‘Challenging the Corporate Media’ Category Archives
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, Things That Aren't What They Seem
Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae Jung
According to the Radio New Zealand website Dr Tim Beal, a retired lecturer in Asian studies at Victoria University, the US may be using its current military exercises in South Korea to deliberately thwart that country’s efforts to strengthen political and economic ties with North Korea. Beal is the author of the 2005 North Korea: the Struggle Against American Power. The book traces the warming of US-North Korean relations that occurred under Clinton, as well as the turnaround that occurred when George W Bush declared it an official member of the “Axis of Evil.” Dr Beal is also the vice-president of the New Zealand Democratic Republic of (North) Korea Friendship Society, an organization that arranges exchange visits between North Korean and New Zealand teachers and other professionals.
Beal reminds us that Park Geun-hye, recently elected as South Korea’s first female president, ran on a platform of strengthening her country’s engagement with North Korea. She is the first president to do so since President Kim Dae Jung (1998-2003), author of the Sunshine Policy that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.
Bush’s Fear of Korean Unification
We get a very different picture of North Korea here in the South Pacific than Americans do. Normally the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize gets lavish coverage in the corporate media. Not so with the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize winner — nor the Sunshine Policy he won it for.
The goal of the Sunshine Policy was an improved economic union between the two countries (like the European Union) that would allow each of them to retain their political independence. In addition to allowing for easier visitation across the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) that divides the Korean peninsula, it also provided for massive humanitarian aid as a prelude to substantial South Korean business investment in the north. The possibility of having access to the North’s young, regimented workforce was extremely attractive to South Korea’s corporations.
Over a period of approximately eight months, economic cooperation between the two countries progressed to the point that they jointly build a railroad crossing the DMZ and established the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region in North Korea, enabling a million South Koreans to visit and reconcile with family members they hadn’t seen since the end of the war. The visits ended in 2008 following a shooting incident (in which a South Korean tourist was shot) and Lee Myung-bak’s election to South Korean presidency. Lee myung-bak supported George W Bush’s hawkish hard line policy towards North Korea.
In January 2002 Bush effectively ended South Korea’s Sunshine Policy with a State of the Union address in which he virtually declared North Korea an enemy state by including them in his so-called “Axis of Evil.” At the time a number of analysts believed his administration worried about the economic powerhouse, second only to China, a unified Korea represented.
North Korea’s (understandable) response was to strengthen its nuclear capability, as a deterrent to what they perceived as a likely US invasion (there are already 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea). A year later, South Korean officials would openly accuse the US deliberately sabotaging the Sunshine Policy, by demanding the US military be given the names of all civilians who crossed the DMZ. North Korea, long opposed to the presence of any US troops in the DMZ, refused to accept this requirement. Thanks to intervention from South Korean diplomats, it was eventually relaxed, and US troops withdrew to Camp Bonifas, just south of the DMZ. At present the troops in the DMZ are mainly Swiss and Swedish serving under UN auspices.
Obama’s Korean Policy
With Park Geun-hye’s recent election as president, there is clearly strong support in South Korea for renewed rapprochement with the North. As well as hope that his second term (when he no longer faces re-election), would see Obama leaning more towards dialogue, like Clinton, than the hawkish rhetoric of his immediate predecessor. Thus far that hope seems to be misplaced.
Reprinted from Dissident Voice
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, Inspiring Moments in Resistance
New Zealand Folk hero Kim Dotcom has struck another blow for Internet freedom by launching a new cloud file storage service, called MEGA, one year to the minute after the FBI shut down Megaupload, froze his funds and induced New Zealand security services to launch a SWAT team raid on his Auckland home and seize all his computer equipment. The Obama administration’s demand that New Zealand extradite him to the US to stand trial for Internet piracy is still in the New Zealand courts. They are questioning the legality of the raid on his home. Dotcom has claimed all along that, as a third party intermediary, Megaupload was no more guilty of piracy than YouTube. At this point, it seems the only intellectual properties lawyers who don’t share this view work for the US Department of Justice.
