June 28, 2014 (San Diego)
The Trade in Service Agreement is one of a series of Trade Agreements under negotiations, and like the Transpacific Trade Pact, (TTP) this is being negotiated in secret. Wikileaks got it’s hands on some of it, and what we have has been analyzed by Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
The document points out several things. The first is that we do not have the full document. So a fair complete analysis is not possible. The second point is that:
“Non-disclosure makes it impossible for policy-makers, regulators, non-government supervisory agencies, opposition political parties, financial services firms, academics and other commentators to understand the intended meaning or apply thetext with confidence.”
If Kelsey is correct, the agreement will extend our current weak financial regulations to all treaty nations, This means that what goes on in the US will go everywhere else.
Why should Americans pay attention? Well, for starters whenever we have treaty law that is ratified, it becomes US Law. One thing that this treaty will do is target issues that the industry believes are obstacles to their well being and future growth. Among them are these two jewels that should get all our collective attention:
“limits on the size of financial institutions (too big to fail);”
The Banks want to grow as far and as far as they want to. One of the major critiques during the Global crisis in 2008 was that some institutions were already to big to fail. Instead of curbing this, the treaty will increase the size of banks, and that will lead to natural monopolies now across whole regions of the world.
Given that Citi is one of the institutions behind this, well, nothing new under the sun. They are also already too big to fail.
“State monopolies on pension funds or disaster insurance;”
Read that again. Social Security qualifies.as a pension program and Republicans, under President George Bush did go after it in 2006. According to the Washington Post if this had ben done, when the Financial Criss of 2008 hit, a newly retired worker would
“What would happen, say, if a person retired just as the financial crisis hit? An analysis (pdf) by the Center for American Progress’s Ben Furnas found that a worker who had retired in 2008 would have lost $26,000 in Social Security benefits if he had been enrolled in private accounts his whole life.”
Given how much Social Security has been under the sights of the financial industry, this is a way to get what they want, and cannot get it through other means.
These treaties are being negotiated in secret, They are full of things in them that will mean trouble for Americans, and citizens of other nations. This is part of the globalization system that has emerged. It is also clear that these agreements are meant to, in many cases, give industries what they cannot get at home though other means.
Social Security privatization is a good example. The Industry has been trying for decades, but Americans still like Social Security and it is still the third rail of politics.
So for the time being internally there is resistance, but though treaties we seem to be moving away from protecting the New Deal. These treaties go far beyond just destroying the New Deal, they are also destroying sovereignty and taking that authority away from nation states. The Era of the Nation State is likely coming to an end, with the rise of a new Corporate order.