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Forum Post: George Bush Sr.'s New World Order Realized In Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (tpp/tppa)

Posted 1 year ago on June 17, 2012, 5:43 a.m. EST by TransPacificPartnership (8)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

TPP FTA (TPPA): Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Subordinates Nations (And People) To Corporations

Negotiated in secret but now exposed as a "corporate power tool of the 1%", TPP grants powers to corporations that supersede all laws and rights of citizens.

TPP FTA (TPPA): TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP FREE TRADE AGREEMENT SUBORDINATES NATIONS (AND PEOPLE) TO CORPORATIONS

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership 'free trade' agreement [TPP/TPPA] is a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America, a dream of the 1 percent, [and a realization of George Bush Sr.'s vision of a "New World Order"] that in one blow could: offshore millions of American jobs, free the banksters from oversight, ban 'Buy America' policies needed to create green jobs and rebuild our economy, decrease access to medicine, flood the U.S. with unsafe food and products, and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards."

http://tinyurl.com/d78sm9n

"Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. [including foreign subsidiaries of domestic corporations] would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings. The terms run contrary to campaign promises issued by Obama and the Democratic Party during the 2008 campaign."

http://tinyurl.com/cdpa7ay

"A leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) investment chapter has been published online by Citizens Trade Campaign, the same coalition that first published TPP proposals from the United States on intellectual property, regulatory coherence and drug formularies in late 2011. Draft texts are said to exist for some 26 separate chapters, none of which have ever been officially released by trade negotiators for public review."

http://tinyurl.com/br42znp

"Despite the White House's efforts to keep [the] proposed free trade agreement concealed from the public - and even Congress - an excerpt from the TPP leaked Wednesday [6/13/2012] reveals that President Obama is prepared to bow to multinational corporations... According to the leaked excerpt, the Obama administration has been considering TPP provisions that would allow foreign corporations operating within the United States to appeal regulations on the environment and banking that would be forced on American-owned businesses with no chance of reprieve. While the United States could be sanctioned for failing to impose regulations on American-run businesses, multinational corporations are practically encouraged to do as much because the TPP outlines a clear avenue to file an appeal. If one of the eight Pacific nations chooses to do as much, their plea would be heard by an international tribunal that could overrule US law."

http://tinyurl.com/c3ghukc

"Trade officials from the U.S. and eight Pacific Rim nations - Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam - are in intensive, closed door negotiations to sign [the] Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) 'Free Trade' Agreement by summer 2012. Every Pacific Rim nation from China and Russia to Indonesia and Mexico could eventually be included. There are draft texts for [the pact's 26] chapters, most of which have nothing to do with trade, but rather impose limits on domestic food safety, health, environmental, and other policies. The governments won't release the texts to the public. But 600 U.S. corporate 'trade advisors' have full access."

http://tinyurl.com/bss3zf7

"Although the TPP has been branded a 'trade' agreement, the leaked text of the pact's Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:

  • limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;

  • extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;

  • establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and

  • allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms."

http://tinyurl.com/c27hvre

Public Interest Analysis of the Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Investment Text:

http://tinyurl.com/cqvszj8

The Actual Leaked Text - Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

http://tinyurl.com/7lgadrg


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP TPP/TPPA, THE RISE OF CORPORATE FASCISM AND THE FALL OF DEMOCRACY?

I. Call to Action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (San Diego CA 7/2-10/2012):

http://tinyurl.com/7cg3dwr

http://www.ustr.gov/tpp

II. Citizen.org [mis]advises this...

A. "Contact your Senators, Representatives, and state legislators: ask them to demand release of the secret negotiating texts and stop the TPP corporate power tool agenda that slams us 99 percenters."

B. "Write Pres. Obama: tell him that you loved his State of the Union focus on American manufacturing, but that his blue-print will be destroyed unless he gets his trade negotiators on a new track on TPP. We cannot afford another job-killing, unsafe-import-flooding, democracy-crushing NAFTA-style trade deal."

...which we correct with this:

C. Re "A" and "B" above, keep in mind that the people you are appealing to are the corporate puppets and guilty parties responsible for the very wrongs you are trying to right, so don't expect such impotent slacktivism to change anything.

D. The problem is not Obama and the Democrats. The solution is not Romney and the Republicans. The problem is all of the corporate-controlled Democratic AND Republican politicians - including Obama AND Romney. The solution is REVOLUTION.

E. Thomas Jefferson said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's that time again...


NO MORE LEFT. NO MORE RIGHT. TIME TO UNITE. STAND AND FIGHT!