The Role of Chris Dodd and MPAA
Dotcom believes the Motion Picture Association of America’s million dollar lobbyist, former Senator Chris Dodd, used his long time friendship with Vice president Joe Biden to persuade him to go after Dotcom. According to the Megaupload founder, Hollywood played a key role in getting Obama elected in 2008 but had nothing to show for it. He claims the President needed a success after Congress failed to pass the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) the MPAA wanted, so taking down Dotcom was “Plan B.”
According to an article in Gather, he sees similarities in the vicious and unlawful way the Obama administration has attacked other Internet freedom advocates, especially the late Aaron Swartz (the Reddit co-founder who recently killed himself in response to over the top bullying by federal prosecutors) and Julian Assange. He’s gratified by the new bill, dubbed “Aaron’s Law,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced. It amends the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), used to charge Swartz, to exclude terms of service violations.
Dotcom’s New Financial Backers
Because Dotcom’s funds are still frozen, he has relied on international investors to launch his new venture. It goes without saying that their lawyers have gone over his website with a fine tooth comb. They have declared it squeaky clean in terms of intellectual property law.
Privacy From Government Spying
Dotcom claims MEGA is an improvement on Megaupload in important ways, including improved privacy. As Forbes describes, MEGA employs User Controlled “symmetrical encryption”, where the user holds both the encryption and the decryption key. This makes it impossible for the site to hand over stored files to government authorities under subpoena, unlike Dropbox and other major file storage services.
The MEGA website invokes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 (an injunction against “arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.”), in explaining how User Controlled Encryption (UCE) works. I bet the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Justice all really love this feature. However given the support Dotcom is receiving from the New Zealand courts, there’s not a whole lot they can do about it.
The MEGA site got a million hits during its first twenty-four hours of operation.
For more background on New Zealand’s most famous German immigrant, read more here
Crossposted at Daily Censored
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, Inspiring Moments in Resistance
Demo of Low Power FM transmitter
One for Our Side
US activists fed up with the distortions and overt censorship of the corporate media, finally have the opportunity to start their own Low Power FM (LPFM) stations. Under new FCC rules issued last November, the window for nonprofit organizations, schools, Indian Tribes and public safety agencies to apply for urban LPFM licenses will open in October 2013.
The FCC was required to make LPFM licenses available to urban applicants under the Local Community Radio Act of 2010. In addition to requiring the FCC to make more channels available, the 2010 law also reverses an earlier statute limiting LPFM stations to rural areas. Commercial stations and NPR had lobbied for this limitation based on the (debatable) argument that low power stations on adjacent frequencies would cause signal interference.
The Local Community Radio Act was passed after massive grassroots organizing spearheaded by the Prometheus Radio Project, which is dedicated to freeing the airwaves from corporate control. Their website has a special “Start a Station” page for groups interested in starting a radio station. Community groups who are thinking of applying for an LPFM license in October should start making decisions now about studio space and transmission equipment (and how they will pay for it). Only 70 new licenses will be granted.
The Prometheus website also has excellent “Operational Support” and “Technical Support” pages that outline all the equipment you need and where to source it cheaply.
At present there are more than 800 noncommercial LPFM stations in the rural US. The current application fee for an LPFM license is $135.
Cross posted at Daily Censored
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media
It appears a lot of people are as sick to death as I am of the World Vision and Tear Fund TV ads featuring starving, fly-infested African children.
The International Business Times has an interesting article about a study the international aid organization Oxfam released yesterday revealing charitable donations for Africa have been hurt by the “depressing, manipulative and hopeless” TV images used in fundraising efforts.
In a survey of more than 2,000 British residents, three-fifths indicated that constant images of hunger, drought, deprivation and disease in Africa have left them desensitized and apathetic. While almost three-quarters believed it was possible to end hunger in Africa, only one-fifth though they could play some role in bringing it about.
According to Oxfam executive director Dame Barbara Stocking, “The relentless focus on ongoing problems, at the expense of a more nuanced portrait of the continent, is obscuring the progress that is being made toward a more secure and prosperous future. If we want people to help fight hunger, we have to give them grounds for hope by showing the potential of countries across Africa; it’s a natural instinct to turn away from suffering when you feel you can do nothing to alleviate it.”
