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#1
01-05-2014
Default TTIP/TAFTA: US-EU Treaty Under Works to Empower Transnational Corporations

The corporation invasion

Lori M Wallach

Quote:
A new treaty being negotiated in secret between the US and the EU has been specifically engineered to give companies what they want — the dismantling of all social, consumer and environmental protection, and compensation for any infringement of their assumed rights.


Imagine what would happen if foreign companies could sue governments directly for cash compensation over earnings lost because of strict labour or environmental legislation. This may sound far-fetched, but it was a provision of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a projected treaty negotiated in secret between 1995 and 1997 by the then 29 member states of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (1). News about it got out just in time, causing an unprecedented wave of protests and derailing negotiations.

Now the agenda is back. Since July the European Union and the United States have been negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), a modified version of the MAI under which existing legislation on both sides of the Atlantic will have to conform to the free trade norms established by and for large US and EU corporations, with failure to do so punishable by trade sanctions or the payment of millions of dollars in compensation to corporations.

Negotiations are expected to last another two years. The TTIP/TAFTA incorporates the most damaging elements of past agreements and expands on them. If it came into force, privileges enjoyed by foreign companies would become law and governments would have their hands tied for good. The agreement would be binding and permanent: even if public opinion or governments were to change, it could only be altered by consensus of all signatory nations. In Europe it would mirror the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) due to be adopted by 12 Pacific Rim countries, which has been fiercely promoted by US business interests. Together, the TTIP/TAFTA and the TPP would form an economic empire capable of dictating conditions outside its own frontiers: any country seeking trade relations with the US or EU would be required to adopt the rules prevailing within the agreements as they stood.

The TTIP/TAFTA negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. The US delegations have more than 600 corporate trade advisers, who have unlimited access to the preparatory documents and to representatives of the US administration. Draft texts will not be released, and instructions have been given to keep the public and press in the dark until a final deal is signed. By then, it will be too late to change.

‘Some measure of discretion’

In a moment of candour, the recently retired US trade secretary, Ron Kirk, said: “There’s a practical reason [for which] we have to preserve some measure of discretion and confidentiality” (2). Secrecy was needed, he said, because the last time a draft text of such an ambitious agreement was released, the negotiations failed. This was an allusion to the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), an expanded version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta); the project, defended by the George W Bush administration, was posted on government websites in 2001. In response, Senator Elizabeth Warren argued that no agreement that could not withstand public scrutiny should ever be signed (3).

It’s easy to see why the US negotiators are keen to keep the TTIP/TAFTA negotiations secret. They are in no hurry to explain the impact the agreement would have at every level of government: federal, state and local authorities would be obliged to revise their policies from top to bottom so as to satisfy the appetite of the private sector in those sectors over which it does not yet have complete control. Food safety, chemical and toxics standards, healthcare and drug prices, Internet freedom and consumer privacy, energy and cultural “services”, patents and copyrights, natural resources, professional licensing, public utilities, immigration, government procurement: there is not one sphere of public interest that would not be subject to institutionalised free trade. The involvement of political representatives would be limited to negotiating with the private sector for the few crumbs of sovereignty it was willing to leave them.

The obligation of signatory countries to “ensure conformity of their laws, regulations and administrative procedures” to these terms would be strongly enforced. They would certainly be keen to honour the terms, since failure to do so would subject countries to legal challenges before tribunals specially created to arbitrate between investors and states, and having the power to authorise trade sanctions against the latter.

This is in line with other trade pacts already in force. Last year the World Trade Organisation (WTO) condemned the US over its rules on the “dolphin-safe” labelling of tuna and country-of-origin labelling of meat, and for banning candy-flavoured cigarettes, which it ruled were barriers to free trade. The WTO also ordered the EU to pay hundreds of millions of euros in penalties over its ban on imports of genetically modified organism (GMO) foods. The TTIP/TAFTA and the TPP would allow foreign companies to attack any signatory country whose policies impacted on their profits.

Companies would be able to demand compensation from countries whose health, financial, environmental and other public interest policies they thought to be undermining their interests, and take governments before extrajudicial tribunals. These tribunals, organised under World Bank and UN rules would have the power to order taxpayers to pay extensive compensation over legislation seen as undermining a company’s “expected future profits”.

