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Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet?

By       Message William K. Black, J.D., Ph.D.       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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p>Reprinted from http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/11/will-chilean-people-save-u-s-electing-michelle-bachelet.html#more-6914

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  John: 3:20

The effort by corporate CEOs to dominate the global economy and global government is reaching the end-game stage.  Corporate CEOs view government and democracy as their gravest threats and are constantly seeking to discredit and hamstring government and democratic decision-making.  CEOs are particularly eager to discredit, destroy, or capture regulation and they have enlisted enormous support in both major U.S. parties and many of the world's dominant parties for these efforts.  President Obama has continued and made worse the effort of President Bush to betray our nation, our democracy, and our people through the secret, draft Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.  In this first column on TPP I explain that while there is no realistic chance of convincing Obama to repudiate the TPP, there is a chance that the people of Chile will save our democracy and our national sovereignty.

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Chile's national election will occur on November 17, 2013 and it is widely expected to return former President Michelle Bachelet to power.  In this article I describe the disgraceful position that the U.S. has taken in the TPP negotiations in which it sides with corporate interests rather than the victims of a terrible parasitical infection that is epidemic in much of Latin America and a serious problem in the United States.  Chagas is a serious problem in Chile, which is one of the countries negotiating TPP.

The failure of Chile under President Sebastia'n PiƱera's leadership (and the failure of Peru and Mexico) to stand up to the U.S. and expose and block its effort to block vital treatment for victims of Chagas disease represents a national disgrace by the heads of state of the U.S., Chile, Peru, and Mexico.

Progressives should urge Dr. Bachelet, should she be elected President, to make the full drafts of TPP public immediately.  Dr. Bachelet is a pediatrician who doubtless treated victims of Chagas disease.  She will understand fully the threat posed by the TPP to public health.  I urge her to demand that the draft TPP be scrapped and fundamentally changed to build democracy and national sovereignty and to control the multinational corporations rather than allow them and their plutocrat panels to dominate and denigrate democracy and national sovereignty.

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CEOs are mounting their most audacious assault on national sovereignty, the rule of law, and democracy through TPP.  If this assault succeeds there will no longer be any democratic means to defeat the CEOs.  The assault cannot be mounted openly, for the peoples of the world would reject the CEOs' demands by an overwhelming margin.  The assault is taking place under conditions of extreme secrecy.  But for groups like Public Citizen and WikiLeaks we would have woken up to a fait accompli and had no democratic recourse.

WikiLeaks revealed part of the draft, secret TPP text on November 13, 2013.  It deals with Intellectual Property (IP).  WikiLeaks explained the TPP process.

"Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty's chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 "trade advisers' -- lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart -- are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text."

The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013."

This article on TPP discusses only one obscene example of the Obama administration's positions in TPP.  Broader analyses of why TPP betrays our democracy and national sovereignty have been done well by others, particularly Public Citizen's Lori Wallach.  I applaud her efforts and thank her for providing me with source materials.

The partial draft of the TPP agreement on IP and health contains this provision.

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"Article QQ.A.5: {Understandings Regarding Certain Public Health Measures7}

The Parties have reached the following understandings regarding this Chapter:

The obligations of this Chapter do not and should not prevent a Party from taking measures to protect public health by promoting access to medicines for all, in particular concerning cases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, [US oppose: chagas] and other epidemics as well as circumstances of extreme urgency or national emergency. Accordingly, while reiterating their commitment to this Chapter, the Parties affirm that this Chapter can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of each Party's right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all."

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William K Black , J.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bill Black has testified before the Senate Agricultural Committee on the regulation of financial derivatives and House (more...)

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