Leaked Secret TPP Chapter Reveals Corporate Rights that Undermine Democracy

Posted April 1, 2015

MP3 Interview with Patrick Woodall, research director and senior policy advocate with Food and Water Watch, conducted by Scott Harris


As President Obama seeks congressional approval for two controversial trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the European Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, he must first win the battle for fast-track Trade Promotion Authority in Congress. "Fast track" is a mechanism created by former President Richard Nixon that would force Congress to vote on a trade agreement within 60 to 90 days of receiving it, with only limited debate and no amendments allowed. A vote on fast track could come soon after Congress returns from its Easter recess on April 13.

But a recently leaked chapter of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership will likely provoke more opposition to the proposed free trade agreement. WikiLeaks and the New York Times published the previously secret TPP’s investment chapter on March 25. That document reveals provisions that allow multi-national corporations to challenge local, state and federal public health, environmental, consumer and labor laws, as well as court rulings if a claim is made that they impinge on business profits. According to the document, complaints filed by corporations against government regulation would be adjudicated by tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Patrick Woodall, research director and senior policy advocate with Food and Water Watch. Here, he assesses the threat to democratic governance, and the extraordinary secrecy revealed in the latest leaked text from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

Learn more about Food and Water Watch by visiting foodandwaterwatch.org. Learn more about the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Investment Chapter at wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/press.html

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