Written by Brad Walker, Rivers Director December 17, 2013
A new trade agreement that has been negotiated in secret for seven years called the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP began to emerge out of the shadows last month. The few, leaked portions of the TPP have enraged citizens across the planet because of the power it removes from citizens and their governments and gives to private corporations.
Trade negotiators representing more than 600 corporations have also pushed for “fast track” authority which would gut Congress’ ability to read the provisions of the agreement – and force them to vote on it without knowing its contents.
The TPP may appear to be a topic far-a-field from the rivers I normally focus on, however, many connections link global trade, the rivers and overseas shipping. The grain and energy shippers use the rivers to transport a large portion of their commodities abroad. Some of these shippers are transnational corporations that have subsidiaries in other countries and are shipping products back to the U.S. Trade is, and has long been, primarily about the profits of corporations and there are powerful people who believe that exploiting the rivers to an even higher degree is key to increasing the efficiency of our trading capability.… Read the rest