Investor versus state

This “investor-state” (investor versus state) agenda, which seemed to have been derailed along with the MAI in 1998, has been quietly reintroduced over the years. A series of trade agreements signed by the US has forced taxpayers to pay more than $400m of compensation to companies over toxics bans and rules on the use of land, water and timber resources (4). Under these agreements, more than $14bn remains pending in corporate claims over drug patent, anti-pollution, climate, energy and other public interest policies.

The TTIP/TAFTA would vastly increase the bill for this legalised extortion, given the scale of the transatlantic trade interests at stake. Some 3,300 EU parent companies own more than 24,200 subsidiaries in the US, any one of which could decide to bring a claim. The scale of the threat far exceeds that associated with all previous agreements. The EU would be exposed to an even greater financial threat, given that 14,400 US-based corporations own more than 50,800 subsidiaries in Europe. In total, the TTIP/TAFTA would enable 75,000 companies in the US and the EU to attack public funds.

The investor-state regime was officially intended to ensure that foreign investors operating in developing countries without reliable court systems would obtain compensation if they were subjected to expropriation. But the US and the EU have strong judicial systems that fully uphold property law. The TTIP/TAFTA’s inclusion of this regime reveals that its aim is not investor protection but corporate empowerment.

The business lawyers who make up the tribunals are not accountable to any electorate. Many of them alternate between serving as judges and bringing cases for corporate clients against governments (5). The club of international investment lawyers is very small: 15 of them have handled 55% of all the cases examined to date. There is no appeal mechanism for their decisions.

‘Rights’ to protect

The “rights” the tribunals are supposed to protect are formulated in deliberately vague language, and are interpreted in a way that rarely serves the interests of the greatest possible number. They include the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to a corporation’s “expectations” — meaning that governments must not make any changes to regulatory policies once the investment has been made. Another “right” is to compensation for “indirect expropriation” — meaning that governments must pay if a regulatory policy diminishes the value of an investment even if such a policy applies equally to domestic and foreign firms. The tribunals also recognise the right of investors to acquire ever more land, resources, utilities and factories. The companies are not required to do anything in return: they have no obligation to the state and can pursue their activities when and wherever they like.

Some investors have a very broad conception of their rights. European companies have recently launched legal actions against the raising of the minimum wage in Egypt; Renco has fought anti-toxic emissions policy in Peru, using a free trade agreement between that country and the US to defend its right to pollute (6). US tobacco giant Philip Morris has launched cases against Uruguay and Australia over their anti-smoking legislation. US pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly has mounted an attack using the Nafta against Canada for setting patent standards that will help to ensure access to affordable medicines. And Swedish energy firm Vattenfall is using the investor-state regime to demand billions of dollars in compensation from Germany over its coal-fired electricity plant regulations and its phase-out of nuclear energy.

There is no limit to the amount of money a tribunal can order a government to pay a foreign company. A year ago, Ecuador was ordered to pay an oil company over $2bn (7). Even when governments win, they must pay the tribunal’s costs and legal fees, which average $8m per case, wasting scarce resources on defending public interest policies against corporate challenges. Governments often prefer to settle out of court: Canada avoided going before a tribunal by hastily reversing a ban on a toxic petrol additive.

The number of investor-state cases is growing. The UN Conference on Trade and Development reports a tenfold increase in the cumulative number of cases since 2000 (despite the fact that the system has existed since the 1950s). More cases were launched in 2012 than ever before. An entire industry of third party financing and specialist law firms has sprung up.

The establishment of a transatlantic free trade agreement is a longstanding project of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), a programme of the Trans-Atlantic Business Council (TBC). The TABD was created in 1995 by the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission to establish a direct dialogue between US and EU business leaders, US cabinet secretaries and EU commissioners. The TBC provides a forum for the largest US and EU corporations to coordinate attacks on consumer, environmental, climate and other public interest policies on either side of the Atlantic.

Their publicly expressed goal is to eliminate what they call “trade irritants”, which limit their ability to operate under the same rules in the US and EU, without government interference. “Regulatory convergence” and “mutual recognition” are the slogans they use to encourage governments to allow products and services that do not meet domestic standards.