The IBT quotes a comment on the BBC website, which pretty much sums up my feelings: “Africa and the third world doesn’t need aid. It just needs rich people in the West to pay a fair price for its agricultural produce and stop living on the backs of the child workers who make all the cheap clothes sold on the high street. Africa’s population doesn’t threaten the planet, it’s people in the West who are using up all the world’s resources to support their unsustainable lifestyle.”
I myself might go a little further and talk about the disgraceful role the US has played in fanning political instability and regional conflict in Africa, particularly in countries with oil and other important resources. On Christmas Eve, the Obama administration announced they will be deploying troops in 35 African countries in 2013.
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media
“When all who are honestly mistaken hear the truth, they will either quit being mistaken or cease being honest.” ~Anonymous~
Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has a recent article in the Huffington Post about a new group he has started with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Xeni Jardin, John Cusack, and Laura Poitras called The Freedom of the Press Foundation. It was started in response to the decision by Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America and PayPal (under pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman and Congressman Peter King) to stop processing donations to WikiLeaks. This caused the group to lose 95% of their funding overnight.
Donations to the foundation are tax deductible. To start with they will help fund Wikileaks; MuckRock News, which streamlines Freedom of Information Act requests so that ordinary people can file them easily; The National Security Archive, which collects and publishes newly declassified government documents; and The UpTake, a Midwest collective of citizen journalists focused on bringing transparency to state and local government.
The corrupt and blatantly criminal activities that go on in Washington and some of our state capitals continue because they happen in secret. This is why these four programs, which have a proven track record of exposing government malfeasance to public scrutiny, deserve our support.
I’ve been to the Freedom of the Press Foundation website, and donors have a choice of how to divide up their donation among the four groups.
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media
According to the December 12 Washington’s Blog, the average Fox News viewer is 65, the average CNN viewer 63 and the average MSNBC viewer 59.
In 2010 The Pew Research Center’s biennial consumption survey revealed the average age of a regular evening news viewer was 53, seven years older than the average American. The more recent Pew Research Center 2012 News Consumption Survey supports these findings. They found only 28% of Americans age 18-29 watch TV news regularly. Young Americans who follow current events (approximately 70% of those under 30) are far more likely to get their news from digital news platforms, including cell phones and social networks.
Surely this evidence that the pro-war and pro-Wall Street TV news, like print newspapers and news magazines (e.g. Time and Newsweek), has gone the way of the dinosaurs is cause to celebrate. Call me an incurable optimist, but I have always had faith in the youth of America to recognize when they are being lied to. With young people abandoning TV news in a big way, advertisers will be quick to follow, as this age group is their prime market.
Read more here
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on the Working Class, Challenging the Corporate Media
(This is a follow-up of two previous posts on the secret “free” trade treaty the Obama administration is negotiation: Will the RCEP kill the TPP and Why You Never Hear of Either One and Will China Kill the TPP?)
The Auckland round of Transpacific Partnership (TPP) aka Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations finished yesterday with citizens of potential member countries still totally in the dark about the text of the proposed treaty.
There were numerous New Zealand new stories about the December 3-12 “free” trade talks, largely due to the major street protests, in which several cops were injured. The New Zealand Herald published an op-ed on TPP(A) by antiglobalization activist Jane Kelsey, who is also an associate dean (research) at Auckland University’s School of Law.
Now that Canada has also joined the TPP(A) negotiations, the Toronto Star also published an editorial condemning the blanket of secrecy over the talks. There was virtually no coverage in the US, except for Free Speech Radio News, which featured an interview with Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach (from Auckland).
According to Kelsey’s op-ed, it now seems enough additional TPP(A) text has been leaked to reveal that it contains 29 discrete sections, only five of which deal with trade the way people traditionally understand the concept. Most of the document sets rules limiting domestic regulation that could potentially interference with the ability of foreign companies to carry out business.
Of particular concern is the so-called “transparency” clause (ironic, isn’t it, since all the TPPA negotiations are conducted in secret). This section would require member countries to allow foreign companies direct input into new regulations that potentially affect their industry. Even worse is the Regulatory Coherence, chapter which puts the burden of proof on regulators to prove they aren’t adversely impacting foreign corporations.
