Increasingly, corporations are gaining more and more access and influence to legislation that the public and even Congress does not have through groups like ALEC and trade agreements such as NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, that merged the United States, Canada, and Mexico creating essentially a north American continent of supposedly, "free" trade. "NAFTA contained 900 pages of one-size-fits-all rules to which each nation was required to conform all of its domestic laws - regardless of whether voters and their democratically-elected representatives had previously rejected the very same policies in Congress, state legislatures or city councils." After NAFTA was signed, two-thirds of Canadian families saw a decline in real income while two million peasant farmers were displaced from their land in Mexico, forcing many into trying to gain entrance into the United States, adding to our already growing immigration problem.
Now, there is "NAFTA on steroids," the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (see links below), "a legally binding trade agreement for advancing transnational corporate tyranny and dismantling domestic democratic accountability" that is not only the largest “free trade agreement” ever negotiated, but also the most secretly negotiated, with "no public oversight, input, or consultations". Only two of its 26 chapters deal with trade, the rest grant unprecedented powers and privileges upon Trans-National Corporations (TNCs)while dismantling regulations and laws without any democratic oversight or input."
Take the intellectual property chapter alone, which would extend copyright provisions, if enacted into law, from a state/federal jurisdiction to a matter of international agreement, and within that framework, plans on extending endless copyright terms across the globe The U.S. already has the most extensive copyright terms in the world. This is increasingly problematic for today's remix culture, intrinsic to the health of our economy. Not only can one face statutory damages, with preset fines of up to $150,000 per infringement, the criminal section of intellectual property chapter indicates an individual could face actual jail time.if it's proven that they had direct or indirect motivation for financial gain Not to mention, copyright expansion can be used to silence speech as they often do on websites such as Youtube.
In February 2012, powerful content groups such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) met in Beverly Hills along with representatives from nine countries including the United States were secretly meeting in a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills. Public interest groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) were shut out, their hotel reservations canceled without their consent. Another public interest group's representatives were kicked out of the hotel.
For example, public interest groups have been warning that the TPP could result in millions of lost jobs. As a letter from Congress to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated, the TPP “will create binding policies on future Congresses in numerous areas,” including “those related to labor, patent and copyright, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, telecommunications and other service sector regulations.”The next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations will take place from December 3-12 in Auckland, New Zealand, and it will be done with the same level of secrecy as the last 14 rounds in order to grant far-reaching new rights and privileges to the 600 corporations aligned with the TPP at the expense of the tax-paying public. This could affect the health and welfare of billions of people worldwide, so where is the mainstream media?
The following is a list of 35 of the 134 lobbying clients who paid more than $1 million on lobbying in 2011-2012 and reported lobbying a federal agency on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: This is What Corporate Governance Looks Like
Why So Secretive? The Trans-Pacific Partnership as Global Corporate Coup