2015: Obscure Government Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP

“This is not a trade agreement. It’s about intellectual property and dispute settlement.” As opponents and advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue to battle it out, the debate over the agreement has largely focused on the issue of trade – whether jobs will be lost or gained, what the agreement will do to our trade deficit, and other related matters. It’s worth pointing out that the United States already trades heavily with the other 11 nations included in the TPP talks. As Paul Krugman says, “this is not a trade agreement. It’s about intellectual property and dispute settlement; the big beneficiaries are likely to be pharma companies and firms that want to sue governments.” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been particularly critical of the so-called Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions, which would empower corporations to use international courts to sue the U.S. government and others who are enacting […] Read More

2014: Cyber-Espionage and Trade Agreements: An Ill-Fitting and Dangerous Combination

Yesterday’s leak of a May 2014 draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement revealed the addition of new text criminalizing the misuse of trade secrets through “computer systems”, as mentioned in our previous post about the leak. This is a significant revelation because we also know that trade secrets are planned for inclusion in the EU-US free trade agreement, TTIP (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The revelation of the proposed text in the TPP provides a good indication that the same kind of language will likely also appear in TTIP. Frighteningly, this text contains no protections to safeguard the public interest. Today we delve into this provision and its background in more depth. Why Trade Secrets, and Why Now? The US Trade Representative’s sudden interest in trade secret protection arises largely from reports of widespread cyber-espionage against US companies emanating from China. This has also led to domestic […] Read More

2013: We Are in the Midst of Defeating the Largest Corporate Trade Agreement in History

The awakening of mass political consciousness is happening, and corporate elites can’t do a thing to stop it. These are times of great secrecy and misinformation. Government and corporations hide their actions to avoid public disapproval and accountability. Courageous truth-tellers are persecuted for exposing the deep corruption. We depend on whistleblowers to expose the lies and shine light on information that is hidden from the public so we can understand what is happening around us. We need to know the truth in order to participate in the great debates that shape our futures. This week, we learned that a brave whistleblower gave the text of the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to Wikileaks. This text was released to the public on Wednesday and has spurred quite a stir as we discover that our concerns about the TPP are justified. We learned that the United States stands out […] Read More