Have you even heard of the TPP – the Trade Pacific Partnership? There’s good reason for that, if enough people knew about it it would severely hamper their negotiations because it’s less of a ‘free trade’ agreement and more of a ‘free corporate profits from pesky-democratic-rights’ agreement; the right to protect ourselves from blind profiteering at our expense.
Our democracy is not for sale and should not be compromised by trade or any other agreements. To allow this to happen is to fundamentally erode the principles of democratic nation states.
A democracy should have the right to create whatever laws and legislation that are in the best interests of its citizens without the fear of reprisal or punishment for doing so from some corporate entity outside its borders.
If I understand the nature of this agreement correctly then hypothetically if Adani for example had an agreement to work in the vicinity of the reef and we then passed a law to protect the reef but inhibited their profits, Adani could then sue us for loss of ‘future profits’. What is future profits anyway other than a business projection? How often are business projections wrong? And why should we be prevented the ability to protect ourselves and our country from health and environmental risks by responding to our national interests ongoingly? That’s why our body has an immune system, the ability to protect itself from future threats when they arise. Our capacity as a nation to create laws is our countries immunity. If a companies ability to make future profits is based on their ability to be self serving now and not held to account later then aren’t we setting ourselves up for even more self serving and irresponsible behaviour? We can’t possibly know in advance all the ways that a company could behave that could negatively effect our country and its inhabitants and we need to be able to respond to that. Isn’t our ability to respond the only thing we have that protects us? We can’t sign that away, period.
I have seen enough of the impacts in the US of corporates making self serving agreements to the detriment of their people. I like our national ethos of a fair go, it’s probably one of the best things about being Australian. I like the way we look out for all people in our society because we are a better society for it. If the TPP is signed it seriously undermines this ideal of fair and replaces it with corporate interests, it limits our democratic freedoms. It is untenable to create a situation where we can’t pass laws for fear of being sued by corporate entities that have effectively made us beholden to them through trade or any other agreements (and who have billions of dollars at their disposal to bully nation states with lawsuits). There are many things that are clearly in the best interest of society as a whole that are not in the best interests of corporate bottom lines. I don’t want Australia to follow in the U.S’s footsteps and I don’t believe any rational, fair minded Australian would condone this.