Rewriting the script

But rather than calling for a relaxation of existing legislation, the transatlantic market activists propose to rewrite these themselves. The US Chamber of Commerce and BusinessEurope, two of the world’s largest business organisations, have called on TIPP-TAFTA negotiators to arrange for major industry stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic to be “at the table with regulators to essentially co-write regulation.”

The corporate interests have been remarkably candid about their goals, for example rolling back GMO regulation. Half of US states are now considering GMO labelling requirements, a move supported by more than 80% of US consumers, many of whom regard the EU system with envy, but firms that produce and use GMOs are pushing for the TTIP/TAFTA to ban GMO labelling. The US National Confectioners Association has bluntly stated: “US industry also would like to see the US-EU FTA achieve progress in removing mandatory GMO labelling and traceability requirements.” The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a corporate alliance that includes Monsanto, is concerned that GMO products sold in the US are not automatically approved in the EU. The firms complain of the “significant and growing gap between the deregulation of a new biotechnology products in the United States and the approval of those products in the EU” (8). Monsanto and other BIO firms hope that the TTIP/TAFTA can be used to push through the “burgeoning backlog of GM products awaiting approval/processing” (9).

The offensive is equally vigorous over personal privacy. The Digital Trade Coalition, a group of high-tech and Internet companies, has encouraged TTIP/TAFTA negotiators to ensure that EU data privacy policies do not encumber the flow of personal data into the US. After the recent revelations of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) indiscriminate data spying programmes, the tech corporations’ statement that “the current judgment of the EU that the US does not provide ‘adequate’ privacy protection is not reasonable” seems particularly outrageous. The US Council for International Business, which includes companies such as Verizon that have handed vast quantities of personal data over to the NSA, has stated: “The agreement should seek to circumscribe exceptions, such as security and privacy, to ensure they are not used as disguised barriers to trade.”

Food safety is also a target. The US meat industry is seeking to use the TTIP/TAFTA to remove the EU ban on the post-slaughter dipping of meat in chlorine. The North American Meat Association laments that “only the application of water and steam are permitted for use on meat carcasses by the EU.” Restaurants International, the owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, explicitly asks that the TTIP/TAFTA be used to change EU food safety standards so that Europeans can buy chlorinated KFC. The American Meat Institute protests that “the EU continues to maintain its unjustified ban on meat produced with beta-agonist technologies, such as ractopamine hydrochloride.”

Ractopamine is a drug used to promote leanness of meat in cattle and pigs. It has been banned or limited in 160 nations (including EU member states, Russia and China) due to potential risks to human and animal health. The National Pork Producers Council sees these protective measures as a distortion of the principle of free trade that the TIPP-TAFTA must rectify urgently: “US pork producers will not accept any outcome other than the elimination of the EU ban on the use of ractopamine in the production process.” Meanwhile, BusinessEurope, Europe’s largest corporate group, states: “Key non-tariff barriers affecting EU exports to the US include the US Food Safety Modernization Act.” In force since 2011, it authorises the US Food and Drug Administration to recall contaminated food, a prerogative that European corporations would apparently like to see removed via the TTIP/TAFTA.

Airlines for America (A4A), the biggest US airline industry association, has drawn up a list of “needless regulations [that] impose a substantial drag on our industry” — which they hope can be dismantled via the TTIP/TAFTA. First is the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, Europe’s central climate change policy, which required airlines to pay for carbon emissions. A4A labels the policy a “barrier to progress,” asking that the scheme’s current temporary suspension be made permanent.

Return to Thatcherism

But the most determined enemy of regulation is the financial sector. Five years after the global financial crisis, the US and EU negotiators have agreed that regulation has had its day. The framework they want to put in place would remove all safeguards on high-risk investments and prevent governments from controlling the volume, nature or origin of financial products on the market. Basically, the word “regulation” would be removed from the dictionary.

Where has this return to Thatcherism come from? The Association of German Banks has “concerns” about the (timid) reform of Wall Street after the financial crisis of 2008. The association includes Deutsche Bank, which received hundreds of billions of dollars from the US Federal Reserve in 2009, in exchange for mortgage-backed securities (10). Deutsche Bank takes issue with the Volcker Rule, a centrepiece of the Wall Street reform, calling it “much too extraterritorially burdensome for non-US banks”. Insurance Europe, a federation of European insurance firms, has stated its hope that the TIPP-TAFTA can be used to “remove” collateral requirements that keep financial firms from taking on high-risk investments.