In her article, Kelsey mentions a recent study by the study released by the Transnational Institute revealing that international law and private equity firms are actively seeking out “free trade” suits because they’re so lucrative. Under current NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and WTO (World Trade Organization) provisions, governments can sue other countries for regulations that interfere with the profitability of their corporations. Under the TPP(A), corporations would be allowed to sue sovereign nations on their own behalf. If a corporation “wins”, the taxpayers of the “losing” country must foot the bill.
I highly recommend the Free Speech Radio Interview if people need more background information why the TPP(A) is so dangerous to what remains of democratic processes in the industrialized west.
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, Mind Control and Disinformation, The Wars in the Middle East, Things That Aren't What They Seem
Paul Craig Roberts isn’t your garden variety conspiracy nut. We’re talking about a former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Scripps Howard News Service. In a November 29th article at Information Clearinghouse Roberts, who has been highly critical of both the Bush and Obama administration for destroying US Constitutional protections, the senseless and exorbitantly expensive War on Terror and US policy on Palestine, republishes a November 2001 interview with bin Laden in which the late Saudi financier specifically denies responsibility for 9-11. It was originally published in Urdu in Pakistan’s daily newspaper Unmat on September 28, 2001. It was translated by the BBC’s World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001. In the interview, bin Laden asserts attacks on innocent civilians are inconsistent with his religious beliefs, as well as expressing the opinion that the attacks originated with people “who are part of the US system but dissenting against it.” I first learned about the interview from David Ray Griffin’s 2009 book, Osama Dead Or Alive? As both Griffin and Roberts carefully document, all the post-2001 videos and audiotapes supposedly claiming responsibility for the Twin Tower attacks have been discredited as fakes by bin Laden lookalikes.
As Roberts points out, Osama bin Laden’s sensational denial was never reported by the US print or TV media, except for a one minute CNN segment that quotes from an al Jazeera report regarding bin Laden’s Unmat interview and concludes “we can all weigh that in the scale of credibility and come to our own conclusions.” There was no effort to investigate bin Laden’s September 2001 claims by either the White House or Congress.
Ironically, as Roberts notes, the corporate media did widely report on bin Laden’s death from kidney and lung failure in December 2001. Several post-2001 videos, in which a person alleging to be bin Ladin takes credit for the attacks, have also be widely promoted in the corporate media. Careful analysis by a range of international experts (which Griffin details in his book) have discredit all of them as fakes.
Roberts is scathingly critical of the insipid hoax the Obama administration is perpetuating that Navy Seals assassinated someone in Abbottabad Pakistan last year who already died in 2001. In addition to testimony from neighbors who report that the helicopter allegedly transporting the Seals couldn’t have evacuated anyone because it crashed and burned, there are a lot of strange coincidences: for example, the unfortunate death of 30 members of the SEAL unit in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan and the failure of any of the thousands of sailors on the USS Carl to witness bin Laden’s alleged burial at sea.
The obvious question is why. Why would the Bush administration fabricate such a monstrous lie and more importantly, why on earth would Obama perpetuate it?
In my mind answer is simple: because they can. It’s a measure of the absolute power and corruption of a despotic political system when political leaders can invent their own truth at will for political expediency. It forces all of us to confront the painful reality that the US government is no less corporate-controlled or corrupt (it’s probably a little more so) under Obama than under Bush. To believe otherwise is wishful thinking.
Read the entire interview and Roberts’ commentary here.
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on the Working Class, Challenging the Corporate Media, New Zealand, The Global Economic Crisis
(This is the second of two posts about a “classified” free trade treaty called the Transpacific Partnership and a Chinese-friendly alternative the Regional Comprehensive Economic plan. As I outlined in my last post Will the RCEP Kill the TPP?, the TPP will virtually obliterate the right of member countries to protect labor rights, enforce environmental and food safety standards and otherwise protect their citizens from amoral and rapacious corporate profit-seeking.)
Who Hasn’t Joined TPP Negotiations?
