USTR) that the negotiations would be transparent, the USTR now considers the documents and negotiations “classified” and they’ll be cloaked in secrecy.

But corporate lobbyists have access. And they’re all over it.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this way:

Once again, following the failed model of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the USTR will be keeping the negotiating texts secret, and in an actual regression from the TPP will be holding no public stakeholder events alongside the first round. This may or may not set a precedent for future rounds, that will rotate between the three countries every few weeks thereafter, with a scheduled end date of mid-2018.

No "public stakeholder" means no representatives from labor, environmentalists, or public health and consumer groups. No public input at all.
But business lobbyists can get in, and everything will be secret. Just like TPP all over again.

Speaking of TPP 2.0.

"TPP is the ‘gold standard’ for the modern free trade agreement," says Michael Camunez, president of Monarch Global Strategies in Washington and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce under Obama. "A new NAFTA will have variations of TPP with stronger labor and environment provisions inside the agreement rather than as sideline agreements, and the U.S. will get strong intellectual property protections. In term of trade agreements, you're going from NAFTA, which is like the Model T of regional trade agreements, to a TPP, which is something more like a Tesla."

Oh, goody.

And in related news, the Trump Administration is trying to get TTIP negotiations restarted.

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and anti-globalist Bannon gets fired the week NAFTA renegotiations happen. Coincidence?

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divineorder's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@gjohnsit
we generally refer to two or more apparently unrelated events that occur either concurrently or simultaneously, but where one event has no observably causual relation to the other. The two events have simply "coincided" in random manner, that has been determined solely by the laws of probability and chance.

Me, I'm not convinced that any such thing as a "coincidence" so defined, actually exists anywhere within the human sphere the universe.

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native

thanatokephaloides's picture

@native

The two events have simply "coincided" in random manner, that has been determined solely by the laws of probability and chance.

Me, I'm not convinced that any such thing as a "coincidence" so defined, actually exists anywhere within the human sphere the universe.

Sure they do. The universe is dominated by Chaos, and human "control" is a highly over-rated illusion at best.

The great big world is bigger than all of humanity put together, and its tendencies will win out in any conflict between the two!

There is no Goddess but Eris!

-- The One And Only Scripture Of Truth

Wink

A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).

-- ibid.

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

@thanatokephaloides
to maybe hook PriceRip, but I got you instead. Jolly good. You say the Universe is dominated by Chaos, but with no evidence to support the assertion. It might just as well be dominated by something else, or it might not be dominated by anything at all. Simply because chaos is a perceptible state of affairs, does not mean that it is the ground of all being. Chaos is a concept, just as Order is a concept.

Last night I involved myself in a long web surfing trail that started with a series of Carlos Castaneda biographies, and then got lost in an excellent British documentary made from inside a coven of 'magick' practitioners, in the manner of Aleister Crowely. Somewhere in the midst of my search I was listening to Adam Gorightly, who seems to be a kind of Patron Saint of "Discordianism". He was talking about Charlie Manson, the CIA, MKUltra, and all sorts of other esoteric connections and arcana, with varying degrees of plausibility.

All of which leads me to question, what is it that makes one particular interpretation of reality seem believable, and another interpretation seem preposterous?

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native

lotlizard's picture

@native  
from first-hand experience that it’s just a question of (cough) brain chemistry, and which neurons happen to be firing in which patterns at a particular moment.

All of which leads me to question, what is it that makes one particular interpretation of reality seem believable, and another interpretation seem preposterous?

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snoopydawg's picture

I didn't believe that after Obama spent 7 years working on the TPP that it would just disappear.

I have been saying this same thing. The constant focus on everything that Trump is doing is a smokescreen for what's happening in the background. The children at ToP are only focusing on Trump and his every actions instead of what is happening behind the curtain. Any diary that is on other issues rolls of the wreck list and has very few comments in them.
Pruitt is rolling back decades of environmental policies, including the clean air and water pollution policies.
Almost every person who was appointed to run our agencies is trying to destroy them.
Sessions is Sessions has rolling back decades of criminal justice reform.

What are the democrats doing to try to stop these types of actions? I'm sure that this won't come as a surprise to anyone here.

The Democrats can offer only ratfucking

Thanks for once again keeping us informed on what's happening behind this circus show.
I still believe that this was why TPTB wanted Trump to win. There is no way that Hillary would be able to do these things. Not without a lot of flack from her supporters.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Meteor Man's picture

@snoopydawg
Money quote from the Jeanette Jing article at Medium:

In 2017, The Democrats are beyond morally bankrupt. They have no policy visions; dirty tricks is all they have to offer. The Party’s very soul has been replaced with pure ratfuckery. And they aren’t even good at it.

Here's the link again:

https://medium.com/@JeanetteJing/the-democrats-can-offer-only-ratfucking...

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

snoopydawg's picture

@Meteor Man
used it for my sigline Smile

That is a good article, isn't it. I'm following her and have read a few of her other articles.
Did you read the ones about Hillary and what might happen if Hillary won the election?

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Meteor Man

me is her ability, and that of many other progressive writers, to rationalize away Ellison's decision to turn around, and immediately accept Tom Perez's invitation to become the DNC Co-Chair--after said rat f*cking.

Or, to put it another way,

"What does it take to move a progressive Democratic Leader/Lawmaker to denounce and walk away from the Democratic Party's Machine/Establishment--instead of being complicit in its moral bankruptcy?

Dash 1

(Which is not to say that Jing's quote doesn't make a kewl signature line--it does!)