The European Services Forum, another association of which Deutsche Bank is a member, is lobbying at the transatlantic negotiations for US regulators to stop interfering in the affairs of big foreign banks operating in the US. US financial firms hope that the TTIP/TAFTA will bury, once and for all, EU plans for a tax on financial transactions. This already seems likely, given that the European Commission has decided that such a tax would go against WTO rules (11). Since the transatlantic free trade zone promises neoliberalism even more unfettered than that provided by the WTO, and the International Monetary Fund is opposed to any kind of controls on the movement of capital, the Tobin tax is no longer of much concern to anyone in the US.

Financial services would not be the only sector deregulated. The TIPP-TAFTA would open up to competition all “invisible” and public interest sectors. Signatory states would be obliged to submit their public services to market forces, and to abandon all regulation of foreign service providers operating within their territories. This would reduce to almost nothing the room for policy manoeuvre in health, energy, education, water and transport. The TTIP/TAFTA would even cover immigration, its promoters giving themselves the power to establish a common border policy — to facilitate the entry of those who have goods or services to sell to the detriment of others.

The pace of negotiations has quickened over the last few months. In Washington, the conventional wisdom is that European leaders are desperate for anything that will revive economic growth, even sacrificing social protections. The argument put forward by the promoters of the TIPP-TAFTA — that deregulated free trade would encourage trade and create jobs — seems to count for more than fears of social upheaval. Yet the remaining tariffs between the US and the EU are “already quite low” (12), as the US trade representative acknowledges. The TTIP/TAFTA’s creators admit that the primary goal is not tariff reduction, but the “elimination, reduction, or prevention of unnecessary behind the border” policies (13), such as domestic financial regulations, climate policies, food safety standards and product safety rules.

The few studies of the likely impact of the TIPP-TAFTA do not dwell on its social and economic consequences. A frequently cited report by the European Centre for International Political Economy claims that it will deliver economic benefits equivalent to three extra US cents per person per day — from 2029 onwards (14).

Despite this optimism, the same study estimates the increase in GDP in the EU and US resulting from the TIPP-TAFTA at only 0.06%. Even this is unrealistically high, since it assumes that free trade leads to strong economic growth, a theory regularly disproved by events. Economists estimate that the introduction of the fifth version of Apple’s iPhone delivered a GDP increase up to eight times higher than the projected effect of the TTIP/TAFTA.

Nearly all the studies on the TTIP/TAFTA have been funded by institutions in favour of free trade or by business organisations, which is why they do not mention its social costs or its direct victims, who could number in the hundreds of millions. But all is not yet lost. The fate of the MAI, the FTAA and some rounds of the WTO negotiations indicates that attempts to use trade as a sly way to dismantle social safeguards and install a junta of business leaders can be blocked.
http://mondediplo.com/2013/12/02tafta
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Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
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#2
01-06-2014
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Havent the time to read it all atm but europe is quite desperate to keep its US foreign investments. So talks on the subject are to be expected. US is the major source of FDI in the power regions and a ton of aquisition efforts are aimed at the US. We cant lower wages or change the investmentclimate[or image of that] quality short term so to boost fdi to boom us out of the euro crisis a lot is debatable. Ill ask about it, got a prof thats an expert at this shit.


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#3
01-06-2014
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NAU

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#4
02-27-2014
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A trade agreement nobody should want (TPA)
Serge Halimi

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You can safely bet that the Transatlantic Partnership Agreement (TPA) will not feature as much in the forthcoming European elections as the extradition of illegal immigrants or the (alleged) teaching of “gender theory” in French schools. The TPA will affect 800 million affluent people and almost half the world’s wealth (1). The European Commission is negotiating this free trade agreement with Washington on behalf of the EU’s 28 member states, and the European parliament elected this May will be expected to ratify it. Nothing is settled as yet, but on 11 February the French president François Hollande, during his state visit to Washington, proposed to speed things up, saying: “We have everything to gain by moving quickly. Otherwise, as we know all too well, there will be a build-up of fears, threats and tensions.”

