Global Research News Hour - Chris Hedges - 12/30/13

31Dec

On this, the holiday edition of the Global Research News Hour, we present a talk by Chris Hedges.

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Global Research News Hour - NAFTA on Steroids, Three “Secret” Concurrent “Free Trade” Deals: Can the TPP, the TTIP and CETA be Stopped? - 12/23/13

23Dec

Webster’s dictionary defines the term ‘Trojan Horse’ as follows:

“…someone or something intended to defeat or subvert from within usually by deceptive means.”[3]

The term has been applied by critics to any number of so-called free trade deals that Canada, the United States and other countries around the world are embracing.

In Canada, the Harper government recently extolled the virtues of opening up new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment in the European Union and Asia as critical to the nation’s prosperity. Hence, determined efforts to secure free trade deals with these regions through the Canadian – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) respectively are hailed by the government and pundits alike as centrepieces of the Harper government’s agenda going into 2014.

Interesting that the details of these agreements are largely hidden from public scrutiny.

The TPP in particular, as noted by Global Research author Kevin Zeese, has been drafted with an unprecedented degree of secrecy.

The campaign ‘FLUSHTHETPP.org‘ claims that the gift horse that is increased trade and investment, conceals a corporate assault on food safety, the environment, worker rights, access to health care, and basically every facet of our lives as free citizens.

A recent release of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter from Wikileaks confirmed the fears of trade liberalization critics that the reach of patents, copyrights, and trade secrets will be extended at the expense of consumer rights and safeguards.[4]

To quote Wikileaks editor in Chief Julian Assange:

“If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”[5]

The TPP secured third place among Project Censored’s most censored stories of 2012-2013. The Sonoma State University media research program describes the TPP as “an enforceable transfer of sovereignty from nations and their people to foreign corporations.”

Dr. Margaret Flowers is a congressional fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program and a pediatrician based in Baltimore, Maryland. She has written extensively on the topic of the TPP, and has championed efforts to stop it in its tracks. Dr. Flowers joins the Global Research News Hour in the fist half of the programme to describe the onerous aspects of this deal, update us on the recent twelve nation talks in Singapore, America’s ‘Fast-Track’ legislation, and the realistic prospects of grassroots people to bring an end to this deal.

CETA, likewise is cloaked in secrecy. Critics like Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians argue the deal extends drug patents and makes community economic development initiatives such as ‘buy local’ policies subject to legal challenges under new procurement rules. Trew will fill out the second half of the programme with a comprehensive look at what we know about the CETA, and how that deal can be stopped.

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