Pleasantry

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Meteor Man's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
From my Diary about The New Jim Crow, New Dems Are Old Dixiecrats:
https://caucus99percent.com/comment/288066#comment-288066

Alexander quotes Gerald Torres and Lani Guinier from The Miner's Canary, explaining how newcomers are coopted by the system:

Newcomers will be absorbed by The Systemic Borg:

The reality, however,
is that the existing heirarchy disciplines newcomers, requiring them to exercise power in the same old ways and play by the same old rules in order to survive.

The newcomers . . . are easily coopted, as they have much to lose , but little to gain by challenging the rules of the game.

Just like Bernie and Liz, progressive neophytes are persuaded that they can and should fight for what they believe within the Democratic party system.
Invariably they get flipped or played and become tools of the party to bring their followers/local supporters along with them.

Big problem with reforming the Democratic party. It would be nice if The Progressive Caucus and The Congressional Black Caucus could pull the party back to reality or even partial sanity.

If wishes were fishes we'd all be rich sons a bitches.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Meteor Man

putting self-interest over principle and/or morality.

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@snoopydawg

The constant focus on everything that Trump is doing is a smokescreen for what's happening in the background. The children at ToP are only focusing on Trump and his every actions instead of what is happening behind the curtain. Any diary that is on other issues rolls of the wreck list and has very few comments in them.
Pruitt is rolling back decades of environmental policies, including the clean air and water pollution policies.
Almost every person who was appointed to run our agencies is trying to destroy them.
Sessions is Sessions has rolling back decades of criminal justice reform.

What are the democrats doing to try to stop these types of actions? I'm sure that this won't come as a surprise to anyone here.

Consider that during W's reign, he would get in front of a camera and say something stupid and people would go bonkers. Meanwhile, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest were actually doing the dirty. The sad thing is, then it seemed like a lot more Democrats realized W was the distraction and that the men behind the curtain were running the show rather than now where people seem to think Trump is making all these things happen himself. Considering the Democrats are all in on identity politics, you couldn't have invented a better person than Trump to get everyone's eyes off the true action.

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Idolizing a politician is like believing the stripper really likes you.

@snoopydawg

The 'investor state protection' nonsense is a license to literally kill off the people and countries unwittingly/unwillingly involved via purportedly 'legalized' betrayal by complicit politicians.

These are public officials saying that they claim a 'right' to sacrifice the health and lives of their people and the country itself in order to personally gain in the short-term from whatever and any and all unlimited pollution, poisoning and other abuses are required for the maximized profits - looting of conquered countries - of, by and for ruthless self-interests suicidally blinded by pathological greed, as are their political lackeys.

Any attempt at self-protection will result in multiple massive lawsuits by the corporations/billionaires - under the TPP to be effectively in possession of domestic law off-shored-to corporate/billionaire-only courts, to suit themselves, with the public interest to have no standing - until the public of each involved country has been bankrupted.

We are to be all Greece, with no safe haven to be permitted to remain - apart from whatever is thought to be safe for the top fraction of the 1% as the global life support system rapidly dies, with the rest of humanity.

The ever-snowballing ecological collapse is already close to irreversible completion and there will be very little time remaining for life on the planet if we accept as legitimate and allow any such illegal hostile corporate take-over to be enacted by traitors within government.

Nuclear annihilation would be kinder...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

thanatokephaloides's picture

stronger labor and environment provisions

We know what that means: labor and environment protections specifically stripped by the terms of the agreement, with no recourse.

Free traders are free traitors. The only tools a high-wage country ever has had or ever will have against undermining by very-low-wage competitors are tariffs and taxes. Nothing else has ever worked.

Free trade only benefits the cash-rich.

Diablo

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

divineorder's picture

and

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Bollox Ref's picture

...which is also classified.

Gotta love 'Open Government'.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref and also means we are stealing from you, raping you, killing you, killing your kids...
I guess there is no such thing as an honest politician except for bat shit crazy Ted Cruz. He does exactly all the bat shit crazy he said he would do.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

Add to that terrible farm news was Trump’s unilaterally withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP). It was an incompetent error that incited Japan and the European Union to reach a monumental trade deal that leaves America’s agriculture sector with crushing tariffs on its products that were slated for extinction under TPP. Now, the tariffs remain on American products while the EU, Japan, and remaining signatories to the “free trade” agreement will eliminate tariffs for participating nations putting America’s farmers in a horrible position; inability to compete.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

WoodsDweller's picture

"transparent",
I do not think it means what you think it means.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

Unabashed Liberal's picture

reporting. As NHK mentioned, he was shown the door shortly after proposing a tax hike on 'the wealthy.' IOW, Politico was correct that he floated a new 44 percent top tax rate for incomes above $5 million--an idea that was never going to fly with the Bipartisan Establishment/Leadership, especially since a corporatist, Gary Cohn, who's a registered Dem, heads his National Economic Council.

My money is on DT resigning either by year's end, or by Spring.

BTW, I saw your comment about Irish dual-citizenship, and posted a couple of links that I hope are helpful.

Have a good one!

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."--Helen Keller

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."--Old English Proverb

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Amanda Matthews's picture

Being open about pushing for a trade agreement that pushes the plebs ever closer to being nothing more than slave labour and cannon fodder doesn't sound like an idea that will go over very well with the Great Unwashed.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Oh, great, I'd rather not be run over by either a Model T or Tesla sell-out vehicle illegally handing our rights and law over to ruthless self-interests in a hostile take-over conspired at by corporate-bought representatives of a freaking democratic country which belongs to The People who own it, as a commons.

Nobody has a right to give away/sell off their country and people to hostile outsiders to do with as they will. There's a name for that which hasn't been mentioned nearly often enough...

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.