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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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"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their "vital interests" are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world." - James Baldwin, Source: page 489 of COLLECTED ESSAYS (1998), from chapter one of "The Devil Finds Work" (orig. pub. 1976)
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