Pacific Trade Pact Puts Corporations’ Profit Over People, Environment

Sputnik International, 08-08-2015

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret is an international trade pact authored by the world’s transnational corporations to undermine nations’ sovereignty in the interest of greater profits, prominent environmental campaigner Helen Caldicott told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The TPP, a top priority for US President Barack Obama’s administration, is a controversial trade pact being negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 Asian and Pacific Rim nations. The deal is expected to cover about 40 percent of the global economy.

“The TPP was organized behind closed doors by very skillful lawyers representing the transnational corporations,” Caldicott, a founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, said.

She added that the trade pact will lead to transnational corporations controlling the world’s laws.

“Corporations can be viewed as sociopaths, with no moral conscience, their only goal being profit.”

Caldicott said TPP will put profits over people and the environment, as jobs will move to low paying countries and sovereign environmental laws will be torn up all for the benefit of powerful foreign corporations.

Restrictions imposed by sovereign governments to ensure clean food, ban toxic agricultural chemicals, protect the oceans and the world’s forests will all be rendered null and void, she warned.

The TPP’s detailed regulations will elevate foreign corporations to sovereign status, so they can sue a country which passes environmental laws that impact the financial interests of corporations, she emphasized.

“The price of medical drugs could go through the roof [and] intellectual property rights could be taken over by transnational corporations with huge ramifications.”

The secrecy of the talks is also troubling as neither the public nor their elected representatives have a chance to examine all the details that will ultimately undermine nations’ sovereignty, she said.

“The whole affair was negotiated in total secrecy to the point that even members of the US Congress and Senate were forbidden to read the ensuing huge documents, even though they had to vote on allowing the treaty to go ahead.”

The same restrictions hold true for representatives in other countries set to be part of the trade pact, she added.

Caldicott, an Australian physician, has been one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear activists for more than 40 years. She is also the founder and leader of the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free-Future and the author of dozens of books and articles.

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