IronBoltBruce via VVV PR ( http://veritasvirtualvengeance.com | @vvvpr )

Related Image: http://veritasvirtualvengeance.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tppa_tpp.jpg

Related Video: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc

Tag: #revolution, #tpp, #tppa, #fta, #nafta, #obama, #bush, #bushbamney, #demopublicans, #nwo, #fascism, #fascists, #kleptocracy, #occupywallst, #occupy, #ows

Key: revolution, tpp, tppa, fta, nafta, trans-pacific partnership, trans-pacific partnership agreement, take peoples' power away, free trade agreement, obama, bush, bushbamney, demopublicans, new world order, fascism, fascists, kleptocracy, occupy wall street, ows


This document contains links shortened using http://tinyurl.com to facilitate emailing. If you are concerned that we would use them to cloak phishing or malware, you should open them with this: http://longurl.org

57 Comments

57 Comments


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[-] 7 points by Shule (1559) 1 year ago

With a Democrat like Obama, who needs a Republican.....

[Removed]

[-] 7 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

the international banks already loan nations into debt and confiscate their resources

[-] 5 points by Nevada1 (4024) 1 year ago

Thank you for this post and links.

[-] 4 points by captcha42 (54) 1 year ago

The NWO policies are the only ones our govt has followed in the last 25+ years.

  • undermine sovereignty.
  • support redistribution of global wealth.
  • support globalization.
  • undermine confidence in national currencies.
  • undermine confidence in sovereign govts.
  • support creating debt bondage for populations.
  • undermine personal rights.
  • support militarized police forces.
  • support global militarism
  • support monolitic: banks, govt blocks, corporations, institutions.

The only TRUE conspiracy theory is that our govt is interested in the well being of it's citizens and future of our nation.

[-] 2 points by 1971 (154) 1 year ago

Well said. The CFR is our shadow govt. Every administration since FDR has been filled of it's members. Presidents come and go, but CFR members remain and dictate govt policy. Rockefeller and Col house set up this organization for one world govt ambitions. These same people helped start the FED, the UN, the IRS.

One world govt is the only policy our govt is commited to. They have no policies that benefit our middle class. Plenty of rhetorical promises but they never become policy.

[-] 4 points by NewStart2012 (112) 1 year ago

Its about bleepin' time this is being discussed!! 8 months ago, when I tried to talk about the New World Order, it was responded to as conspiracy theory.

[-] 3 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Clowns like Romney wouldnt be able to outsource if our D and R parties hadn't made it so damn easy to.

[-] 2 points by Renneye (3166) 1 year ago

Occupy the TPP!!! Sept. 9th in Leesburg VA

If TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) passes, our freedoms will be in the hands of the Globalist Elite and we'll lose our Sovereignty for good.

How the f#ck did this get so far without us knowing about it???

http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2012/08/09/no-back-room-deals-for-the-1/

As the 14th major round of closed-door negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets under way in northern Virginia, join Citizens Trade Campaign and our labor, environmental, consumer, public health, family farm and other social justice allies at the TPP: Out of the Shadows! Rally for Good Jobs, Affordable Medicine & a Healthy Environment at 3:00pm on Sunday, September 9 outside the Lansdowne Resort at 44050 Woodridge Parkway in Leesburg. . GET ON THE BUS! Click here to RSVP and reserve seats on free buses to the rally from Washington, DC or sign up to receive info on carpooling options throughout the region.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5aSTdaczZYMHA0ZWR3b0ZjVlpmTmc6MQ

[-] 2 points by anonops (4) from New York, NY 1 year ago

why are we standing back, what is wrong with you all?

[-] 2 points by Renneye (3166) 1 year ago

Good question!! Occupy the TPP!!! Rally on Sept. 9th in Leesburg VA

If TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) passes, our freedoms will be in the hands of the Globalist Elite and we'll lose our Sovereignty for good.

How the f#ck did this get so far without us knowing about it???

http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2012/08/09/no-back-room-deals-for-the-1/

As the 14th major round of closed-door negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets under way in northern Virginia, join Citizens Trade Campaign and our labor, environmental, consumer, public health, family farm and other social justice allies at the TPP: Out of the Shadows! Rally for Good Jobs, Affordable Medicine & a Healthy Environment at 3:00pm on Sunday, September 9 outside the Lansdowne Resort at 44050 Woodridge Parkway in Leesburg. . GET ON THE BUS! Click here to RSVP and reserve seats on free buses to the rally from Washington, DC or sign up to receive info on carpooling options throughout the region.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5aSTdaczZYMHA0ZWR3b0ZjVlpmTmc6MQ

[-] 2 points by vvv0617 (8) 1 year ago

Even after being exposed as blatant corporate fascism, progress towards completing TPPA continues unabated:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/18/us-usa-mexico-transpacific-idUSBRE85H1LC20120618

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

It's been under discussion/negotiation for more than 4 years. We have seen precious little from this supposed "accurate" leak. We do not know what will be in it. This seems a little premature and partisan. You wanna support labor and the environment? There are real attacks on these important issues now by the right wing wackos who are the biggest supporters of all free trade agreements.! Some effort against those attempts would be more usefull.

