The upcoming US Presidential election - where affordable health care and education are at issue, will not be able to fix the problems caused by ignoring the failure to exclude provision of health insurance and education services from the TISA negotiations
In India, on the other side of the world, a debate has been raging for a year over India's entry to the WTO and the implications of Indias signing the WTO GATS, an act which, the Indian media is saying, eliminates the right to education (and health care).
India therefore should be seen as one of the only countries where these issues have ever seen the light of day in the media. Read more about The upcoming US Presidential election - where affordable health care and education are at issue, will not be able to fix the problems caused by ignoring the failure to exclude provision of health insurance and education services from the TISA negotiations
The intensity of the conflict over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has died down since last June, after the Administration won its victory in getting Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) through Congress. During the Intervening months, the efforts of the Special Trade Representative (STR) to complete TPP negotiations have continued. Read more about Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs Balance Budgets: A New Book on Trade and Fiscal Policy
The trade agreements currently being negotiated by the Obama Administration are potentially enormously important in their possible impact on the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated by 12 Asian-Pacific nations, and, if agreed to by Congress could be expanded in membership later on under the President's sole authority. Read more about Declarations of Dependence: A New e-Book on the Neoliberal Nation-Subjugating “Trade Deals”
Wikileaks did us all another service yesterday by releasing the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP): Investment Chapter Consolidated Text,” and collaborating with the New York Times to get the word out. Jonathan Weisman wrote the story for the New York Times. Apart from providing a very high level and very selective summary of what the chapter says, the article contains talking points used by proponents and opponents of the TPP. I think a close commentary on the article and associated issues would be useful. So here it is. Read more about The New York Times Covers the TPP: A Commentary
Well, fast-tracking the TPP would make it easier to offshore our jobs and would put downward pressure, enormous downward pressure, on Americans' wages, because it would throw American workers into competition with workers in Vietnam who are paid less than 60 cents an hour and have no labor rights to organize, to better their situation. Plus, the TPP would empower another 25,000 foreign corporations to use the investor state tribunals, the corporate tribunals, to attack our laws. And then there would be another 25,000 U.S. corporations in the other TPP countries who could use investor state to attack their environmental and health and labor and safety laws. And if all that weren't enough, Big Pharma would get new monopoly patent rights that would jack up medicine prices, cutting off affordable access. And there's rollback of financial regulations put in place after the global financial crisis. And there's a ban on "Buy Local," "buy domestic" policies. And it would undermine the policy space that we have to deal with the climate crisis—energy policies are covered. Basically, almost any progressive policy or goal would be undermined, rolled back. Plus, we would see more offshoring of jobs and more downward pressure on wages. So the big battle is over fast track, the process. And right now, thanks to a lot of pushback by activists across the country, actually, they don't have a majority to pass it. But there's an enormous push to change that, and that's basically where we all come in.
President Obama's remarks to the Business Roundtable on Trade raise alarm bells for us all, and suggest that he is still pushing his pro- 1% agenda for all it is worth. Perhaps it would be better if Congress just treated him as a lame duck from here on in. Here are a number of statements from his talk and answers to questions, and my comments on them. Read more about A Credibility Problem?
If 4.6 million in Federal exchanges lose premium subsidies due to Halbig, we will conform to GATS, NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, TAFTA/TTIP+TiSA. Current subsidies and ACA rules probably don't. Coincidence?
The unseen hand of secretive trade policies and secretive free trade agreements strikes again, although of course, as always, for a reason that mentions them not. Read more about If 4.6 million in Federal exchanges lose premium subsidies due to Halbig, we will conform to GATS, NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, TAFTA/TTIP+TiSA. Current subsidies and ACA rules probably don't. Coincidence?
A huge find from Maine: Do Obama and the 3 "free trade agreements" have a hidden agenda of using "free trade", "standstill","ratchet" and ISDS lock-in as a scam or pretext to block affordable public health care in the US?
You know how sometimes you're looking around for something and can't find it and then it suddenly turns up and it was right in front of you, but just somewhere you forgot to look? Well, this 2006 PDF "DRAFT Assessment—for Citizen Trade Policy Commission review Report to the Health Care Subcommittee of the Maine CTPC" contains a totally on topic explanation of the core free-trade-agreement vs. affordable health care issues from, of all places, Lambert's home state of Maine. Read more about A huge find from Maine: Do Obama and the 3 "free trade agreements" have a hidden agenda of using "free trade", "standstill","ratchet" and ISDS lock-in as a scam or pretext to block affordable public health care in the US?
Over the last few weeks we've been seeing a drama slowly unfold in the UK. We in the US should be watching this very closely, because our own fate is closely tied to the fate of the Brits. Unfortunately, the US media, controlled as it is by five corporations, is almost completely blanking out the UK story. And the very few US stories that have mentioned it are neglecting to tell us the core issues at all, of course. Why? Because it's a trip down the rabbit hole they call neoliberalism. Read more about The Number Two Reason Canadian Healthcare is Free And Equal to All Canadians
UK anti-TTIP protests reflect urgent need in both US and UK for explicit "carve outs" in FTAs to protect the full health care policy space, including single payer, an NHS system or whatever is necessary to bring about real affordable health care
From euractiv comes an article about the uproar over NHS privatization.. which is being blotted out of the UK media...
UK anti-TTIP protests to focus on NHS privatisation.
I'm quoting it here:
“Locking in liberalisation laws”
But protestors are still worried that once a service is privately owned, it will become “extremely difficult” to renationalise it.
Slovakia's legal battle to implement single payer VS. special corporate "rights" under "free trade agreement"- Read the documents
Recap: Slovaks were fed up with the ever rising cost of health insurance, so in 2006, they elected a government that ran on a platform promising to limit the profits of the insurers and transition to single payer. Read more about Slovakia's legal battle to implement single payer VS. special corporate "rights" under "free trade agreement"- Read the documents
Will Obama's Irreversible Secret Fracking Deal raise US prices for NATURAL GAS too much? Can families afford to heat less energy efficient rented and owned homes if US LNG prices rise to global norms? How much rental housing could be lost?
Trade deals are pushing to permanently, irreversibly eliminate longstanding US restrictions on natural gas exporting which could mean heating, cooking gas, hot water, etc. costs (all natural gas related costs) in the USA could easily go up a great deal. The US energy industry is clearly very excited about the United States becoming a major natural gas supplier to the world.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_prices Read more about Will Obama's Irreversible Secret Fracking Deal raise US prices for NATURAL GAS too much? Can families afford to heat less energy efficient rented and owned homes if US LNG prices rise to global norms? How much rental housing could be lost?
Can we be finally be honest about the main reason why unskilled and medium skiled jobs everywhere, are vanishing, for good?
We're been struggling with technology for tens of thousands of years. Learning all the time. And guess what, the more we learn, the faster we're learning new stuff, better!
Now, our labor saving technology is finally succeeding! Read more about Can we be finally be honest about the main reason why unskilled and medium skiled jobs everywhere, are vanishing, for good?
A report just came out yesterday that should be read by anybody who doubts that the US and the EU are waging a global war on all that is good about governments, and public services - overturning democracy. The teaser for the article and a link to the report PDF are below. There is also a press release: Read more about TISA's Global War on Public Services: The Trade in Services Agreement and the Corporate Agenda
In my blog post a few days ago about the unseen hand of the various 'free trade agreement' mandates to 'privatize everything' quietly strangling any "hope" of real "health care reform" in the USA, I had a lot to say about the 'FTA's' mandated forced irreversible privatizations of everything people need from and see as good about government, in secret, and the forces I see as driving it. Read more about CIO report on privatization disasters shows that one of its main goals is looting.