Posts Tagged ‘Trade Treaty’

China, U.S. plan new open investment treaty

March 24, 2016

The U.S. and Chinese governments have nearly completed negotiations on a Chinese Bilateral Investment Treaty, which will make it easier for American companies to invest in China, and vice versa.

Such a treaty would serve the interests of the Chinese government and American corporations, but not necessarily the interests of American citizens and workers.

us-chinaAt the same time, the U.S. government is confronting China militarily in the South China Sea.  And President Obama is trying to sell the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on the basis that it will enable the United States and not China to write the rules of international trade.

But this new treaty, based on what has been reported about it, will make the U.S. and Chinese economies even more interlocked than before.

The problem from my standpoint as an American citizen is the difference between the status of Chinese corporations and U.S.-based corporations in their home countries.  Chinese corporations serve the goals of Chinese government policy.  U.S.-based corporations serve the interests of their executives and stockholders, and them alone.

A U.S. investment in China could take the form of buying shares in Chinese companies, or it could take the form building factories or even retail stores in China.  The same would be true of Chinese investments in the United States.

Currently Chinese investment in the United States is greater than U.S. investment in China.  That is a natural result of the Chinese trade surplus.   Dollars that Chinese earn through exports have to go somewhere.  Some of them are used to buy Treasury bonds to help finance the federal government.   Others go to buy American assets.


The passing scene: Links & comments 11/9/13

November 9, 2013

South Africa breaks out of ‘partnership’ agreement trap by Joseph Stiglitz for the Bangkok Post.

The government of South Africa is party to trade treaties that, like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty, grant international corporations privileged positions over the nation’s citizens.  But it is letting these treaties expire and renegotiating them.  Other countries should and are following suit.

America’s Death Spiral in the Middle East by Bob Dreyfuss for TomDispatch.

In the Middle East, the United States is despised by its enemies, its supposed allies, and even leaders it put in power.  The only hope of salvaging the U.S. position, according to this writer, is an alliance with Iran.  I think he’s right.

Syria’s Assault on Doctors by Annie Sparrow for The New York Review of Books.

I think President Obama was right to back off from attacking Syria, because this would have made a bad situation even worse, but the plight of the Syrian people remains.

Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters by John Knefel for Rolling Stone.

A U.N. report finds the global private security industry is booming by Elliott Hannon for Slate.

President Eisenhower warned of danger of a military-industrial complex.  Now we have a surveillance-industrial complex and a police-industrial complex.

Obama Gets Behind Democrats’ $10.10 Minimum Wage Proposal by Dave Jamieson for Huffington Post.

Obama wants to cut Social Security by Ben Strubel for New Economic Perspectives.

I am glad of the President’s decision to support a higher minimum wage.  I wish he were as relentless in pressing for that as he is for indexing Social Security to the “chained CPI”.

Billionaire Steven Cohen Can’t Make His Mommy’s Monkey Jump by Greg Palast for Truthout.

Palast profiles a member of what Theodore Roosevelt called “the wealthy criminal class.”  No matter how many billions he has, he thinks he needs more.

A big deal: TPP negotiators meet in Peru

May 16, 2013

Representatives of 11 nations met in Lima, Peru, yesterday for the start of the 17th round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, a trade treaty that would give corporations  the right to appeal to international tribunals to overturn federal laws, state laws and court decisions regarding not just patent and copyright laws, but also “buy American” rules and environmental and labor laws.

hulk-tppThe text of the draft treaty has not been made public and only limited information is available to Congress and the public.  Business representatives, however, are being consulted on the draft.   The Obama administration has stated that this is the cornerstone of its trade policy.

Once agreement is reached, the Obama administration or its successor will ask for Fast Track authority to require the Senate to vote the treaty up or down as is, without amendments.  The previous Fast Track authority has expired, and should not be renewed.

Similar negotiations are underway for a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty with the European Union.   This is a very, very big deal, even though there has been little reporting in the national press and network television.

Click on the following links for more information.

Political Corruption and the ‘Free Trade Racket by Dean Baker.

Upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership Looks Like Corporate Takeover by Dave Johnson of Campaign for America’s Future.

Large Corporations Seek U.S.-European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance by Andrew Gavin Marshall for AlterNet.

The 11 nations in the negotiations are the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile and Peru.   Japan has been invited to join the negotiations.