In November 2011, New Zealand antiglobalization lawyer and activist Jane Kelsey was the first to first to alert activists to Obama’s real objective in promoting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP): namely to totally isolate China economically. Originally limited to eight pacific rim nations and the US, the countries currently participating in TPP negotiations include Australia, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico Darussalam.
Both Japan and Korea have been invited to join TPP but have declined. In general, Japan prefers signing free trade agreements with non-agricultural exporting countries, rather than trying to compete with agricultural powerhouses like Australia, New Zealand and the US. (See Why Japan is lagging on the TPP)
Korea, which already has or is negotiating free trade agreements with all potential TPP participants, has no incentive to join and worries that with TPP membership would cost them concessions they have already won from these countries (see South Korea’s regionalism)
Thailand has been reluctant to join out of concern the US would use the TPP to protect big American pharmaceutical companies and block availability of low-cost medicines, a major pillar of the Thai healthcare system. (See Why Thailand reluctant to join TPP/)
Obama’s China Bashing
The Obama administration has deliberately excluded China, Asia’s largest (and the world’s second largest) economy, from TPP negotiations. As Kelsey notes in her article, The TPP as A Lynchpin of US Anti-China Strategy, Obama’s real agenda was obvious from Hillary Clinton’s speech to the November 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Honolulu. In it, she talks about “managing the relationship with China, economically and militarily” and employing TPP “as the economic limb of “American statecraft” to “lock in a substantially increased investment – economic, strategic and otherwise in the Asia Pacific region.”
As Kelsey points out, Obama underscored his efforts to remilitarize the Asia Pacific (and isolate China militarily) during a visit to Australia later that month. He chose this occasion to announce the US troop build-up in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines. Kelsey goes on to give numerous examples of overt China-bashing by US officials and corporate heads during the 2011 APEC summit. None of this was lost on Chinese representatives.
Why ASEAN Nations Prefer China as a Trading Partner
In Post-US World Born at Phnom Penh, David P Goldman (author of Why Civilizations Die and Why Islam is Dying Too), outlines why potential TPP members are flocking to sign up for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-initiated RCEP instead. First and foremost is declining US influence in Asia, in contrast to China’s rising importance. In 2002 China imported five times as much from Asia as from the US. Ten years later the value of Chinese imports from Asia is ten time the value of their US imports. Meanwhile Chinese exports to Asia have jumped 50% since 2007. Exports to the “moribund” US economy are virtually stagnant.
Why? As Goldman elaborates, with the decline of American manufacturing (US orders for manufactured goods are 38% below their 1999 peak), the US has stopped investing in the sort of high-tech, high-value-added industries providing the type of manufacturing Asia requires to build their industrial capacity.
It’s also of note that RCEP negotiators are putting special emphasis on “the spirit of openness” (potential partners aren’t obliged to keep the RECP negotiations secret from their citizens) and doesn’t limit the number of participants. Moreover the overall vision for RCEP (“trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues”) is less narrow and corporate-friendly. It’s also more committed than the pro-corporate TPP to honoring the UN’s Millennium Development Goals to end poverty in 3rd world countries.
Is the TPP Dead?
Given all the advantages of the RCEP for most Asian countries – and for Australia and New Zealand – it’s no surprise that the corporate media is keeping ASEAN’s new and improved alternative to TPP a secret. I know Australia and New Zealand, whose economies both depend heavily on exports to China, will definitely be at the table when RCEP negotiations start next year. Whether they continue to participate in US-led TPP negotiations remains to be seen. Despite the outcome of this week’s TPP talks in Auckland, I strongly suspect Obama’s secret negotiations to use TPP to undo fifty years of hard won labor, environmental and health and safety protections may be dead in the water.
