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From wikileaks.org (Our comments at bottom):
“Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Environment Consolidated Text
Today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs’ Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators’ summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013“. http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/ (continues at link)
Excerpts from “TPP – Sacrificing the Environment for Corporate Interests” Wednesday, 15 January 2014 by Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks Spokesperson
“The Consolidated Text of the Environment Chapter of the TPP Agreement was drafted by Canadian officials after bilateral consultations with other TPP Parties.”
“The Obama administration wants to fast-track the TPP treaty through the US Congress, preventing Congress from amending or discussing any part of it. A bill to this effect was released last Thursday, 9 January, by the leaders of the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over US free trade agreements.
With the WikiLeaks release of the drafts of two of the most controversial chapters of the TPP, the media has now an opportunity to critically dissect the issues with the public interest in mind.
The TPP negotiations have wider implications than for the 800 million people in the 12 negotiating countries because the US administration, the dominant Party at the table, has declared that the principles outlined in the TPP will be a benchmark in the equally secretive US-EU trade talks for the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) initiated in January 2013.
Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.” (Bold added for emphasis) Entire text here: http://wikileaks.org/tpp-sacrificing-the-environment.html
Our postscript-comments: If the environmental segment was written by the Canadian gov you know everyone’s in trouble! Canadian pollution regulations were historically surprisingly weaker than those of its neighbor, the USA (the US had Ralph Nader). Prime Minister Harper, in bed with the mining and petroleum industry, is the death-knell to Canada’s environment. And, his government has written this? If true it must be very bad indeed. Note that this will be used as a “benchmark” for US-EU trade talks. TPP Environment alleged “leaked” original document: http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
Trouble is, if the involved governments refuse to release original documents, how do we know if the leaked one is true? The real one may be far worse. This could be a decoy. Transparency in government? What happened to that idea?
A quick glance through this annoying document (http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/) suggests that it gives with one hand and takes away with the other. We have just put in a few of these points, below, and leave it to others to tease out the rest of this irksome document. We have given you the Sierra Club’s expert opinion on it, in a preceding post. They’ve been at this for 122 years (since 1892).
Here’s one sneaky point:
“The Parties further recognize that it is inappropriate to set or use their environmental laws or other measures in a manner which would constitute a disguised restriction on trade or investment between the Parties.” (bold added) http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
The above seems to be in conflict with this point, which is also in the document:
“The Parties recognize the sovereign right of each Party to establish its own levels of domestic environmental protection and its own environmental priorities, and to set, adopt or modify accordingly its environmental laws and policies“. http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
These also look strange:
“If a Party is found to be in non-compliance with its obligations under a multilateral environmental agreement through applicable compliance procedures under such agreement3, and such non-compliance is in a manner affecting trade or investment between the Parties, any other Party whose trade or investment is affected and is party to the same multilateral environmental agreement may request that the Committee be convened to consider the issue by delivering a written request to each national contact point. The Committee shall convene to consider whether the matter could benefit from cooperative activities under this agreement, with a view to facilitating the relevant Party coming into compliance with its obligations under the multilateral environmental agreement.4” (bold added) http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
“2. explain how, and to what extent, the issue raised affects trade or investment between the Parties;” (bold added) http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
“Article SS.8: Corporate Social Responsibility
Each Party should encourage enterprises operating within its territory or jurisdiction, to adopt voluntarily, into their policies and practices, principles of corporate social responsibility related to the environment, consistent with internationally recognized standards and guidelines that have been endorsed or are supported by that Party.” (bold added) http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
HUH? CORPORATIONS ONLY HAVE TO VOLUNTARILY ADOPT ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES CONSISTENT WITH WHAT EACH COUNTRY ENDORSES? CORPORATIONS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO ADOPT???!
“Article SS.9: Voluntary Mechanisms to Enhance Environmental Performance
1. The Parties recognize that flexible, voluntary mechanisms, such as voluntary auditing and reporting, market-based incentives, voluntary sharing of information and expertise, and public-private partnerships, can contribute to the achievement and maintenance of high levels of environmental protection and complement domestic regulatory measures. The Parties further recognize that such mechanisms should be designed in a manner that maximizes their environmental benefits and avoids the creation of unnecessary barriers to trade.
2. Therefore, in accordance with its domestic laws, regulations or policies, and to the extent it considers appropriate, each Party shall encourage:
a. the use of such flexible and voluntary mechanisms to protect natural resources and the environment in its territory; and
b. its relevant authorities, businesses and business organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other interested persons involved in the development of criteria used in evaluating environmental performance, with respect to such voluntary mechanisms, to continue to develop and improve such criteria.
3. Further, where private sector entities or non-governmental organizations develop voluntary mechanisms for the promotion of products based on their environmental qualities, each Party should encourage those entities and organizations to develop such mechanisms that among other things:
a. are truthful, not misleading and take into account scientific and technical information;
b. where applicable and available, are based on relevant international standards, recommendations or guidelines, and best practices;
c. promote competition and innovation; and
d. do not treat a product less favorably on the basis of origin.
“The Parties recognize the desirability that trade and climate change policies be mutually supportive, and that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost effective.”
http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/ (bold added for emphasis)
YEH, RIGHT! SOME CORPORATIONS DON’T EVEN FOLLOW THE EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND THEY ARE REALLY GOING TO VOLUNTEER TO FOLLOW ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS? HOW CAN YOU PROMOTE PRODUCTS WITH GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITIES IF YOU “DO NOT TREAT A PRODUCT LESS FAVORABLY ON THE BASIS OF ORIGIN” WHEN EACH COUNTRY AND CORPORATION IS LEFT TO VOLUNTEER STANDARDS?
We HATE the term “best practices”! Firstly because it is annoying jargon. Secondly, who determines “best practices”! There has always been something strange about that term, like it’s a cover.