[-] 0 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

"We do not know what will be in it."

Either you failed to read the original posting before you commented or perhaps you are mentally unstable. The entire content and context of the leak is linked in above. I'll copy and paste it here just to prove my point:

Public Interest Analysis of the Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Investment Text:

http://tinyurl.com/cqvszj8

The Actual Leaked Text - Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

http://tinyurl.com/7lgadrg

This contains links shortened using http://tinyurl.com to facilitate emailing. If you are concerned that we would use them to cloak phishing or malware, you should open them with this: http://longurl.org

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You are clearly a mean, hostile individual. You appear to have a problem with immigrants and I suspect with OWS, and the 99%. So forgive me if I don't believe or trust your links (tiny or otherwise). However, I have read a good bit regarding this very small leaked portion of the massive agreement. I have even read the actual leaked doc. I can tell you that the fact it has been negotiated secretly for more than 4 years is disturbing (not unusual but disagreeable certainly). I know that we usually don't get enough worker protection, or environmental protections from these agreements. I think this will be the same. I always disagree with that sort of weakness. I do support immigration. Especially poor people (they are the hungriest, willing to risk more, more innovative). I know your boy Romney and his repub friends in congress want it signed quickly, I know the right wing chamber of commerce is anxious to get it done quickly. I also know liberal/left wing enviro/labor groups are against it. That is usually telling and a good measure. But this "leak" is tiny and the agreement is not complete and so of course not signed by anyone. I am most concerned about corps 1% who offshore jobs/assets, More interested in right wing attacks on unions/immigrants that are happening now! So I suspect these attacks against the Pres are premature and probably partisan. ok angry boy!?

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Nothing you say here has any basis in fact. You are not only a liar, but certifiably insane!

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Please! You can't respond with substance because you have none! You resort to name calling and the schoolyard bullying tactics of your candidate Romney because your arg are weak!. Take a stand on union busting or stand aside. Support Alternative energy if you care about the environ. Support OWS! Vote out pro fossil fuel subsidy politicians.

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

You are a very sick person.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

LMFAO!!

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Please! You can't respond with substance because you have none! You resort to name calling and the schoolyard bullying tactics of your candidate Romney because your arg are weak!. Take a stand on union busting or stand aside. Support Alternative energy if you care about the environ. Support OWS! Vote out pro fossil fuel subsidy politicians.

[-] 0 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

You are a very sick person.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

LMFAO!!

[-] -1 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Perhaps you are unaware that the main reason intelligent people reply to your repetitive pro-Obama pro-Democratic pro-Two-Party-Tyranny pro-regime wedge issue blathering is to bump the posts on this forum they consider important.

He who laughs last...

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

"bump the posts"? PEOPLE are STARVING! Losing their HOMES! WTF are you talkin about? You clearly have the wrong priorities. Support OWS! Vote out post bumping politicians! (doesn't have the same resonance)

[-] 0 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Thanks for the bump!

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I gotcha bump right 'ere!

[-] -1 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Well you may be a moron, but you're certainly a generous one!

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Thankyou. Some small measure of sanity in this issue.

[-] 1 points by OBOMBA (2) 1 year ago

I like the top photo of Bush sr and Obama laughing.

  • Obama to Bush: "These idiots will fall for anything. How does Jeb 2016 sound?"
[-] 2 points by captcha42 (54) 1 year ago

I thought this was the pic where obama told bush sr:

"I feel so much better about my chances of winning the election now"

Bush " how come Barry"

Obama "because I added Romney to my kill list"

[-] 1 points by 1971 (154) 1 year ago

I think this photo was taken after Obama told Bush sr: "Did you hear how many promises I made to the Middle Class in my speech?".

[-] 1 points by TransPacificPartnership (8) 1 year ago

TPP secrets: Obama covertly granting more power to multinational corporations:

http://rt.com/usa/news/tpp-obama-corporations-trade-725/

[-] 3 points by Renneye (3166) 1 year ago

TPP: A Trade Deal from Hell

July 06, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- Obama and political Washington support an alphabet soup of repressive police state laws, other freedom destroying measures, and hellish trade deals.

SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA threaten online freedom. Free speech and civil protections are endangered species. So are other inviolable rule of law provisions. With bipartisan support, they're heading for the trash bin of history.

Obama officials secretly negotiated and adopted ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). It established unrestricted supranational global trade rules. Its provisions trample on national sovereignty, privacy and personal freedoms.

In October 2011, Obama lawlessly circumvented Congress. He signed ACTA. He falsely claimed it's not a treaty. He usurped diktat authority. He claimed he acted by "executive agreement." He strong-armed other nations to go along.

TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) is ACTA 2.0. The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) calls it "a secretive, multi-nation agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31773.htm

Occupy the TPP!!! Sept. 9th in Leesburg VA

If TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) passes, our freedoms will be in the hands of the Globalist Elite and we'll lose our Sovereignty for good.

How the f#ck did this get so far without us knowing about it???

http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2012/08/09/no-back-room-deals-for-the-1/

As the 14th major round of closed-door negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets under way in northern Virginia, join Citizens Trade Campaign and our labor, environmental, consumer, public health, family farm and other social justice allies at the TPP: Out of the Shadows! Rally for Good Jobs, Affordable Medicine & a Healthy Environment at 3:00pm on Sunday, September 9 outside the Lansdowne Resort at 44050 Woodridge Parkway in Leesburg. . GET ON THE BUS! Click here to RSVP and reserve seats on free buses to the rally from Washington, DC or sign up to receive info on carpooling options throughout the region.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5aSTdaczZYMHA0ZWR3b0ZjVlpmTmc6MQ

[-] 1 points by TransPacificPartnership (8) 1 year ago

Wall Street claims to hate Communism but their sure love to partner with it:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/beware-of-red-communist-wall-street/

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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Zendog, where are you?

[-] 0 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

No matter what they do, people will still vote for Obama and Romney.

This nation is screwed.

[-] 0 points by TransPacificPartnership (8) 1 year ago

Free trade + illegal immigration. = United Sweatshop of America:

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/obamas-follies

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

"illegal immigration"? Do you mean Mexicans?

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

If you clicked the link before you started your mindless blathering you'd see that "Free trade + illegal immigration. = United Sweatshop of America" was the title of the first comment on the article and not a sociopolitical statement by the poster.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

"mindless blathering"? insults=weak arguments.

Does he mean Mexicans?

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

No intelligent person who read the linked comment would ask such a contextually irrelevant and therefore quite ignorant question.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

But if we just get beyond your attempts at intimidation to silence me, the question still remains. I know that racists say "illegal immigrants" when they mean the brown people who come from south of the border. So you can pretend it doesn't exist but if you care about racism you would allow the discussion. Are you a racist apologist?

[-] -1 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Nothing you say has any applicability to me or my comments posted here. You are not only a liar, but certifiably insane!

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You are repeating yourself. Is that a symptom of the insanity claim you hurled at me? Don't you believe we need more Americans to broaden the tax base. Our economy benefits greatly from immigration. Eliminate the limits!. Open the borders.! Support OWS! Vote out anti immigrant politicians.!

[-] -1 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

You are a very sick person.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

inults=weak args. Boring! You have been dispatched.

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

Perhaps you are unaware that the main reason intelligent people reply to your repetitive pro-Obama pro-Democratic pro-Two-Party-Tyranny pro-regime wedge issue blathering is to bump the posts on this forum they consider important.

He who laughs last...

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Repetitive. I will go around to bump down everything I disagree with ok? And FYI. I am registered independent. I have profound disappointment with Dems for betraying the left wing principles we need to resolve our problems. More so than the Repubs who I expect to trumpet their support of the right wing policies that benefit the 1% and hurt the 99%. The dems have moved right for 30 yrs, when they cave in to the right we get bad right wing policies. That is the problem. We must drag the dems back to their natural left wing roots if we are to succeed at defeating your right wing wacko policies. Ok? laughing boy!.

[-] -2 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

We are not right wing but thanks for the bump anyway, moron!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

BS. (Bump 'dis)

[-] -1 points by vvv0624 (-13) 1 year ago

You are a moron, but at least you're a generous one!

[-] -1 points by bricktopp4 (-2) 2 months ago

Morons here blaming a guy who left office 22 years ago. Pathetic. The village idiot and coward Obama, five years in still blaming everyone else for his fucked up failures..

