Several major international agreements are under negotiation which would greatly empower multinational corporations and the World Economic Forum is promoting a new model of global governance that creates a hybrid government-corporate structure. Humankind is proceeding on a path to global corporate rule where transnational corporations would not just influence public policy, they would write the policies and vote on them. The power of nation-states and people to determine their futures would be weakened in a system of corporate rule.
The Obama administration has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) over the past five years is currently pushing Congress to pass trade promotion authority (known as fast track) which would allow him to sign these agreements before they go to Congress. Then Congress would have a limited time to read thousands of pages of technical legal language, debate the contents and be banned from making amendments.
Fast track would drive us down a dangerous path. The TPP and TTIP have been negotiated with unprecedented secrecy. For the first time texts of international agreements have been classified so that members of Congress have had very limited access and are not able to discuss what they’ve read. These are more than trade agreements. The portions that have been leaked show that they will affect everything that we care about from the food we eat to the jobs we have to the health of the planet. The fast track legislation could last seven years, meaning that more agreements could be rushed through Congress without open consideration of their potential impacts, cementing corporate rule.
Given the harm that has already been done to economies, human rights and the environment by neo-liberal economic systems required by the World Trade Organization and ‘free’ trade agreements such as NAFTA; this is not the time to be rushing into new agreements or to cede our power to write the future of the planet.