Global Research News Hour - 05/20/13

20May

Globalization Watch: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Through this agreement, the Obama Administration is seeking to boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.”[1] Statement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative

I think we need to look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership as the neo-liberal arm of the US pivot at Asia. So we have all these countries in South East Asia that basically have more incentive to do business with China….Many policy papers state the importance of South-East Asia in …counterbalancing the influence of China in the region. So that is what I perceive the TPP to be.”  Nile Bowie

Lost in the wake of headlines about controversies surrounding Canadian Senators’ housing and living expenses and allegations of a Toronto big city Mayor ailing from an apparent crack addiction, is the important negotiations on a major trade and investment deal taking place in Lima, Peru this past week.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had its origins in the 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement or the P4 which involved the countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, and was aimed at liberalizing trade in those countries. [2] This deal was expanded in 2008 to include the US in negotiations and by 2009, the TPP began its first round of talks. [3], [4]. There are currently twelve negotiating partners in this comprehensive pact. In addition to the P4, and the US there are Australia, Peru, Vietnam, and Malaysia, with Mexico and Canada having joined the negotiations last October and Japan jumping on board in March. [5], [6]

TPP is the latest in a string of numerous free trade agreements that proponents say will generate increased economic activity between and within countries thereby leading to greater prosperity for citizens. [7]

Critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and its numerous successors argue however that these agreements really are not about trade. They are mechanisms by which corporations with international reach can overcome barriers, regulations, and other restrictions on their profit-making activities. [8]

Three critics from three separate countries explain their concerns in this week’s instalment of the Global Research News Hour.

Stuart Trew, Trade Campaigner for the Ottawa-based Council of Canadians provides his group’s analysis not only of the TPP, but also the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA).

Kristen Beifus of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition dissects the impacts of free trade on Americans and the concerns specific to the TPP.

Kuala Lampur-based Nile Bowie provides his analysis of TPP in terms of its impacts on Malaysia where elections have recently been held. His commentaries on TPP appear on the globalresearch website.

References

1. http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2011/november/united-states-trans-pacific-partnership 2. “Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement” 2005 http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/main-agreement.pdf 3. Daniels, Chris (10 February 2008). “First step to wider free trade”. New Zealand Herald. 4. US TRADE Representative TPP Round Updates; http://www.ustr.gov/tpp 5. “Mexico: Unexplored opportunities”. TPP Talk. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. 10 October 2012. http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Trade-and-Economic-Relations/2-Trade-Relationships-and-Agreements/Trans-Pacific/1-TPP-Talk/0-TPP-talk-10-Oct-2012.php 6. Canada Formally Joins Trans-Pacific Partnership” (Press release). Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. 9 October 2012; http://www.international.gc.ca/media_commerce/comm/news-communiques/2012/10/09a.aspx?view=d 7) Dr. Claudio Loser, May 6, 2013; Where Trade Is Free, Powerful Economic Growth Is The Norm; Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/05/06/where-trade-is-free-powerful-economic-growth-is-the-norm/ 8) Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, March 27, 2013, Truthout; http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/15353-transpacific-partnership-will-undermine-democracy-empower-transnational-corporations

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Global Research News Hour - 05/06/13

7May

Aftermath of the Boston Bombings: The FBI, Canada and the Politics of Terror

In terrorism stings, it’s really only the FBI that’s making it possible for people who otherwise couldn’t acquire weapons, who couldn’t build a bomb to move forward in an act of terrorism like we’re seeing in these sting operations. So, it’s really the FBI that’s making the crime possible in a way that they aren’t with traditional drug stings even though it’s very much the same type of tactic that they’re using today.

-Trevor Aaronson

At different points of time in history non-Anglo and Francophone Canadians and including Francophones during the independence movement in Quebec were terrorists… everybody’s been interned. Every group has been interned or labeled treasonous when it was convenient to do so.

- Rocco Galati

Speculation and skepticism percolates through the World Wide Web with regard to the official narrative of the Boston Bombings.

On the day of the attacks, the FBI was placed in charge of the official investigation. [1]

To date, critical questions about the FBI’s role in these and other terrorist plots have yet to be addressed.

As documented on Global Research, the FBI has been caught deliberately lying about their actions and activities. [2]

Thoroughly documented, the FBI has been pivotal in the manufacture of several terrorist plots in the US. [3]

Trevor Aaronson’s pioneering work on the subject of FBI involvement in infiltrating and entrapping terrorist suspects made the cover of Mother Jones magazine in 2011 and became listed as one of the top 25 most censored stories of 2011-2012 by the media democracy organization Project Censored. This history is critical background in any sober analysis of the incident.

In Canada, the Conservative government invoked the Boston attacks to rush through legislation resurrecting previously sunsetted anti-terrorism provisions of preventative arrest and secret investigative hearings. By an amazing coincidence,  the same week the Canadian Parliament was debating the new anti-terrorism bill, the RCMP announced the arrest of two individuals implicated in a plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train. [4]

The RCMP said little about the evidence of their guilt though they helpfully volunteered the perpetrator’s links with Al Qaeda in Iran. Considering the enmity being expressed toward Iran by the US and Canada among other Western Countries, this tidbit interestingly parallels the innuendo of Iraq’s alleged links to terrorism in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War.

In an effort to deconstruct the propaganda around the War on Terrorism’s biggest PR boost in years, the Global Research News Hour delves into the Boston Bombings and its aftermath.

In this week’s show, Trevor Aaronson, author of “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism” examines the agency’s role of deliberately creating the plots they then disrupt. Aaronson’s analysis speaks to the FBI’s focus on marginalized individuals at the expense of real dangers.

Then, Canadian Constitutional Lawyer Rocco Galati trashes the recently passed Combating Terrorism Act as a completely unnecessary threat to civil liberties with consequences that go beyond Islamic extremism.

Finally, Global Research’s Julie Lévesque provides a much needed overview of the Boston Bombings legend and the critical questions the mainstream media should be asking but is not.

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