Everything to gain by moving quickly? The reverse is true. On this issue, it’s important to put a brake on neoliberalisation, and the industrial lobbies (US and European) behind it. Especially as European MPs do not know the terms of the EU Commissioners’ negotiating mandate, while the EU’s business strategy (if it has one, apart from laissez-faire) is no secret for the US National Security Agency (NSA) (2). Such dissimulation, even mild, rarely bodes well: there is a danger that the rapid advance of free trade and Atlanticism may force Europeans to import meat containing hormones, genetically modified corn and chickens dipped in chlorine. And it may prevent Americans from favouring their own producers (the “Buy American Act”) when they use public funds to combat unemployment.

The reason given to justify the agreement is employment. But supporters of the TPA, encouraged by “studies” often funded by lobbies, have more to say about the jobs created by exports than those lost through imports (or through the over-valued euro). The economist Jean-Luc Gréau notes that every neoliberal breakthrough in the past 25 years — the common market, the single currency, the transatlantic market — was defended on the grounds that it would reduce unemployment. A 1988 report (Défi 1992) announced “we were supposed to have 5m or 6m more jobs, thanks to the common market. But once it was established, Europe, plagued by recession, lost between 3m and 4m jobs” (3).

The Multinational Agreement on Investment (MAI), devised by and for the multinationals, was shredded in 1998 when public opinion was mobilised against it (4). The TPA, which repeats some of its most damaging ideas, needs to go the same way.
http://mondediplo.com/2014/03/01tpa
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#6
02-27-2014
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TPA =/= TSA
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#7
06-02-2014
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Transatlantic trade and investment partnership
A world run for shareholders


Serge Halimi

Quote:
The threat of the American free-trade eagle crossing the Atlantic to ravage Europe’s ill-protected lambs has taken over public debate after the EU election campaign. It’s arresting, but politically dangerous. It ignores the risk that local authorities in the US may soon face under new neoliberal regulations, which will prevent them protecting employment, the environment and health rights. But it also shifts attention away from European companies — such as Veolia in France or Germany’s Siemens — which are just as eager as US multinationals to take legal action against states that dare to threaten their profits (see The injustice industry, page 13). And it overlooks the role of European institutions and governments in the creation of a free trade zone on their own territory.

Opposition to TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) should not target an individual state, not even the US. What is at stake is wider and more ambitious: it concerns new privileges demanded by investors everywhere, perhaps as compensation for the economic crisis they caused. If conducted properly, a worldwide battle could consolidate the international forces of democratic solidarity, currently less well organised than those of capital.

In this scenario, it’s best to mistrust claims that certain pairs are united for eternity — protectionism and progressivism, as well as democracy and free trade. History has proved that trade policies do not have intrinsic political content (1). Napoleon III managed to combine an authoritarian state with free trade about the same time as the US Republican Party was claiming to care about American workers, the better to defend the cause of star-spangled cartels of “robber barons” in the steel industry who were pleading for customs barriers (2). “The Republican Party having its birth in a hatred of slave labor and a desire that all men may be truly free and equal,” declared its 1884 manifesto, “is unalterably opposed to placing our workingmen in competition with any form of servile labor, whether at home or abroad” (3). Even then, China was on their minds, though they were thinking of thousands of navvies from Asia employed by the California-based railway companies to work like convicts for slave wages.

A century later, the US’s international position had changed, and Democrats and Republicans vied with each other in their unctuous espousal of the free trade mantra. On 26 February 1993, barely a month after his investiture, President Bill Clinton set the tone with a keynote speech promoting NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), which was voted through later that year. He acknowledged that the “global village” had caused unemployment and low salaries in the US, but advocated going faster down the free trade path: “The truth of our age is this and must be this: open and competitive commerce will enrich us as a nation. It spurs us to innovate. It forces us to compete. It connects us with new customers. It promotes global growth without which no rich country can hope to grow wealthier. It enables our producers, who are themselves consumers of services and raw materials, to prosper.”

At that time, successive rounds of international trade liberalisation had already dropped customs duty from an average of 45% in 1947 to 3.7% in 1993. Nonetheless, the demands of peace, prosperity and democracy meant going further. “As philosophers from Thucydides to Adam Smith have noted,” Clinton said, “the habits of commerce run counter to the habits of war. Just as neighbors who raise each other’s barns are less likely to become arsonists, people who raise each other’s living standards through commerce are less likely to become combatants. So if we believe in the bonds of democracy, we must resolve to strengthen the bonds of commerce.” That rule didn’t hold good for all countries, though; in March 1996 Clinton signed a law tightening trade sanctions against Cuba.

