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Weaponizing the US Dollar Is Accelerating Global De-Dollarization

Weaponizing the US Dollar Is Accelerating Global De-Dollarization

Weaponizing the US Dollar Is Accelerating Global De-Dollarization

Donald Trump has in just over two years abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), ditched the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), withdrawn the US from the Paris climate agreement, and unilaterally removed American participation in the Iranian nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Some of these decisions have undoubtedly received popular support from far beyond America’s shores. Washington’s withdrawal from the TPP was welcomed by the People’s Republic of China. During the Obama presidency, Xi Jinping strongly protested the exclusion of Beijing from the TPP. In the case of the TTIP, European allies for the most part were strongly opposed to the treaty because European multinationals would be subjected to sanctions and fines from American authorities.

The climate agreement, placing important limits on CO2 emissions as well as imposing regulations governing pollution, has been strongly resisted by US energy oligarchs. The withdrawal from the Paris accord has satisfied a substantial proportion of Trump’s donors linked to the hydrocarbon industry and beyond. Finally, the abandonment of the JCPOA was praised by Riyadh and Tel Aviv, two essential partners in Trump’s domestic and foreign strategies.

Observing the consequences of these political choices in the months since, it is easy to see how the world has reacted in a more or less similar fashion, which has been by ignoring the United States and emphasizing cooperation amongst themselves. The TPP, with its agreements between 11 countries, has remained in place without Washington. The development of relations between ASEAN and China continues on without Washington’s participation. While the TTIP has been halted, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is in its final approval stage, an agreement between Canada and the EU that bypasses the American-inspired TTIP.

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Tiny Region of Wallonia in Small Country of Belgium Trips up Global Corporatocracy

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Faith in Big Trade Deals Keeps Crumbling

Faith in Big Trade Deals Keeps Crumbling

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of globalization?

French trade minister Matthias Fekl

‘Bad deal’: French trade minister Matthias Fekl said his country is likely to drop TTIP talks after leaks that US wants lower labour and environmental standards.

At the height of the battle over the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement in the 1980s, full page ads promised the deal would bring “more jobs, better jobs.”

The ads were expensive, but easily afforded by Canada’s 160 largest public corporations, who paid for them as the Business Council on National Issues.

The ad blitz was intended counter the effective campaign by opponents who warned Canadians that tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs would be lost.

Opponents won the battle for hearts and minds but lost the 1988 election on the issue, thus making Canada and the US “free trade” guinea pigs.

Hundreds of such deals have been signed since, in spite of the fact that the critics were right. Canada lost some 334,000 jobs between 1988 and 1994 as a direct result. Still, since 1988, the promoters of these investment protection agreements have held sway in large part because of massive support by corporate media.

Now, three decades later, citizens around the world are waking up and asking: just whom do governments govern for?

Battlegrounds in US and Europe

That question is being raised loudly in the E.U. and the U.S. In those two powerhouse economies, opposition to such deals could save us from more of them. On the line specifically are the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Canada’s proposed deal with the E.U., the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). If the U.S.-E.U. deal (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP) fails CETA is unlikely to survive.

So-called trade deals empower transnational corporations by radically compromising the nation-state’s capacity for democratic governance.

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A Dire Future

A Dire Future

Do you remember all the hopes Americans had for Obama when we elected him to his first term? Painful memories. He betrayed the voters on every one of his promises. There was no change, except for the worst as Obama went on to become one of the most vicious war criminals in world history. Despite his horrific record, we re-elected him, only to have US economic policy turn against the people in order to bail out at our expense the mega-banks and the One Percent.

Now Obama is coercing Asia and Europe to turn the governments of their countries over to rapacious American corporations empowered by TPP and TTIP to subordinate all interests to their profits.

Here is Pepe Escobar on how the great and wonderful United States treats its enserfed vassals: “Hardball, predictably, is the name of the game. Washington no less than threatened to block EU car exports [to the US] to force the EU to buy [Monsanto’s] genetically engineered fruits and vegetables.”  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44594.htm

Now we face the prospect of electing an even worse president than Obama—Killary Clinton. Killary is the bought-and-paid-for property of Wall Street, Israel, and the military-security complex. She will bring back to power the totally discredited neoconservatives, and the US will proceed with its butchery and slaughter of other countries and all reformist governments everywhere.

The question is: will enough insouciant Americans align with the One Percent, the neocons, the men-hating feminists, homosexuals, the transgendered, and other “preferred minorities” to put the US presidency in the hands of an aggressive, corrupt person with a conscience deficit? That is the goal toward which the presstitutes are driving the brainwashed.

If we end up with Killary, neither the US nor the world will survive the mistake. She will be the last American president.