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, New Zealand, The Global Economic Crisis
(This is the first of two posts regarding an extremely dangerous free trade treaty, known as the Transpacific Partnership, that is being negotiated in total secret – and a new treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that China and some ASEAN nations are promoting)
If video won’t play, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtBUL_rgG1k
Unless you subscribe to Public Citizen or the Kucinich Report (from retiring Congressman Dennis Kucinich), you won’t have heard of the top secret trade negotiations related to the Transpacific Partnership (TTP), aka the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The TPP is a “free” trade agreement like NAFTA or GATT (the treaty which created the WTO) but much worse. A major goal of US multinational corporations for the TPP is to impose on more countries a set of extreme foreign investor privileges and rights and their private enforcement through the notorious “investor-state” system. This system allows foreign corporations to challenge, at international tribunals, health, consumer safety, environmental, and other laws and regulations that affect both domestic and foreign firms. If a corporation “wins”, the taxpayers of the “losing” country must foot the bill. (See Investment rules harm public health). Thus TPP will virtually obliterate the right of member countries to protect labor rights, enforce environmental and food safety standards and otherwise protect their citizens from amoral and rapacious corporate profit-seeking.
RCEP stands for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. This is a newly proposed free trade treaty coming out of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at their recent summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Negotiations on RCEP are expected to start in earnest in 2013 (see ASEAN leaders begin RCEP negotiations). Outside of the Asian and Australian press, the RCEP has been virtually invisible in the corporate media.
The New (Old?) Trade War with China
The most important difference between the two free trade treaties is that TPP excludes China, Japan and Korea. RCEP would include all fifteen Asia countries comprising ASEAN, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand and exclude the US (See post-US world born in Phnom Penh). In other words, half the world’s population.
Both Korea and Japan have been invited to join TPP but are waffling, owing to harsh TPP provisions that potentially undermine their sovereignty and their economies.
Obama has deliberately excluded China, the world’s second largest economy, from TPP. Why? Because the US is engaged in a trade war with China and doing everything possible to isolate China economically and militarily (see Trade war in the Pacific).
With many Asian countries, especially Korea, Japan and Thailand, showing a clear preference for the less restrictive RCEP, the President’s end run around China, Congress and the American public may have backfired.
The TTP Treaty is Classified
The main reason you haven’t heard of the TPP is that the text of the secret trade treaty being negotiated on your behalf is classified top secret. Even though 600 corporations are allowed online access to the entire text, access is denied to the public members of Congress. Moreover the draft treaty contains specific provisions prohibiting its release to citizens of member countries until three years after ratification. Fortunately enough of the text has been leaked for numerous Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate (which must approve all treaties) to be extremely hacked off about being denied input into TPP provisions. While NAFTA and GATT were being negotiated, former President Clinton kept Congress fully informed and even allowed them limited input.
Kiwi antiglobalization activists are gearing up in a big way for the latest round of TPP negotiations that started December 3rd in Auckland. We wouldn’t know about TPP in New Zealand, either, if Nicky Haggar, one of our foremost investigative journalists, hadn’t visited Julian Assange in London in December 2010 (see Wikileaks cloak and dagger) just before he surrendered to the London police. As people will recall, Assange released hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables just before he was taken into custody. He gave Haggar a preview of the US-New Zealand cables, which is how we learned of the conditions US corporations sought to impose on New Zealand as part of the TPP.
According to prominent antiglobalization attorney and activist Jane Kelsey, “The cables confirmed that US firms have our GM (genetic modification) regulations, restrictions on foreign ownership of land and mineral resources, and intellectual property laws, including Pharmac, squarely in their sights.” (see Wikileaks exposes government duplicity). Pharmac is the semi-autonomous government agency that negotiates bulk discounts with pharmaceutical companies for drugs used in New Zealand’s National Health Service.
The American public also has really strong reasons to oppose the TPP. According to Public Citizen, the new treaty is likely to move a million more US jobs overseas, further reduce government oversight of banks, ban Buy American policies designed to promote the greening of the US economy, flood the US with unsafe food and products, empower corporations to attack US health and safety standards and reduce or eliminate Americans’ access to cheap generic drugs. The Electronic Frontier Foundation believes TPP copyright provisions will lead to wholesale Internet censorship. Another big concern for antiglobalization activists worldwide is that specific TPP provisions would allow corporations to directly sue governments. Presently, under NAFTA, the WTO and bilateral free trade agreements, only governments can file suit against countries that supposedly interfere with the ability of their corporations to conduct business.
To be continued, with a discussion of TPP as a lynchpin of Obama’s anti-China strategy