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Andrew Marshall on the TPP.

24 Nov

Updates below.

Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an important and informative three-part series on the TPP (TransPacific Partnership) for Occupy.com.  The first part may be read here:

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2012/11/19/the-trans-pacific-partnership-this-is-what-corporate-governance-looks-like/

The second part may be read here:

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-so-secretive-trans-pacific-partnership-global-corporate-coup-1353687546

I will give a link to part three when it is published on Monday.

Update:  Here is part three:

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2012/11/26/the-trans-pacific-partnership-what-free-trade-actually-means/

Update:

Hillary Clinton pointed out the importance of the TPP as it relates to the plans of the US in the Asian region during a speech she gave at the Singapore Management University on 17 Nov.  Her speech makes it clear that the “pivot to Asia” is not just an increase of US military in the area, but that, in fact, the build up of military might is to serve the interests of the American business community.  While China is not excluded from joining the TPP, it will have to pay a high price.  One specific target of the TPP is any sort of nationalized product or business endeavor (the dreaded “socialist agenda” wherein a nation regulates and controls certain resources for the benefit of its people rather than giving control over to private companies).  We see, for example, Hillary supporting the latest Australian measures aimed at privatizing everything in that country: energy, land, water, etc.  The purpose of the military is to ensure that certain corporations have control over the entire globe; countries which insist on holding resources for the good of their own people are a particular target and the intent of the TPP is to end such practices once and for all.

Clinton’s speech was remarkable in its frankness.  It will therefore remain unremarked in the media.  The wealthiest corporations and banks own people like the Clintons, Obama, and the US Congress, who will serve their interests even to the point of using the military and the State Department to protect them and enforce their agenda.  And they don’t care if you know it.  The fact that they also own the media, however, means they can make sure it is somewhat difficult for us little people to realize just how bad things are getting and how much worse they will become.  To those who do pay attention, the message from this corporatocracy is no longer denial, it is, “Fuck you.  We won, what are you going to do about it?”

Below are excerpts from the Clinton speech.  The excerpts are not taken out of context and do not change the meaning of mad Hillary’s words.  Bolding is mine.  You may click on the link at the bottom to read the speech in full.  Deep into the speech, we find the real reason we destroyed Libya: “to harness market forces and private-sector solutions for these growing African economies”.  Hillary-we-came-we-saw-he-died sure showed that socialist Ghaddafi with his ideas of nationalized banking and oil fields to support free health care and education for his people. We also discover the reason for the invasion of Afghanistan; namely that we would like to create a New Silk Road to benefit US companies.  (And you thought we were there to end the oppression of Afghan women or some such shit.)  Economic sanctions are seen as a wonderful “tool” to help force recalcitrant countries into cooperating with the program.  This is from our top “diplomat”, who has also threatened countries in the Eurozone with trade sanctions if they continue to resist Monsanto.  One of the most breath-taking hypocrisies in the speech is this sentence, “Now, regimes in places like Tehran and Pyongyang, that violate international norms and beggar their people in pursuit of greater military strength pose a stark contrast with emerging economic powers that are delivering benefits for their people.”  I should not have to point out, but will, that the US is beggaring its own people to support growing military strength or that the prime aim of the TPP (and the US) is to make sure that the economic policies of any given country cannot benefit its people.  Quite simply astonishing is her contention that private businesses are more transparent and accountable to the public than state-owned enterprises.  Note, too, the support for the World Bank, as though its high-interest loans and deregulation and privatization policies were a good thing for developing countries.

[…]Now, I think one of the questions that may be on your and others’ minds is: “Why is the American President spending all this time in Asia so soon after winning re-election?” Well, the answer for us is very simple. Because so much of the history of the 21st century will be, is being, written in this region. America’s expanded engagement represents our commitment to help shape that shared future. The strategic and security dimensions of our efforts are well known. But the untold story that is just as important is our economic engagement. Because it is clear that not only in the Asia Pacific but across the world, increasingly, economics are shaping the strategic landscape. Emerging powers are putting economics at the center of their foreign policies, and they are gaining clout less because of their size of their armies than because of the growth of their GDP.

For the first time in modern history, nations are becoming major global powers without also becoming global military powers. So, to maintain our strategic leadership in the region, the United States is also strengthening our economic leadership. And we know very well that America’s economic strength at home and our leadership around the world are a package deal. Each reinforces and requires the other.

[…] This connection between economic power and global influence explains why the United States is placing economics at the heart of our own foreign policy. I call it economic statecraft.

Now, these ideas are hardly new. After all, it was Harry Truman who said our relations, foreign and economic, are indivisible. But today that carries renewed urgency. Last year I laid out America’s economic statecraft agenda in a series of speeches in Washington, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York. Since then, we have turned this vision into action in four key areas: first, updating our foreign policy priorities to take economics more into account; second, turning to economic solutions for strategic challenges; third, stepping up commercial diplomacy — what I like to call jobs diplomacy — to boost U.S. exports, open new markets, and level the playing field for our businesses; and fourth, building the diplomatic capacity to execute this ambitious agenda.

In short, we are shaping our foreign policy to account for both the economics of power and the power of economics. The first and most fundamental task is to update our foreign policy and its priorities for a changing world. For the last decade, as you know, the United States focused enormous time, resources, and attention on a war in Iraq that is now over, and a war in Afghanistan that is winding down. Responding to threats will, of course, always be central to our foreign policy. But it cannot be our foreign policy. America has to seize opportunities that will shore up our strength for years to come. That means following through on our intensified engagement in the Asia Pacific and elevating the role of economics in our work around the world.