Ten years after Clinton, European commissioner Pascal Lamy, a French Socialist who went on to head the World Trade Organization, took up the theme: “I think, for historical, economic and political reasons, that opening up trade is in accordance with the progress of humanity, that fewer misfortunes and conflicts have been caused when trade has been open than when it has been closed. Where there is trade, arms cease: Montesquieu put it better than me.” Montesquieu could not have foreseen in the 18th century that the Chinese market would open up a century later, not in fulfilment of the beliefs of the Encyclopaedists, but as a result of gunboats, the Opium Wars and the sacking of the Summer Palace. Pascal Lamy must have been aware of this.

President Barack Obama, who is less ebullient than his Democrat predecessor, perhaps due to a difference of temperament, now carries the free trade torch for US multinationals (and those from Europe and everywhere else) in defence of TTIP: “An agreement could increase exports by tens of billions of dollars, support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs — both in the United States and the European Union — and promote growth on both sides of the Atlantic” (4). Though scarcely mentioned in his speech, the geopolitical dimension of the agreement is of greater import than its hypothetical benefits in growth, jobs and prosperity. The US is not counting on TTIP to conquer Europe, but views it as a long-term means of fending off any prospect of European closer ties with Russia, and a way of containing China.

On this point, too, European leaders are in complete accord. “We are witnessing the rise of those emerging nations that pose a danger for European civilisation,” said former French prime minister François Fillon. “And our only response would be to create internal divisions? What madness.” (5). MEP Alain Lamassoure said TTIP could enable Atlantic allies to “agree common regulations which could subsequently be imposed on the Chinese” (6). A Transpacific partnership devised by the US, and to which China is not invited, is aiming for exactly the same objective. It’s probably no accident that TTIP’s most tireless intellectual supporter, Richard Rosecrance, runs a research centre at Harvard on Chinese-US relations. His defence of TTIP, published last year, develops the idea that the simultaneous decline of the two great transatlantic blocs should lead them to close ranks in the face of emerging Asian powers: “Unless these halves of the West can come together, forming an even greater research, development, consumption, and financial whole, they will both lose ground. Eastern nations, led by China and India, will surpass the West in growth, innovation, and income — and ultimately in the capacity to project military power” (7).

Rosecrance’s argument brings to mind the analysis of the phases of growth by the economist Walt Whitman Rostow: after a country’s economy takes off, its growth rate slows because it has already made its easiest productivity gains through improved education and urbanisation. In the present case, the growth rate of western economies, which reached maturity long ago, will never catch up with those of China and India. Closer union between the US and the EU is the trump card. It will allow them to continue to set the rules of the game for newcomers, who are eager but profoundly disunited. And so, as at the end of the second world war, summoning up an external threat — then the political and ideological menace of the USSR, now the capitalist menace of Asia — makes it possible to pen the sheep (who fear a new world order run from Beijing rather than Washington) under the protection of the American shepherd.

This fear is all the more justified, according to Rosecrance, since “historically, ‘hegemonic transitions’ between leading countries have generally involved major conflict.” But there is a way of preventing “a transfer of leadership from an old hegemonic power (America in this case) to a new one” leading to “a war between China and the West”. With little hope of uniting the two major Asian nations with the Atlantic partners disadvantaged by their decline, it will be necessary to exploit the rivalry between the Asian powers and contain them in their region, using support from Japan, since Japan’s fear of China makes it cleave to the West, as “the West’s eastern terminus”.

Even if this grand geopolitical plan invokes culture, progress and democracy, other metaphors reveal less noble inspirations: “The producer facing a disadvantage in sales of a given product,” writes Rosecrance, “will try to broaden or diversify its product offerings. Frequently, this will mean a merger with foreign firms or production arranged to regain market share, as Procter and Gamble did in buying Gillette some years ago. States face similar incentives.” Given that people do not yet view their nation and territory as just another consumer good, the fight against TTIP may have just begun.
http://mondediplo.com/2014/06/07ttip
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#8
06-04-2014
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get in here zyph
zyphex
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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#9
06-05-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PM View Post
get in here zyph
sup?
GT: Zyphex
PM
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#10
06-13-2014
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n2mu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem
 

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