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Wikileaks releases TPP chapter

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, March 26th, 2015 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, business, Globalisation - Tags: , ,

Announcement here:

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment Chapter

WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).

The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits”. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations.

Update: Here’s a guide to what it means.

26 comments on “Wikileaks releases TPP chapter ”

  1. Bill 1

    Page links for the Chapters on Intellectual Property Rights and the Environment

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    New TPPA Investment Leak Confirms NZ Surrender to US

    ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’.

    ‘Prime Minister John Key once described the idea of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as “far-fetched”.’

    ‘After he was briefed about the TPPA he changed tack, promising there would be effective safeguards. But the leaked text shows very little has not been agreed. That means the New Zealand government has accepted virtually everything the US has proposed with absolutely no effective safeguards.’

    Not surprised in the slightest that this government keeps selling out NZ for the benefit of the US.

    • adam 2.1

      What is this US you speak of? I thought we’d agreed to call out the true enemy of the people – the corporations.

    • Steve Withers 2.2

      The “Multi-National Party”

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.3

      NZ thinks its fair to spy on other nation’s negotiators. I wonder if the USA thinks its fair to spy on our negotiators.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Does it work the other way around – can investors from other countries enjoy any stronger investor rights under the Korea FTA or TPPA?

      Yes. Most NZ agreements promise any better treatment the investors from South Korea get in this agreement must be available to foreign investors from those countries in similar circumstances. For example, China already gets the better treatment that was given to Taiwan’s investors in the NZ-Taiwan FTA. Both of them will get any better treatment given to investors in the NZ-Korea FTA.

      And that puts the lie to any need for bi-lateral trade agreements. In fact, it shows that we don’t need trade agreements or the WTO at all.

      What we really need is local law that basically says: If your laws and conditions don’t meet ours then we don’t trade with you or there are significant tariffs involved.

      The notion of free-trade is built upon the condition of willing buyer, willing seller. We just need to define the terms under which we would be willing to be either of those. And that is a national decision that can only be made by informed consent of the people.

  3. Colonial Rawshark 4

    From the guide:

    Is local government bound by the investment chapter as well?

    Yes, but much more strictly in the TPPA. The Korea FTA says the government must take all reasonable steps to secure compliance by local government. Under the leaked TPPA text the obligations automatically apply to all levels of government, including regional and local government. That means local government decisions, such as zoning laws and resource approvals, or PPP contracts, or local government bonds, would automatically be subject to this chapter.

  4. jeff 5

    and the first to have a crack at NZ will be Phillip Morris.

  5. Karen 6

    I suspect ensuring the TPPA goes through is the reason the Nats are going all out for Northland. Neither the Maori Party not NZ First are in favour.

  6. ianmac 7

    As an old bear with a very small brain the TPPA is so huge. We can easily have an opinion on say rudeness on the XFactor, but this is so huge I feel helpless even knowing that the effects will resound for decades.

    • Chooky 7.1

      +100…”helpless”….is the word as to how one feels before the magnitude of the future implications of it

      …it is appalling!

      …another reason why Winnie simply must win Northland

  7. NZJester 8

    While companies can make improved profits through the TPP, the NZ Taxpayer will be the real one paying for those profits. Any likely improved profit flow into New Zealand into private bank accounts will pale in comparison to the money bleed out of the public purse into overseas corporate bank accounts. We will pay highly also in loss of freedom to make laws to protect ourselves from harm at the hands of greedy corporations who would exploit us and our environment in any way they see fit to make money.
    No government should be able to sign secret agreements that have not been approved by their people.
    The big corporations are allowed to know, but not the people and that tells you every thing you need to know about how bad a deal it is for the general public, when we are excluded from being allowed to know what it contains.
    Companies will be able to dictate our laws to us and you will be able to forget about all those employment protection laws the government has not yet striped away from us as they will be out the door anyway.

  8. Bill 9

    Western centric and kind of idle thoughts. But, remember when the landlords of old reneged on the reciprocity arrangement they had with the peasants and did them over because, well… sheep?

    Okay, neither do I.

    But I’m betting a few readers of this blog will one day remember when nation state governments facilitated the doing over of their respective citizenry because, well…keystroke generated $.

    Once, there was no large scale industrial sector. Then we got sheep, and enclosure, and factories. (‘Underwritten’ as it were, by the remaining rural population producing food for ‘the market’?)

    Now there is no large scale industrial sector. And we’ve got banking, finance, and speculation.( Underwritten by real world productive wealth, slaved into existence by generations that trace back to the victims of enclosure?)

    Like I say – only idle thoughts that are possibly, and then only vaguely, aware of potential parallels between then and now.

  9. RedBaronCV 10

    Okay do we just ban foreign corporates from operating in NZ

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Nah just borrow a leaf from China etc. If you want to do business in NZ you have to do it through a NZ owned joint venture. If you want to shift NZ based revenue and profits offshore, you will be taxed on the capital flows.

    • Sable 10.2

      Just imagine a businessman in a cheap suit knocks on your door. He’s 18 trillion in debt and wants control of your business no questions asked. Worse still he has a track record of shafting business partners. Would you sell? Because that’s exactly what John Sleaze and his mates plan on doing to us RIGHT NOW.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 11

    Also, thanks go to Wikileaks and to Julian Assange, for this leak doing the western world yet another favour.

  11. millsy 13

    It is reprehensible that corporations should be able to effectively strike down laws made be parliament. Surely a nation state should put its own people first. If it cannot, then we might as well just close up shop and just become One World Government.

    It effectively sees evinronmental and labour regulations as “non tarriff barriers”. So we are going to be forced to have Somali style environmental protections — ie none.

    This is what Wayne Mapp is on record on supporting.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      It’s like a bad Sci Fi movie where corporations become militarised private states unto themselves and nation states are weak, corrupt and held hostage to their interests.

  12. Sable 14

    If this traitor government and its US led corporate trash get their way we will have no virtually no rights in our own country. This is really nothing less than economic imperialism. And morons voted for these creeps.

  13. katipo 15

    I see this news made the front page of reddit today

    WikiLeaks Reveals TPP Proposal Allowing Corporations to Sue Nations from worldnews

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