18 Jul (NATURAL NEWS) – Contradicting promises he once made back on the campaign trail to protect the environment and defend the public against unscrupulous corporate interests, Barack Obama is currently pushing for the establishment of two new “free trade” agreements that would not only allow corporations to undermine the rule of law here in the U.S., but also railroad through forced acceptance of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere, where existing regulatory policies largely prohibit their cultivation and unlabeled sale.
Known individually as the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), the two agreements, which are currently being negotiated, would eliminate a number of so-called trade barriers that restrict how multi-national corporations can conduct their businesses. Besides threatening to deconstruct all sorts of environmental protections and labor standards, TTIP and TTP would also make it easier for private corporate interests to dictate agricultural policy, particularly in areas of the world where GMOs have been rejected by the people.
Of primary concern is the EU, where regulators have been busy fighting off aggressive biotechnology interests that are hell-bent on forcing public acceptance of GMOs. Under TTIP, so-called “regulatory barriers” that leaked drafts have dubbed “unnecessary” would be lifted in order to take advantage of “the untapped potential of a truly transatlantic market place.” Among these alleged “barriers” are current EU restrictions on GMOs, which the European public has made very clear it does not want in its food supply.
According to Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a cohort of corporate lobbying groups has already made its collective voice heard on how it wants TTIP standards to be crafted, and the Obama administration appears to be in full agreement with the agenda. Put simply, the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, in conjunction with the biotechnology industry, have made it clear that their ultimate goal is to “harmonize” EU policies with those of the U.S. in order to promote a system of agricultural trade with few rules and regulations.
“EU-US trade negotiations will offer many US firms a second chance to get their interests implemented effectively in Europe,” writes professional lobbyist Andreas Geiger for TheHill.com. “US seed companies that for a decade have been struggling to break the deadlock over the authorization for the cultivation of their [GM] seeds now will be presented with the ultimate opportunity to change the entire process to suit their needs.”
TRADE POLICY WILL ELIMINATE AMERICAN LAW AS AUTHORITATIVE FORCE IN GUIDING
With this gross liberalization of agricultural trade policy will also come the elimination of American law as an authoritative force in guiding corporate behavior, including corporations that are based in the U.S. As explained in-depth over at U.S. News & World Report, international, extrajudicial “investor-state” tribunals run by corporations will dictate how trade disputes are to be handled, effectively bypassing the legal justice system designed to protect public interest.
“Foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal,” writes Zach Carter for the Huffington Post. “That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law,” and even proceed to exploit the legal system for the purpose of extracting money from taxpayers in the process.
As pointed out by Michael Shank from U.S. News & World Report, Obama decried these types of exploitations while on the campaign trail, specifically promising not to negotiate any trade agreements that would eliminate protections for the environment, food safety, and citizen health. But now he is doing the exact opposite, pushing for agreements that would fully gut what little protections remain and hand over the keys to the kingdom to corporate interests.
Learn more at Natural News.