[-] -1 points by LeoYo (4903) 1 year ago

How Can Labor Combat Obama's Secret "NAFTA of the Pacific"?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 13:52 By Cynthia Phinney, Labor Notes | News Analysis

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9874-how-can-labor-combat-obamas-secret-nafta-of-the-pacific?

The latest project of corporations seeking to ease movement of capital around the globe is the Trans Pacific Partnership, known by activists as "NAFTA of the Pacific."

Text of the proposal that leaked this week, released by the consumer group Public Citizen, indicate the free trade proposal will continue strong rights for investors and weak protections for labor, the environment, and local democracy.

The agreement is drafted to include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United Sates. Discussion of inviting Canada, Mexico, and Japan has inspired protests in all three countries.

The TPP is being negotiated in secret. While the public has no access to the full text, 600 representatives from lobby groups like the American Petroleum Institute and corporations like Johnson & Johnson do have access, and negotiators seek those representatives' advice.

Because of the difficulty of making change once the treaties are signed, activists have focused on pushing for transparency in the current process. Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch circulated petitions nationally ahead of the recent TPP talks in Dallas. Activists met the negotiators with creative protests at the meetings, including a presentation by members of the satirical direct action theater group Yes Men, who attended a gala to present U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk with a "Corporate Tool" award.

Activists have an uphill battle in Washington: Although candidate Barack Obama often spoke against the ill effects of NAFTA and similar trade deals, the president's administration has inked trade deals with Korea and Colombia on the same model—over the strenuous objections of unions and other groups.

BAD TRACK RECORD

Because NAFTA-like trade agreements make it easier to move work to low-wage areas, or effectively threaten to do so, they have been devastating for workers in the U.S. Provisions promoting competition in agriculture have driven many subsistence farmers off their land and into cities to seek work, creating a downward wage spiral for workers in other countries as well.

Such trade deals include mechanisms that tie the hands of democratically elected governments to act in the public interest, if that interest interferes with competition and profits.

NAFTA and its descendants have protected corporations from government regulations that interfere with profits, and provided dispute mechanisms that bypass every government's judicial system. TPP will do the same. If investors feel that laws or other regulations interfere with profitability, they may sue the government responsible for the regulation, and the case is decided by a trade tribunal—not by a court system accountable to citizens.

Corporations have used these mechanisms contained within trade deals to target many regulations. When California restricted use of the chemical MTBE, a gasoline additive, because of contamination of aquifers and municipal water supplies, the Canadian company Methanex sued under NAFTA, claiming that the state had cheated it out of $970 million in profits it would have made selling MTBE. California defeated the claim, but only after a six-year, $4 million court battle not all governments would mount.

Local anti-sweatshop ordinances or laws mandating local purchasing, or other regulations designed to protect jobs or enhance the quality of jobs, appear ripe for similar attack.

The mere threat of being sued has already had a chilling effect on legislators. In one case, representatives from China contacted the Vermont legislature to say it must pull legislation under consideration that would regulate toxic toys and electronic waste disposal, because it might violate agreements that the U.S. is party to.

MAINE EVENT

In an effort to shift the discussion of trade fairness in a broad way instead of engaging just one fight at a time, unions and allies in Maine worked together in 2002-03 to pass legislation establishing the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission. The campaign was supported by a grassroots petition that gave signature-gatherers the opportunity to educate signers about the importance of trade issues. The commission's mandate is to monitor and respond to the effects of international trade on Maine, with input from diverse sectors of the population and regular hearings to educate both legislators and the public.

The commission now consists of legislators from both major parties and representatives of small farmers, small business, a nonprofit fair-trade organization, a Maine-based corporation engaged in international trade, a Maine-based manufacturer, an economic development organization, organized labor, a human rights organization, and an environmental organization, along with a health care professional.

Since its establishment in 2003, the commission has worked mostly by consensus and has taken positions supported by the full spectrum of commissioners, including the legislators from both parties.

Probably because of this broad support, the commission has helped to move Maine's two Republican senators to vote against some trade agreements, including the 2005 Central America deal. The commission also helped put a Maine legislator on the national committee that advises U.S. trade negotiators.

The commission's public hearings have made its legislators see how these agreements impact Mainers and the potential of our legislature to truly govern. Most Maine residents are all too aware of the job losses in our pulp, paper, and shoe industries as it has become easier to move those jobs. But many learned for the first time at a hearing that, for instance, Maine's apple growers are increasingly struggling against fruit imported from China.

This kind of basic, ongoing assessment of trade deals and education about their effects is necessary but not sufficient to the task of creating a new framework for international trade that puts the needs of communities and the environment ahead of the profits of multinationals.