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TTIP—American Economic Imperialism

TTIP—American Economic Imperialism

Greenpeace has done that part of the world whose representatives are so corrupt or so stupid as to sign on to the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic “partnerships” a great service. Greenpeace secured and leaked the secret TTIP documents that Washington and global corporations are pushing on Europe. The official documents prove that my description of these “partnerships” when they first appeared in the news is totally correct.

These so-called “free trade agreements” are not trade agreements. The purpose of the “partnerships,” which were drafted by global corporations, is to make corporations immune to the laws of soverign countries in which they do business. Any country’s sovereign law whether social, environmental, food safety, labor protections—any law or regulation—that impacts a corporation’s profits is labeled a “restraint on trade.” The “partnerships” permit corporations to file a suit that overturns the law or regulation and also awards the corporation damages paid by the taxpayers of the country that tried to protect its environment or the safety of its food and workers.

The law suit is not heard in the courts of the country or in any court. It is heard in a corporate tribunal in which corporations serve as judge, jury, and prosecutor.

In other words, the “partnerships” give global corporations the power to overturn democratic outcomes. Allegedly, Europe consists of democracies. Democracies pass laws protecting the environment and the safety of food and labor, but these laws democratically enacted reduce profits. Anything less than a sweatshop, with starvation wages, no environmental protection, no safety legislation for food or worker, can be overturned at will by global corporations under the terms of the “partnerships.”

Only a traitor, a well paid one, could sign such a pact.

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A Great Awakening – Public Support for Fake “Free Trade” Deals Plunges in the U.S. and Europe

A Great Awakening – Public Support for Fake “Free Trade” Deals Plunges in the U.S. and Europe

Public opposition to the sovereignty killing corporate giveaway marketed as a free trade deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become so widespread that all the leading candidates for the U.S. Presidency are publicly against it. Specifically, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are virulently opposed, while Hillary Clinton is pretending to be against it in order to harvest votes.

Essentially, the more time the American public has to learn about this scam, the more they are against it. Which is precisely why the Obama administration wants to push it through as quickly as possible.

– From the post: Obama to Push Passage of TPP Trade Deal Despite Rising Public Opposition

One of the key themes here at Liberty Blitzkrieg over the past year or so, has been to highlight the fact that the plethora of “free trade” deals (TPP, TTIP and TISA) being promoted by the global robber barons are nothing more than fascist corporate handouts (links at the end). Calling them “free trade” deals is purely for PR, and primarily serves as a means for marketing these scams to the ignorant masses.

Fortunately, I have some good news to share. The public is not as ignorant as it used to be. There’s a massive awakening happening, and it’s sweeping these United States as well as Europe.

As Reuters reports in the article, Survey Shows Plunging Public Support for TTIP in U.S. and Germany:

Support for the transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP has fallen sharply in Germany and the United States, a survey showed on Thursday, days before Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama meet to try to breathe new life into the pact.

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Pro-TPP Op-Eds Remarkably Similar to Drafts By Foreign Government Lobbyists

OPINION COLUMNS PUBLISHED in California newspapers over the last year in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership use language nearly identical to drafts written and distributed by public relations professionals who were retained by the Japanese government to build U.S. support for the controversial trade agreement.

Take this column by former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders, who now serves as the president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, in the San Diego Union-Tribunetitled: “Trans-Pacific trade pact benefits San Diego.”

Much of the language in Sanders’ op-ed also appears in a “San Diego Draft op-ed” distributed by Southwest Strategies, a consulting firm paid by the Japanese government to promote the TPP:

Jerry Sanders: “Notably, the TPP includes Japan, which is significant”
Southwest Strategies: “Notably, the TPP includes Japan, which is critical”

Jerry Sanders: “Trade is essential for sustaining America’s role as the most innovative economy in the world”
Southwest Strategies: “Trade is essential for sustaining America’s role as the most innovative economy in the world”

Jerry Sanders: “With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of our borders, and with more than one in five U.S. jobs dependent on trade, it is essential that the U.S. continue to open new markets for American goods and services, while creating and sustaining jobs for American workers.”
Southwest Strategies: “With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of our borders, and with more than one in five U.S. jobs dependent on trade, it is critical that the U.S. continue to open new markets for American goods, intellectual property rights and services, and create and sustain high-skilled, high-wage jobs for American workers.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trans-Atlantic & Trans-Pacific “Partnerships” Complete Corporate World Takeover

Trans-Atlantic & Trans-Pacific “Partnerships” Complete Corporate World Takeover

As I have emphasized since these “partnerships” were first announced, their purpose is to give corporations immunity from the laws in the countries in which they do business. The principle mechanism of this immunity is the granting of the right to corporations to sue governments and agencies of governments that have laws or regulations that impinge on corporate profits. For example, France’s prohibitions of GMO foods are, under the “partnerships,” “restraints on trade that impinge on corporate profits.

