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Thanks to WikiLeaks, public can debate alarming new trade deal

Draft terms of Trade in Services Agreement would overturn millennia of good business practice
June 23, 2014
by David Cay Johnston, Aljazeera America

[QUOTE/LINK BELOW] WikiLeaks last week again pierced the veil of official secrecy that surrounds global trade negotiations. The peek it gave us should alarm everyone.

Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to WikiLeaks, they failed.

The draft agreement WikiLeaks released on June 19 is fresh, written in May. It is a model of secret law, blatant in its disregard for transparency, democratic process and history. Its opening page says the terms are to remain secret for five years after negotiations formally end or the proposed new rules take effect. Talks to refine that agreement were to resume Monday in Geneva.

Even the secrecy-shrouded Trans Pacific Partnership that President Barack Obama and his Big Business allies want to ram through Congress without changes and only perfunctory debate does not include a five-year veil of secrecy after adoption. WikiLeaks has released a portion of TPP draft documents to the public.

It is impossible to obey a law or know how it affects you when the law is secret. And that is what this agreement would be, a new rulebook for trade in services — principally banking, insurance and trusts.
CONTINUE READING AT ALJAZEERA AMERICA
[ http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/6/wikileaks-trade-inservicesagreementsecrecy.html ] 
Thank you to Stephanie McDowall for forwarding


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