A leaked document reflects that the Obama administration is negotiating an international agreement to allow multinational corporations, operating inside the U.S., to be exempt from many US laws. And it gets worse. The agreement sets up an international tribunal to decide which U.S. laws the multinational corporations can ignore. The agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”).
The negotiations surrounding the TPP have been shrouded in extreme secrecy. That’s outraged members of Congress from both sides of the aisle:
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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been so incensed by the lack of access as to introduce legislation requiring further disclosure. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has gone so far as to leak a separate document from the talks on his website. Other Senators are considering writing a letter to Ron Kirk, the top trade negotiator under Obama, demanding more disclosure.
The leaked text from one of the trade documents may reflect why there’s been such an effort to keep the TPP discussions under wraps. Lori Wallich, head of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch stated yesterday that
Via closed-door negotiations, U.S. officials are rewriting swaths of U.S. law that have nothing to do with trade and in a move that will infuriate left and right alike have agreed to submit the U.S. government to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals that can order unlimited payments of our tax dollars to foreign corporations that don’t want to comply with the same laws our domestic firms do.