The “partnerships” set up “tribunals” staffed by corporations that are outside the court systems of the sovereign governments. It is in these corporate tribunals that the lawsuits take place. In other words the corporations are judge, jury, and prosecutor. They can’t lose. The “partnerships” set up secret unaccountable governments that are higher and have power over the elected governments.

You can ask yourself how much money the representatives of the countries who “fasttracked” this system were paid by the corporations and how much the bribes will be to get the agreements approved by the legislators. As you witness American, British, German and other government officials agitate in behalf of corporate rule, you will know that they have been well paid.

Peter Liley, Minister of Trade and Industry in Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government and currently a Conservative member of the British Parliament took the trouble of looking at the Trans-Atlantic partnership and is warning against it. As a politician he cannot speak as forcefully as he might like, but he gives you the picture. Here is Eric Zuesse’s report:  http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/04/09/british-conservative-breaks-ranks-opposes-ttip.html 

No government representative who has the slightest bit of integrity and patriotism would have approved these agreements, and no legislative body that is not competely corrupt would hand its power and function over to global corporations.

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TPP ‘worst trade deal ever,’ says Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz

TPP ‘worst trade deal ever,’ says Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz

Trans-Pacific Partnership should be redone to advance interests of citizens, not corporations, he says

Media placeholder

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the Trans-Pacific Partnership may well be the worst trade agreement ever negotiated, and he recommends Canada insist on reworking it.

“I think what Canada should do is use its influence to begin a renegotiation of TPP to make it an agreement that advances the interests of Canadian citizens and not just the large corporations,” he said in an interview with CBC’s The Exchange on Thursday.

Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York, was a keynote speaker at a conference at the University of Ottawa on Friday about the complex trade deal.

Stiglitz takes issue with the TPP’s investment-protection provisions, which he says could interfere with the ability of governments to regulate business or to move toward a low-carbon economy.

Multinationals have right to sue

It’s the “worst part of agreement,” he says, because it allows large multinationals to sue the Canadian government.

“It used to be the basic principle was polluter pay,” Stiglitz said. “If you damaged the environment, then you have to pay. Now if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars.”

There were similar provisions in North American Free Trade Agreement that led to the Canadian government being sued, but the TPP goes even further.

He said the provision could be used to prevent raising of minimum wages or to overturn rules that prevent usury or predatory lending practices.

Stiglitz argues the deal, which is a 6,000-page mammoth and extremely complex, should have been negotiated openly.

“This deal was done in secret with corporate interests at the table,” he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Do Canadians Think about TPP? US Might Not Care

What Do Canadians Think about TPP? US Might Not Care

American demands would likely trump our concerns about mega trade deal.

TPP protestor

The Liberal government has launched a much-anticipated public consultation on the TPP. But will it matter? arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal that covers 40 per cent of the world’s GDP, has mushroomed into a political hot potato in the United States. Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all expressing either opposition or concern with the agreement. With the deal in doubt in the U.S., the Canadian government is using the uncertainty to jump-start a much-anticipated and long-overdue public consultation.

Earlier this month, the Standing Committee on International Trade announced plans for hearings to be held across the country and invited all Canadians to provide written submissions by the end of the April. When added to the open call for comments from Global Affairs Canada, the government department that negotiated the TPP, the public has an important opportunity to have its voice heard on a trade deal that could impact virtually every aspect of the Canadian economy.

The national consultation comes as a growing number of Canadian business leaders express concerns with the agreement. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, has garnered considerable media attention for his criticisms, and others have joined him in recent weeks, including Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke and Ford Canada CEO Dianne Craig.

Yet just as Canadians begin to grapple with fine print of the 6,000 page agreement, it has become increasingly clear that Canada will face stiff opposition from the U.S. if it seeks to exercise flexibility in how it implements the deal.

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Obama to Push Passage of TPP Trade Deal Despite Rising Public Opposition

Obama to Push Passage of TPP Trade Deal Despite Rising Public Opposition

The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world?

One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws – and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers – without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions – and even billions – of dollars in damages.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. 

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Don’t Give a Damn About the TPP? You’re Going to Wish It Gave a Damn About You.

Don’t Give a Damn About the TPP? You’re Going to Wish It Gave a Damn About You.

1. Who’s in the Super Bowl?

2. Who should be president next year?

3. What was just signed in New Zealand that, if ratified, will let corporations overturn U.S. laws, speed up the destruction of the environment, outsource jobs, encourage slavery, eliminate food safety standards, make medicine cost even more, censor and restrict the internet, impede reform of Wall Street, and make those 20 people who own as much as half the country even richer at your expense?