[…]In negotiations with China and India on bilateral investment treaties, we are seeking a level playing field between American companies and their competitors, including state-owned enterprises.

And with Singapore and a growing list of other countries on both sides of the Pacific, we are making progress toward finalizing a far-reaching new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The so-called TPP will lower barriers, raise standards, and drive long-term growth across the region. It will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and establish strong protections for workers and the environment. Better jobs with higher wages and safer working conditions, including for women, migrant workers and others too often in the past excluded from the formal economy will help build Asia’s middle class and rebalance the global economy. Canada and Mexico have already joined the original TPP partners. We continue to consult with Japan. And we are offering to assist with capacity building, so that every country in ASEAN can eventually join. We welcome the interest of any nation willing to meet 21st century standards as embodied in the TPP, including China.

The United States is also moving economics to the center of our agenda elsewhere in the world. For example, we want to improve our economic partnership with our allies in Europe. That is every bit as compelling to us as our security partnership through the NATO alliance. So, to that end, we are exploring negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive economic agreement that would increase trade and spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

Africa. Africa is currently home to 7 of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. I deliberately said that slowly because so many people look surprised when I say it. And so, we are changing the way we do business with Africa. Certainly regarding our development agenda, but also trying to do more to harness market forces and private-sector solutions for these growing African economies.

[…] Now, our next step will be to transform these regional efforts — the TPP, the EU agreement, our bilateral trade deals — into a truly global vision. In the same way that the general agreement on trade and tariffs offered a global blueprint following World War II, we need new arrangements to take on the challenges that inhibit trade today, from non-tariff barriers to preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises.

As we do more to define our foreign policy priorities in economic terms, we also need to update the tools we use. So our second main area of action is finding ways to tap economic solutions for strategic challenges. Just look at what’s happening now in Burma. The cost of economic sanctions and the benefits of rejoining the global economy helped spur the government to begin opening up.

[…]The United States is also supporting World Bank programs that will provide more than $80 million for infrastructure projects in the country’s townships, and financial support for small businesses.[…]

The same goes for another regional vision we call the New Silk Road, a web of trade and transportation links reaching from the steps of Central Asia to the southern tip of India. Forging stronger economic ties across this region is a key element in our long-term strategy for Afghanistan. If you look at the map, you see why Afghanistan has been fought over and part of the great game for so many generations because of its very strategic position right in the middle of this trading route.[…]

We are also using new economic tools to address one of the world’s preeminent security challenges: Iran. A broad coalition is revolutionizing how the international community enforces sanctions and builds pressure. We went after Iran’s central bank and finance sector, and we reached out to private insurers, shippers, oil companies, and financial institutions to help us target pressure points that make it harder for companies and governments to do business with Iran.

Now we see results. Every major importer of Iranian oil has lowered their consumption. All 27 nations of the European Union have joined a boycott. In one year, Iran’s oil exports are down by more than one million barrels a day, costing the Iranian Government at least $3 billion each month. […]

Now, regimes in places like Tehran and Pyongyang, that violate international norms and beggar their people in pursuit of greater military strength pose a stark contrast with emerging economic powers that are delivering benefits for their people.[…]

So, the United States is stepping up our game, using our network of more than 270 embassies and consulates to advocate for American firms, and help achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in 5 years. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living beyond our own borders, this has become an economic imperative. So our diplomats are working to make it easier for U.S. businesses to find answers and get advice about navigating markets. We’re helping them connect with foreign partners and compete for contracts. And whenever a U.S. Government official travels overseas now, we try to include business events on our schedules. In fact, later today I will visit a General Electric aviation facility here in Singapore.[…]

We’re proud to go to bat for the Boeings and Chevrons and General Motors and so many others. […]

Now, recently we saw a break-through when India retooled its policy on foreign direct investment. Their old rules barred companies that carry multiple brands in one store — like Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco, or similar foreign companies — from doing retail business in the Indian market. That limited competition. But, more than that, it prevented the kind of knowledge transfer and supply chain modernization that India needs. So we and — I should note — other countries, as well, raised this issue with India’s leaders at the highest level for years. And we are pleased that Delhi has now agreed to loosen its restrictions.[…]

The fourth and final area we are focused on is making sure America’s diplomats and development experts have all the skills and support they need to actually implement economic statecraft. So, we are focused on recruiting, retaining, and rewarding the most talented people we can find. I appointed the State Department’s first-ever chief economist. And I combined our work on energy, the environment, and economics under a single under secretary position to maximize synergy and cooperation. We are ramping up our training curriculum for economic officers, and developing new tools and incentives to help them do their jobs. Now, these kinds of changes unfold over years, but they show a commitment to match our practices to our priorities. And they will help hard-wire economic statecraft into American foreign policy.[…]

Now, state-owned or state-supported enterprises are not necessarily problematic in all cases. But they do often lack the transparency and accountability that come with private boards and investors. […]

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/11/200664.htm

My own posts on the TPP are mainly here: http://teri.nicedriving.org/2012/06/the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp/

and here:  http://teri.nicedriving.org/2012/06/the-trans-pacific-partnership/

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