This is a clear-cut case where Meatloaf is just wrong. Two out of three really is bad.

TPPA c2331

Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and others who had seen all or part of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, used to say that just making it public would stop it dead. But that depends on a number of factors, I think. The TPP has now been made public. Twelve nations have just gone ahead and signed it. And their hope is to see their governments ratify it during the next two years.

The destruction wreaked by NAFTA can be seen in thousands of hollowed out towns across the United States, if you trust the bridges to get you there and are willing to risk drinking the water. But public discussion of NAFTA’s impact is not a popular topic in the corporate media, consolidated post-NAFTA and worsened ever since.

The 1993 corporate media debate over whether or not to create NAFTA looks bizarre to us today. You can go back and watch Vice President Al Gore (pro-NAFTA) debate wealthy crank Ross Perot (anti-NAFTA) on television.

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US, Japan, Canada, Australia and 8 Other Countries Sign Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

US, Japan, Canada, Australia and 8 Other Countries Sign Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be horrible for Americans and the people of the world.

But most politicians are thoroughly corrupt. Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Both parties ignore the desires of their own bases.

So today, 12 countries – Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States and Vietnam – signed the TPP.

They never followed through on their promise of an open and lively debate.

TPP still can be stopped … if the legislative bodies of the signatory nations refuse to ratify it.

Only by raising hell – telling our Senator “No! Hell no!” – can we stop this monster.

 

Seven Ways TPP Favours Mega-rich Foreign Investors, Not Canadians

Seven Ways TPP Favours Mega-rich Foreign Investors, Not Canadians

And why there’s still time for Trudeau to reject it.

ProtestTPP_610px.jpg

The Trudeau government still has options to push for renegotiation or to decline either to sign or to ratify the TPP on Canada’s behalf. Protest photo by arindambanerjee via Shutterstock.

The Harper government agreed to the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal with 12 countries including the U.S., Canada and Japan, shortly before the federal election on Oct. 19. Yet the TPP text was not made public until after the election.

Before it can enter into force, the TPP must be signed and then ratified by member countries. Therefore, the Trudeau government has options to push for renegotiation or to decline either to sign or to ratify the deal on Canada’s behalf.

In this article, I offer seven reasons why the TPP’s provisions on foreign investor protection — mostly found in its chapters on investment and financial services — should be rejected. These provisions reveal how the deal carries unacceptable risks for voters and taxpayers in TPP countries, while giving unjustified benefits to big multinationals and the super-wealthy.

1. The TPP would give special protections to foreign investors at significant public cost, without compelling evidence of a public benefit.

Like other trade agreements, the TPP would give foreign investors special rights to protect their assets by suing countries for compensation in the face of laws, regulations and other decisions that the foreign investor thinks are unfair. These potent international rights are not available to domestic investors or anyone else, even in the most extreme situations of mistreatment.

Why should foreign investors have a special global status and, effectively, a generous public subsidy against the economic risks of democracy and regulation that apply to everyone? The onus should be on promoters of the TPP to give compelling evidence of a corresponding benefit of foreign investor protections for the public. To my knowledge, they have not yet done so.

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Thanks to TPP, Canada Could Get Caught in Global Privacy Battle

Thanks to TPP, Canada Could Get Caught in Global Privacy Battle

Trade deal coupled with EU court decision could spell trouble for our laws.

Privacy button

Two unconnected developments — a recent European privacy decision and the TPP — could create a major Canadian privacy problem. Privacy photo via Shutterstock.

Amazon’s announcement last week that it plans to establish Canadian-based data centres to address mounting fears over the privacy and surveillance implications of information stored in the United States highlights how businesses and consumers have become increasingly concerned with where their data is transferred and stored. Yet two unconnected developments — a recent European privacy decision and the Trans Pacific Partnership — could create a Canadian privacy problem that even local data centres will not solve.

The European case starts with Max Schrems, an Austrian law student, who became interested in privacy issues several years ago as a visitor at Santa Clara University in California. Concerned with the privacy implications of personal information collected by companies such as Facebook, he filed numerous complaints against the social media giant. While most were dismissed, one ended up before the European Court of Justice, which considered whether transferring data to the U.S. violated European privacy laws in light of the widespread use of government surveillance.

Last fall, the court shocked observers by siding with Schrems, effectively declaring the agreement that governs data transfers between the U.S. and European Union invalid. The decision sparked immediate concern among the thousands of companies that rely on the decade-old “safe harbour” agreement.

European law sets strict restrictions on data transfers to countries without “adequate” privacy protections (as determined by European officials). The U.S. and European Union avoided an earlier data battle by compromising on the safe harbour approach in which the U.S. agreed to enforce privacy violations and the EU agreed to overlook the absence of a national privacy law.

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